The academic year at Occidental College consists of two 16-week semesters, each includes one week of final examinations. Undergraduate full-time status is 12 or more units. Part-time status is 11 or fewer units.

Students electing to enroll for fewer than 16 units in any semester during their course of study at Occidental must be aware they may not be making normal academic progress and must accept the consequences of a possible delayed graduation date. Only by special petition to the dean of students and under the most unusual circumstances may students reduce their academic load to fewer than 12 units. Students may petition to be part time through the last day to drop classes. After that date students may only withdraw from a class and the enrollment status will not change.