University Policy

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Policy


Students must be registered for every semester or summer term during which a degree requirement is completed or University facilities are used unless on an official leave of absence. When finishing a degree, students must be registered in the semester in which the final degree requirements are completed; PhD and MFA students must also be registered in the preceding semester.

Students are expected to register for a minimum of one course (at least 2 credits) or Continuing Student Status each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements have been completed.

Candidates for admission may not register until they receive a formal statement of acceptance. A new graduate student usually completes registration during the week prior to the beginning of classes after arriving on campus. Incoming students who do not provide proof of their previous degrees will not be permitted to register in their second semester.

Graduate students should consult their department or program for detailed instructions concerning registration and additionally consult the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Policy for Adding or Dropping Courses.

When registering, a student who, in any preceding semester, failed to register and had not been granted an official leave of absence will be considered a continuing student and will be charged the usual fee for such status. Failure to register for two consecutive regular semesters without having been granted an authorized leave of absence may result in termination of degree status.

Registration Deadlines

A student in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences should complete the course selection process by the deadlines posted on either the MA/MS Registration website or the PhD/MFA Registration website. The deadline for payment/settlement of a student’s account can be found on the Student Accounting Services website. Late fees are charged to students who do not register or settle their tuition account during the official period. Students may not register later than one week after the start of classes without written approval from their school or college.

Full-Time Students


A student enrolled in 12 to 18 credits per semester will be considered full time and will be charged full tuition and fees. A Director of Graduate Studies must petition to register for a course overload of more than 18 credits on behalf of the student. Tuition is assessed per credit beyond 18.


PhD and MFA students holding regular appointments as teaching fellows or graduate research fellows, or are awarded a separate full fellowship, are automatically considered full time as long as the student is enrolled in academic credits.


All students not awarded a full fellowship and who are registered for fewer than 12 credits but engaged otherwise in full-time study, or in research pertinent to the completion of degree requirements or to gaining competence in the field of study, may be certified as a full-time student. This certification requires a student to complete the Certified Full-Time Status Form with approval by the advisor and the Department Chair, Program Director, or Director of Graduate Studies and submit the form to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences during the official registration period.

Part-Time Students

All part-time students who are candidates for degrees are expected to register for a minimum of one course (at least 2 credits) or Continuing Student Status each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements have been completed. International students may not enroll on a part-time basis unless permission is granted in an exceptional case or it is a student’s final semester of degree enrollment.

Continuing Student Status

Master’s and PhD candidates who have completed all course requirements must register each subsequent semester for Continuing Student Status until all requirements for the degree have been completed.