Registration and Statute of Limitations

Full/Half/Part-Time Student Credits

The Graduate School defines full time as enrollment in nine or more credits; part time as eight or fewer credits; and for loan deferments, half time as six or more credits. Audited courses do not count toward enrollment status. Working on incomplete courses from prior semesters cannot count toward enrollment status. Master's and doctoral candidates working on research for a required thesis or dissertation may be considered full-time or half-time, regardless of the number of thesis or dissertation credits for which they register, provided the major department certifies that they are working full time on research.  Master's and doctoral candidates legally employed for at least 40 hours a week at a University-approved co-operative education experience (Co-op) may be considered full time students regardless of the number of credits in which they are enrolled, provided the major department certifies the work experience is directly related and integral to the curriculum of the student's academic program.

Maximum Credit Load

A graduate student in a full-time degree program may register for up to 16 credits during the fall and spring semesters and 9 credits during the summer semester. Graduate students in part-time degree programs may register for up to 9 credits each fall, spring, and summer semester. Any student who wishes to register for more than the maximum credit load must secure permission from the graduate program director in the major department and the approval of the Graduate Dean.

Continuous Enrollment

Degree-seeking graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment each fall and spring semester until their degree has been awarded.  This requirement is fulfilled by registering for course/thesis/dissertation credits or by enrolling for and paying the Continuous Enrollment (Program) Fee. Failure to be properly enrolled for the fall and spring semesters will result in a student's withdrawal after the last day to add or drop classes.

Statute of Limitations

The Statute of Limitations (SOL) is the period within which all degree requirements must be completed. Doctoral students are required to achieve candidacy within six years from acceptance and complete their program within five years of achieving candidacy. Candidacy is recommended by the academic department upon satisfactory completion of coursework and passing the qualifying examination. Master's students have four calendar years from acceptance into the program (or five years for the M.F.A. and part-time off-campus programs) to earn the degree. Dual master's degrees are given five years unless otherwise noted in the program description.