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Grad Student Enrollment, Course Load, Deadlines

Do I have to be enrolled full time if I’m a grad student? What about summer?

  • If you are a TA (on assistantship), yes. 12 graduate hours a semester minimum, fall and spring. If you have one of the rare assistantships that include a summer stipend, you need to be enrolled a minimum of 9 hours.
  • If you are a TA on departmental assistantship, you are not required to register during summer as you are not being paid on assistantship, but you may take courses in summer if you choose, and the tuition waiver will apply. However, as with other semesters, you will still pay fees.
  • If you are not on assistantship, it’s minimum of 3 hours at least 2 out of every 3 semesters to maintain continuous enrollment. During the semester you are graduating, it’s a minimum of 3 graduate hours. Note: in some cases, you may be required to register for more hours, if you have that as a visa requirement, for receiving in state tuition rate as an out of state student, etc.
  • Enrollment policies can be found here.


I need to take more than 18 hours. What do I do?

  • Email your major professor. To exceed the maximum course load, a student must obtain approval from his/her major professor and the dean of the Graduate School. The major professor will email the Graduate Dean ( and include the student's 81# with the request.The department head or the departmental graduate coordinator may email the overload request in the absence of the student’s major professor if needed.
  • Generally, a request to exceed the maximum course load will not be approved unless the student satisfies the following guidelines: (1) is a prospective candidate (or candidate) for a graduate degree, (2) has a cumulative graduate average of 3.5 or higher, (3) has no incompletes on his/her graduate record, and (4) is not a first-semester student.
  • The grad school's policy can be found here.


What if I don’t complete my MFA or PhD the semester I have applied to graduate, and need to defend my thesis/dissertation the following semester?

Your major professor will assign you a grade of incomplete on your thesis or dissertation course. You will need to register for three hours of GRSC 9270 for the following semester if you will be defending then. In that case, email Dina and include your 81# so that she can ask Graduate Enrolled Student Services to place you on the access list for GRSC 9270.


Where do I find the graduate school's dates and deadlines?

Click here -- keeping in mind that departmental dates (for MFA Thesis defense, etc.) may be earlier than Graduate School dates.

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