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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter Five  B – C

Registration and Credit Load

B. Registration

The student is responsible for completing appropriate enrollment procedures each semester. The Graduate School sends an official Admissions Certificate to students accepted into a graduate program at WSU. This includes instructions for registration for the first semester of study. Students should contact their advisor (or the faculty or staff representative of the appropriate program of study) for advice concerning specific class requirements or recommendations. The student then registers for classes using the on-line registration site at the WSU student portal. Appropriate login information for this site will be included with the Admissions Certificate.

C. Appropriate Levels of Registration (Credit Load)

Full-time Students. Graduate students must register for a minimum of 10 credit hours to maintain full-time enrollment status in the fall and spring semesters. All full-time graduate students must register for at least one (1) 700 (thesis masters), 702 (non-thesis masters) or 800 (doctoral) level research credit each semester to track faculty advisor effort. Full-time graduate students in professionally oriented Master’s programs should not enroll in one 701 credit each semester; these students should enroll in 701 only in the semesters in which they are actively working on their capstone project or taking the final examination.  (Students should check with their departments for additional information and/or exceptions to this policy).

Part-time Students. Graduate students must register for a minimum of 2 credit hours and no more than 9 credit hours to maintain part-time enrollment status in the fall and spring semesters. While graduate students may be required by their major program to register for a greater number of credit hours, they must enroll at least for the following minimums.

  1. All full- and part-time degree-seeking students are required to register for a minimum of 2 credits as a graduate student per semester (excluding the summer), unless they are in continuous doctoral status, or approved graduate leave or internship leave status.
  2. Students not on appointment as teaching, research, or staff assistants, and enrolling solely for the purpose of a) completing theses or special projects; b) taking preliminary examinations; or c) taking master’s or doctoral final examinations, must register for a minimum of 2 semester hours of the applicable 700, 701, 702, or 800 credits at Washington State University during that semester or summer session. Students should contact WSU’s Health and Wellness Services Insurance & Billing Office for counseling on health insurance options during their final semester at WSU.
  3. Graduate students on appointment as teaching, research, or staff assistants during the academic year must be enrolled full time for a minimum of 10 credit hours or 3 credit hours during the summer. The student is responsible for tuition and fees associated with credits taken in excess of an 18 hours during the fall or spring semesters and  3 hours total in the summer sessions.
  4. Students on non-service appointments must enroll for a minimum of 10 credit hours per semester during the academic year.
  5. Students on non-service appointments for the summer must enroll for a minimum of 3 hours during the eight-week summer session.
  6. A normal academic load for a full-time graduate student is 10-12 credit hours; however, under specific circumstances, individual programs may require more. Students who regularly take a maximum full-time credit load of 18 credits should contact the Financial Aid Office regarding the credit limits for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid eligibility.
  7. International students in F-1 and J-1 status should consult with the Office of International Programs for enrollment requirements. In general, international graduate students are required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enroll for at least 10 credits during the regular academic year.
  8. International students with valid academic, administrative, or medical reasons may be granted part-time enrollment authorization using the approved Reduced Course Load form. This includes students who have completed all required courses and are enrolled for thesis/dissertation credits only. A Reduced Course Load must be approved by International Programs, in consultation with the Graduate School, prior to part-time enrollment during the academic year.
  9. Loads in excess of 18 credit hours in a regular semester, or 8 or 10 credit hours in six- and eight-week summer sessions, respectively, are considered overloads and must have the approval of the major professor and the concurrence of the Graduate School. Students on appointment as teaching, research, or staff assistants or associates also must have approval of their supervisors in order to take an overload. Credit hours of enrollment in “Audit” status are not included in calculating the student’s academic load.
  10. Students may enroll for a minimum of 2 graduate credit hours during a fall and/or spring internship, but are not required to do so unless it is a program requirement. International students must consult with the Office of International Programs for employment authorization before committing to an internship experience. Students should contact WSU’s Health and Wellness Services Insurance & Billing Office for counseling on health insurance options during their internship semester.

 

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