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Course Enrollment

At the Graduate School, "enrollment" refers to the process of adding, dropping, or withdrawing from courses.  Before you can enroll in courses, you must first be registered. Registering allows you to access important University resources, including course enrollment.

Course Requirements

The Graduate School does not set specific course requirements for earning a degree but students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 credits each semester. The Special Committee (or advisor) is the sole judge of whether you must take courses. If you're in a professional master's program, such as the Master of Engineering, Master of Professional Studies, or Master of Regional Planning, course requirements will be specified by the field.

  • The graduate faculty does not differentiate between undergraduate and graduate courses; nor does it regulate the type or number of courses you may take. It is up to you to be aware of your individual Special Committee's requirement.
  • Students not enrolling in sufficient courses must be enrolled for research using either Graduate School or, if available, departmental course numbers assigned for that purpose. Graduate School research courses will be automatically adjusted at the end of the drop period to bring total credits to 12.

Enrolling in Courses

Enrollment must be completed within the first three weeks of each academic term and is accomplished using Student Center.

Some fields require your advisor to authorize your online enrollment. Check with your graduate field assistant (GFA) if you have trouble signing up for courses.

Some courses require permission of the instructor to register. To get permission, complete a course enrollment form, available from your GFA, and get the signature of the course instructor.

Grading Options

When you enroll in a course for credit, you may be offered the option of taking it for a grade or pass/fail. Not all classes offer this option.

Incompletes (INC)

If you do not finish all the course work by the end of the course, the professor may assign you an Incomplete (INC) and give you time to finish. However, instructors are not required to do this and may instead deduct unfinished work from your final grade.

Dropping Classes or Changing Grading Options

Courses can be dropped or grading options and credit hours can be changed as follows:

  • Add/ change:   The last date to add a class or change grading option is three weeks after the start of the term.
  • Drop:  The last date to drop a class is seven weeks after the start of the term.  All drops and changes must be made thorugh your Student Center.

After seven weeks, changes to your courses will be made only in exceptional circumstances. If you drop a course, your transcript will show a "W" signifying that you withdrew from it..

If you want to drop a course after the drop period closes, you must get a General Petition form signed by the course instructor and your special committee chair.  Forms are available from the Graduate School form's page.  

Changing an 'Incomplete' or 'No Grade Reported

You have one year from the end of a course to satisfy its requirements. Once you have satisfied this requirement, your professor will change your grade from "Incomplete" (INC) or "No Grade Reported" (NGR) to a letter grade. That grade will appear with an asterisk on your transcript. If you do not satisfy course requirements, the INC or NGR becomes a permanent part of the transcript. You can retake the course, but both the INC or NGR and the most recent grade will be on your transcript.

Auditing Classes

Auditing a class means you regularly attend the class, but do not participate in all aspects of the course. You won't receive any credit hours and the course will be marked with a "V" on your transcript. Some courses do not lend themselves to auditing, and in such cases instructors may not allow it.

Graduate students may enroll in any course offered by the University, though some courses impose restrictions or prerequisites. Your special committee may want you to concentrate solely on your research, so you should discuss potential elective courses with your committee members.