Approved by: President
History: Issued -- August 2006
Revised -- March 9, 2015
Last Reviewed -- May 8, 2019
Related Policies:
Additional References:
Responsible Official: Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies tel. (202) 319-5247
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I. Introduction

The University definition of full-time enrollment for master's, licentiate, and doctoral students is determined on a semester basis as provided below. The University registrar will certify those students as full-time who meet the criteria listed below. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment can significantly affect a student's academic progress, financial obligations and, in the case of international students, their immigration status.

II. Definition of Full-Time Enrollment

A. Master's and Licentiate Studies

To be certified as a full-time master's or licentiate student, at least one (1) of the following criteria must be met:

1. Enrollment in a minimum of eight (8) semester credit hours.

2. Enrollment in a minimum of six (6) semester credit hours and hold a half-time appointment as a teaching or research assistant (ten [10] hours per week).

3. Enrollment in a minimum of three (3) semester credit hours and hold a full-time appointment as a teaching or research assistant (nineteen [19] hours per week).

4. Enrollment for the Comprehensive Examination.

5. Enrollment for Master's Thesis Research.

6. Enrollment in a distance learning course for pastoral supervision.

7. For the music departments in the School of Music, Drama, and Art, enrollment for master's graduate recital and at least one (1) semester credit of private instruction.

B. Doctoral Studies

To be certified as a full-time doctoral student, at least one (1) of the following criteria must be met:

1. Enrollment in a minimum of eight (8) semester credit hours.

2. Enrollment in a minimum of six (6) semester credit hours and hold a half-time appointment as a teaching or research assistant (ten [10] hours per week).

3. Enrollment in a minimum of three (3) semester credit hours and hold a full-time appointment as a teaching or research assistant (nineteen [19] hours per week).

4. Enrollment for the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination.

5. Following admission to candidacy, enrollment:

a. For Doctoral Dissertation Research;

b. For music departments the School of Music, Drama, and Art, enrollment for the final D.M.A. recital or, for the D.M.A. in Composition, the final recital, research document, or dissertation composition;

c. For required internship.

The time limits of candidacy are set forth in the Graduate Announcements under the heading "Admission to Candidacy."

C. Certification of Full-Time Enrollment Status

Certification for full-time study is the responsibility of the University registrar. The school or department must notify the University registrar by memorandum or e-mail of teaching or research assistantships, and of the number of hours per week the student is employed in that position.

III. Part-Time Study

All students who do not satisfy the criteria for full-time study are part-time students and, except as noted below, must pay tuition in the amount charged per semester credit hour.

A graduate student who is pursuing a program of ministerial studies in any neighboring institution (religious house of studies, theologate, and the like) will not be permitted to register for more than six (6) semester credit hours of graduate study per semester.

IV. Graduate Students on Academic Leave

Graduate students on Academic Leave cannot be certified as full or part time. The period of Academic Leave is not counted as part of the time allowed for the completion of residence or other degree requirements. Any incomplete ("I") grades that are outstanding must be changed in accordance with the policy on incomplete grades by the date published in the Academic Calendar.

V. Enrollment of Undergraduates for Graduate Study

A graduate student may begin graduate work while fulfilling the requirements for an undergraduate degree if, in the opinion of the school dean of the graduate school where enrollment is sought, the student's academic performance and promise justify such action.

Similarly, undergraduates may be permitted to undertake graduate studies as students in joint degree programs, for example, B.A./M.A. or B.S./M.S. in the same field. In such cases, the student will be enrolled as an undergraduate until the undergraduate program is completed. Graduate courses earning undergraduate and graduate semester credit must be pre-approved by the chair of the department (where applicable) and both the undergraduate and graduate deans of the school.

When the student takes graduate courses during his or her undergraduate studies, these semester credits will be applied towards the master's degree after the bachelor's degree has been conferred. Furthermore, semester credits earned in graduate level courses in excess of those required for the undergraduate degree may be applied toward an advanced degree after the bachelor's degree has been conferred.

Undergraduate students enrolled in graduate level courses will be graded according to the graduate grading scale.

VI. Joint Advanced Degrees

Joint advanced degree programs are available through cooperative arrangements among several schools and departments that have received the approval of the Graduate Board and the Academic Senate. Students admitted to these programs pursue simultaneously two (2) master's degrees, or a master's/licentiate degree and the J.D. degree, with approval of the deans of the schools concerned.

Apart from these joint programs, no student is allowed to pursue two (2) advanced degrees simultaneously on the basis of work done in the same academic period.

Work done for one master's degree may not be counted toward obtaining a second master's degree, except in an approved joint degree program, or in special circumstances with the permission of the school dean of the second degree program.

VII. Continuous Enrollment

Continuous enrollment is required of all students enrolled in programs leading to degrees unless an authorized Academic Leave or Term Withdrawal has been granted. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment, to obtain an Academic Leave, or to obtain a Term Withdrawal, is considered to be evidence that the student has withdrawn permanently from the University. A student who has withdrawn from the University, or who is presumed to have withdrawn because of failure to maintain continuous enrollment, must apply for readmission to continue graduate studies.

PLEASE NOTE: As required by Federal law and United States Department of Education guidelines, the University must notify the National Student Clearinghouse of all students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment. Recipients of Federal Student Loans will then enter their loan grace period, and if they have previously used up their loan grace period, will immediately enter into loan repayment.