Graduate students

Continuous Enrollment, Graduate

Policy Number: 100326

Current Policy

Category: Academic » Enrollment



Graduate students are expected to pursue graduate degrees with a minimum of interruption and maintain continuous enrollment.

  • Students who are in a Master’s degree program and who do not enroll for three consecutive semesters (not including Summer), will be considered withdrawn from the university and must reapply for admission to resume their degree program.
  • Students enrolled in a Doctoral degree program are expected to be continuously enrolled each Fall and Spring term until all requirements for the degree have been fulfilled.

Even if all course requirements for a degree have been completed, students may need to use lab or other university facilities to carry out a required independent study or research project. For the protection of both students and the university, students must enroll during any terms, including Summer, that they use university facilities or require the professional time of faculty members.

When students begin working on a Master’s Final Project (689), Thesis (699), or Dissertation (799), the university expects them to enroll each semester from the time they begin this work until the degree is completed.

  • Students must register for a minimum of one credit each Fall and Spring semester.
  • Students using research or other university facilities, and/or the professional time of faculty members, should enroll for at least 3 units.
  • During the term students complete and defend their thesis (699) or dissertation (799), they must enroll for at least 1 unit or the number of units accurately reflecting the demand on faculty time. Programs may require students to enroll for additional units.

If students do not maintain continuous enrollment after work has begun on their Thesis/Master’s Final Project/Dissertation and do not have an approved leave of absence on file with the Graduate College, and then wish to resume work, they must submit a new application for admission and register for additional units of Master’s Final Project (689), Thesis (699), or Dissertation (799) in an amount equal to the number of such units missed while they did not maintain continuous enrollment.

General Procedure

Leave of Absence

In extenuating circumstances, graduate students may petition for an exception to the continuous enrollment policy. The petition form, Petition for Leave of Absence, which is available on the Graduate College Website, must be approved by the student’s advisor, graduate coordinator, and/or department chair and sent to the Associate Dean of the Graduate College for final approval. The request must be filed and approved before the anticipated absence.

Special Circumstances

Financial Implications: Be aware that eligibility for financial aid, Veterans assistance, graduate assistantships, and university housing may be impacted by the number of units a student is enrolled. Please contact Financial Aid:

Students can petition for exception

Graduate students may petition for an exception to any academic, non-grade-related, graduate regulation for which there is no specific petition process. Petitions should be submitted, in writing, to the Associate Dean of the Graduate College.

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