Enrollment Regulations

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Full-time, Half-Time and Part-Time Enrollment

Graduate Studies defines full-time enrollment as 9 credit hours in Fall or Spring semester and 6 hours in the summer session. Maximum enrollment for graduate students, except in rare instances, is 16 hours in Fall or Spring semester and 9 hours in the summer session. Please see the Full-time Enrollment for Graduate Students policy in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog and the KU Policy Library for more information on what constitutes full-time, half-time, and part-time enrollment, including variations on this policy for doctoral students enrolled in dissertation hours, GTA/GRA/GA appointments, and active duty military. At a minimum, all graduate students should be continuously enrolled in the Fall and Spring semesters while completing the credit hours required for the fulfillment of their degrees. Please consult the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog and the  KU Policy Library for other enrollment regulations.

Continuous Enrollment for Master’s Students

The College requires that all master’s students who have completed the required coursework for their degrees must be continuously enrolled in the Fall and Spring semesters until all remaining requirements for the degree, including the thesis when applicable, are complete. No enrollment is required during the summer session unless it is the semester during which the student will graduate, in which case enrollment is required. Certain academic units have additional rules governing summer enrollment.

Post-Comprehensive Enrollment for Doctoral Students

After passing the Comprehensive Oral Exam, doctoral candidates must be continuously enrolled. During this time, until all requirements for the degree are completed (including the filing of the dissertation) or until 18 post-comprehensive hours have been completed (whichever comes first), the candidate must enroll for a minimum of 6 hours a semester and 3 hours a summer session. At least one of these hours each term must be in dissertation or approved dissertation-equivalent coursework.

In addition, Graduate Studies requires a period of at least 5 months to elapse between the comprehensive oral exam and the final exam. Students that have completed all degree requirements before completing 18 hours are still required to continue enrollment until this 5-month requirement has been met.

Upon completion of the 18-hour requirement, a student’s level of enrollment should reflect, as accurately as possible, the faculty time he or she utilizes. This may be as little as one hour per semester.

Special enrollment requirements apply to those with GTA/GRA/GA appointments. Please consult the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog and the KU Policy Library.

Lapses in Enrollment

Generally, no student is allowed to enroll after the first 4 weeks of a semester or the first 2 weeks of a summer session. If a student does not intend to enroll, he or she must determine the appropriate course of action in consultation with the department or program.

The student may elect to Voluntarily Discontinue from the program, and must inform the department or program in writing of this decision, which will in turn submit the necessary forms to the College. This option requires the student to seek re-admission to the program if they choose to return at a future date. They also remain eligible to seek admission to another department or program in the College.

The student may also petition for a Leave of Absence of up to one calendar year. If granted, the Leave of Absence maintains the student’s place in the program. Leave of Absence petitions must be submitted by the department or program and provide evidence of the department or program’s endorsement of the student’s petition. Students interested in this option should begin by consulting with their advisor.

The time spent on Leave of Absence does not count toward the student’s time to degree, and therefore does not shorten the time available to complete their degree requirements. Similarly, if a student that has elected to Voluntarily Discontinue subsequently returns to the program, the time that has elapsed since his or her discontinuance does not count toward the time to degree.

Students who fail to enroll without completing the Voluntary Discontinuance process or without being granted a Leave of Absence are reviewed by the College Office of Graduate Affairs and the students’ academic units for possible dismissal. Any time that accrues during these lapses of enrollment in which the student does not occupy any approved enrollment category (i.e., Enrolled, Voluntarily Discontinued, or Leaveof Absence) is counted toward the time to degree.

Students on an international student visa should consult with the International Programs office prior to any change in enrollment status.

Please see Graduate Studies policies governing Leave of Absence and Voluntary Discontinuance in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog and in the KU Policy Library.

Dual Enrollments

Students enrolled in two schools or working on two degrees at the same time must complete the work for both degrees. Courses may not be counted toward both degrees, except in the joint degree programs that have been established (e.g., M.P.A./J.D., M.A. in Economics/J.D., M.B.A./M.A. in Area Studies, etc.). Please refer to the Combined Degrees information in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog for a complete list of approved joint degree programs.


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