Registration and Academic Status

General Information

An international graduate student should consult the section on English Proficiency Requirements for important policies that impact registration. Registration requirements for a graduate student holding an assistantship and/or fellowship are discussed in the section on Financial Assistance.

Full-Time Status

A graduate student (domestic or international) is considered full-time if he or she is registered for a minimum of:

  • 9 semester credit hours during a fall or spring semester
  • 6 semester credit hours during a summer semester

A Q grade or W grade does not count toward the certification of enrollment status.

Colleges and departments may impose additional semester credit hour requirements for a student holding an assistantship or fellowship which exceeds the minimum stated above.

Special considerations relate to “full time status” for an international student. Please refer to the information on this subject in the “Course Load Requirements for International (Non-Immigrant) Students with F1 or J1 Status” section.

A student who has financial assistance should consult Scholarships & Financial Aid, call (979) 845-3236 or visit http://financialaid.tamu.edu, for enrollment requirements.

Maximum Schedule

Fall/Spring: A graduate student may register for a maximum of 15 hours. The college dean’s office can approve/register a student for up to 18 hours. A request to register for more than 18 hours should be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies on the Petition for Waivers or Exceptions to University Requirements and must include the course/section number and the semester of registration. If approved, maximum allowable hours will be updated accordingly by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the academic department will register the student for the additional hours.

5-week summer session: A graduate student may register for a maximum of 6 hours. The college dean’s office can approve/register a student for up to 9 hours. A request to register for more than 9 hours should be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies on the Petition for Waivers or Exceptions to University Requirements and must include the course/section number and the semester of registration. If approved, maximum allowable hours will be updated accordingly by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the academic department will register the student for the additional hours.

10-week summer session: A graduate student may register for a maximum of 10 hours. The college dean’s office can approve/register a student for up to 15 hours. A request to register for more than 15 hours should be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies on the Petition for Waivers or Exceptions to University Requirements and must include the course/section number and the semester of registration. If approved, maximum allowable hours will be updated accordingly by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the academic department will register the student for the additional hours.

Continuous Registration Requirements

A student in a graduate degree program requiring a thesis, dissertation, internship or record of study, who has completed all coursework on his/her degree plans other than 691 (Research), 684 (Internship) or 692 (Professional Study) is required to be in continuous registration until all requirements for the degree have been completed. The continuous registration requirement may be satisfied by registering either In Absentia or In Residence.

To qualify for In Absentia registration, a student must not have access to or use facilities or properties belonging to or under the jurisdiction of The Texas A&M University System at any time during the semester or summer term for which he or she is enrolled. A student who qualifies for In Absentia registration is required to register each subsequent fall and spring semester for a minimum of one and maximum of four credit hours of 691, 684, 685 or 692. Departments and colleges may have additional or higher requirements.

 A student who is subject to In Residence registration (i.e., on campus) is required to register each subsequent fall and spring semester and each 10-week summer semester for at least one credit hour. University departments and colleges may have additional or higher requirements. Unless a student plans to take examinations, or use University resources including any interaction with their graduate committee, registration during the summer will not be required to fulfill the continuous registration requirement. However, colleges, departments or intercollegiate faculty may have additional or higher requirements.

An international student may have additional registration requirements depending on his/her visa status. He/she should consult with the International Student Services website or an International Student Services advisor to obtain current information on these requirements.

A student who does not comply with the continuous registration requirement will be blocked from registration. He/she will be allowed to register again after receiving a favorable recommendation from a departmental review committee (not the student’s advisory committee), the endorsement of the department head, or Chair of the Intercollegiate Faculty and the approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. If a break in enrollment occurs for one academic year or longer, the student must apply for readmission to the graduate degree program through Graduate Admissions.

In Absentia

A student may register In Absentia if enrolled in a course which is offered on an individual basis and conducted away from the College Station campus and System campuses or facilities such as Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, Research Stations or other properties under the jurisdiction of The Texas A&M University System. Such courses may include, but are not limited to internships, directed studies, practicums, etc. To qualify for In Absentia registration, the student must not have access to or use of facilities of The Texas A&M University System at any time during the semester or summer term for which he or she is enrolled. The definition of “facilities” includes human resources and services such as those provided by graduate advisory committee members responding to drafts of theses, dissertations or records of study material, etc. A student holding a fellowship or assistantship may not register In Absentia. An international student may require work authorization or other authorizations when registered In Absentia and should complete an “In Absentia Letter” to start this process. Sample letters are available online or at the International Student Services Office. A student going outside the U.S. and registering In Absentia should complete online emergency notification information so university assistance is available during crisis situations. More details about this are available on the Study Abroad Programs website http://studyabroad.tamu.edu.

Leave of Absence

Under unusual circumstances, a student may petition for a leave of absence. The entire advisory committee, if formed, and head of the department or Chair of the Intercollegiate Faculty, if appropriate, must approve the petition and send it to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. If the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies approves the petition, the registration requirement will be set aside during the period of leave. Leaves will be granted only under conditions that require the suspension of all activities associated with pursuing the degree. For certain types of approved leave, such as medical, the time period for the completion of the degree will stop with the leave and begin when the student returns to the program. Other types of leave may not stop the time limit for the degree. A student should refer to the sections on Time Limits for master’s and doctoral programs. A leave of absence is granted for one year. In case of extenuating circumstances, the leave of absence can be extended by the student’s committee and the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies. A student who returns to the University after an approved leave of absence will not be required to submit an application for readmission to the Office of Graduate Admission. An international student should visit with an International Student Services advisor to find out how a Leave of Absence may impact his/her stay in or his/her re-entry into the U.S.

Limitations for Texas A&M Faculty and Staff on Graduate Committee Faculty

The following limitations were set by the Graduate Council of Texas A&M University concerning advanced degrees for members of the faculty and staff of the university.

  1. A member of the faculty above the rank of assistant professor normally will not be granted the doctoral degree at this institution. He/she may, however, enroll for graduate work.
  2. A member of the graduate committee faculty may not serve on the graduate committee faculty of an academic program in which the member is pursuing a graduate degree or certificate.   
  3. Any exceptions, individual or program, to the above regulations must have the written approval of the appropriate department head, college dean, the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies, and the Provost and Executive Vice President before the person applies for admission to graduate studies.

Undergraduates Registering for Graduate Courses

A senior undergraduate student with a grade point average of at least 3.000 is eligible to enroll in a graduate course and reserve it for graduate credit by filing a "Petition for Undergraduate Student to Enroll in Graduate Courses or Reserve Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit" obtained from the Registrar's website at http://registrar.tamu.edu/Registrar/media/REGI_Forms/UGpetition.pdf.  The petition must be approved by the course instructor, the student’s major department head, the dean of the college offering the course and the dean of the student’s undergraduate college.

An academically superior undergraduate student with a grade point average of at least 3.250 is eligible to apply graduate credit hours toward his/her undergraduate degree program by filing a "Petition for Undergraduate Student to Enroll in Graduate Courses or Reserve Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit" obtained from the Registrar's website at http://registrar.tamu.edu/Registrar/media/REGI_Forms/UGpetition.pdf.  The petition must be approved by the course instructor, the student’s major department head, the dean of the college offering the course and the dean of the student’s undergraduate college. Graduate credit hours used to meet the requirements for a baccalaureate degree may not be used to meet the requirements for a graduate degree.

A senior undergraduate student with a grade point average of at least 3.000 is eligible to reserve an undergraduate course for graduate credit by filing a "Petition for Undergraduate Student to Enroll in Graduate Courses or Reserve Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit" obtained from the Registrar's website at http://registrar.tamu.edu/Registrar/media/REGI_Forms/UGpetition.pdf.  The petition must be approved by the student's major department head and the dean of the student's undergraduate college.  Undergraduate credit hours used to meet the requirements for a baccalaureate degree may not be used to meet the requirements for a graduate degree.

VA Benefits

Military veteran students should note that in order to receive full Veterans Administration (VA) benefits, they must be registered for enough hours to be considered full-time for their degree during each term for which they are seeking education benefits. This number may differ between degrees and during the summer term. For hour requirements for your degree, please visit the Veteran Services website.

Course Load Requirements for International (Non-Immigrant) Students with F1 or J1 Status

A student with F1 or J1 status is required to be enrolled full-time in fall and spring semesters.  Summer semester is traditionally a vacation period unless it is the student’s first or last semester and the student is then required to enroll full-time.  In order for the student to be enrolled less than full-time, the student must receive written authorization from International Student Services.  If the student does not receive the written authorization prior to being enrolled less than full-time, then the student may be out of legal status with the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of State.  Loss of legal immigration status is very serious and will result in a student being ineligible to be employed and may result in a student having to leave the United States. The student is responsible to uphold U.S. federal government and University regulations.

The U.S. government allows a student to register less than full time in certain circumstances. These reasons may be found in the “Reduced Course Load” form available on the International Student Services website. Also, in certain situations, the Registrar may be able to authorize that a student has full-time enrollment status, even though the student is enrolled for fewer than the normally required number of hours.

For immigration purposes, co-enrollment at another institution or at the Texas A&M University English Language Institute may count toward full-time enrollment. The student may need ISS approval in order to co-enroll.  Federal regulations state that only three hours of distance learning can count toward full-time status.  These courses may not be counted toward the University policy for full time status. The student should verify the university requirement with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Classification

Each student has a classification which indicates the type of degree program in which the student is enrolled, and reflects the student’s progress within that program at the professional level. The classifications follow:

Code Classification Definition
G6Postbaccalaureate Non-degree
Postbaccalaureate non-degree classification is intended for a student with a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education. If at a later date, a postbaccalaureate non-degree student decides to pursue a graduate degree, the student must understand that limitations may be placed on coursework taken while in G6 status. Specifically, the student must understand that a college or a department may decide whether or not to accept any G6 work toward the student’s graduate degree; however, with the approval of the student’s graduate advisory committee, the department head, or Chair of the Interdisciplinary Program and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, a maximum of 12 credit hours taken in postbaccalaureate non-degree status may be used on a student’s degree plan. Admission to postbaccalaureate non-degree status does not establish eligibility for admission to degree-seeking status. A postbaccalaureate non-degree student is not eligible to register for 691 Research hours.
An application for a postbaccalaureate non-degree classification is handled on a first come, first served basis. An application submitted within one month of registration may not be processed in time to begin that semester or term.
Enrollment of a G6 student in courses may be limited by college and departmental policies. Each postbaccalaureate non-degree student must be reviewed by his or her department of affiliation for continuation at the end of each semester.
A postbaccalaureate non-degree student must maintain at least a 3.000 GPR on all coursework attempted to remain eligible to register. University departments and colleges may have additional and higher requirements.
For the scholastically deficient postbaccalaureate non-degree student (G6 classification), the student’s home department shall determine eligibility, and it is the department’s responsibility to place a registration block on these students. Postbaccalaureate non-degree status normally is not available to an international student.
G7Graduate, Master's
G7 classification denotes admission to a masters level program of study or admission to a doctoral program of a student who has not yet completed a master’s degree or 30 hours of eligible coursework taken at Texas A&M.
G8Graduate, Doctoral
G8 classification denotes admission to a doctoral level program of study.
G9Graduate, Master's/Doctoral Admitted
G9 classification denotes admission to graduate study but signifies documents must be completed before a student is allowed to file a degree plan. When the required documents have been received, the student’s classification will be changed. Approval of the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies is required to change a student from G9 classification to the appropriate classification (i.e., G7 or G8).
D1Dentistry, First Year
D2Dentistry, Second Year
D3Dentistry, Third Year
D4Dentistry, Fourth Year
D6Dentistry, Postprofessional Certificate
L0Law, Non-degree
L1Law, First Year
L2Law, Second Year
L3Law, Third Year
M1Medical, First Year
M2Medical, Second Year
M3Medical, Third Year
M4Medical, Fourth Year
P1Pharmacy, First Year
P2Pharmacy, Second Year
P3Pharmacy, Third Year
P4Pharmacy, Fourth Year
V1Veterinary, First Year
V2Veterinary, Second Year
V3Veterinary, Third Year
V4Veterinary, Fourth Year

Semester Credit Hour

A lecture course which meets one hour per week for 15 weeks is worth 1 semester credit hour. Thus, a course worth 3 semester credit hours, meets three hours per week. Credit hours for laboratory courses are determined to be some fraction of the number of hours spent in class.

The State of Texas defines a semester credit hour in Rule 4.6 of the Texas Administrative Code, “Minimum Length of Courses and Limitation on the Amount of Credit that a Student May Earn in a Given Time Period”. For more information on Rule 4.6, please visit the State of Texas webpage.