Skip to content

Registration Policies

  1. Registering for Classes
    1. Graduate students (except those in law and medicine) should register via Campus Information Services to secure their classes. For details about registration procedures, visit the Office of the Registrar's website.
    2. Law and medical students register in person at the College of Law and School of Medicine, respectively. 
  2. Minimum Continuous Registration
    1. All graduate students must be registered for at least one course from the time of formal admission through completion of all requirements for the degree they are seeking, unless granted an official leave of absence (see Leaves of Absence section, below).
    2. Students not on campus and not using University facilities are not expected to register for summer term.
    3. Students must, however, be registered during summer term if they are taking examinations or defending theses/dissertations.
    4. If students do not comply with this continuous registration policy and do not obtain an official leave of absence, they will be automatically discontinued from graduate study. In this case, students will be required to reapply for admission to the University through Graduate Admissions upon approval of the home department.
    5. Students must be registered for graduate level courses (5000-6000 level for masters; 6000-7000 level for doctoral) until they have completed all requirements for the degree including, the thesis/dissertation proposal, Qualifying Exam, and the defense of the project, thesis, or dissertation.
    6. Student-Employee FICA Exclusion Requirements
      1. Graduate students must be:
        1. Enrolled and registered for 3 or more credit hours in the current semester at the University of Utah
        2. AND Employed at the University of Utah as a part-time employee assigned to work less than 30 hours per week in a position not eligible for benefits. (Total FTE can’t be over .74)
      2. If a student works at the University of Utah during the summer semester, s/he must be enrolled and registered at the University of Utah as a student for the above stated credit hours during the summer semester in order to qualify for Student-Employee FICA exclusion.
      3. If you are a foreign visitor, you might be qualified for FICA exemption under your visa status. Please consult with the Tax Service Office.
  3. Course 7990 Limitations
    1. A doctoral student may register for Continuing Registration (course number 7990) if the candidate is not using faculty time or University facilities, except for the library.
      1. Course number 7990 is limited to a maximum of four semesters with no exceptions.
      2. After reaching the limit of four semesters, students must enroll for 7970 (number of credits to be determined by department) during the semester of their defense.
    2. Continuing Registration (course number 7990) cannot be used for verification of half- or full-time enrollment in order to qualify for deferment of student loan repayments or to receive student loan funds.
      1. The department class number for 7990 changes each semester and is available to students only through the department’s graduate advisor.
      2. There is a limit of four semesters for use of 7990.
  4. Leaves of Absence
    1. Requests for leaves of absence may be granted for up to one year for circumstances related to:
      1. a serious health condition of the student or family member,
      2. parental leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child,
      3. a call to serve in military service, or
      4. other compelling reasons that the student’s department believes is in the best interests of both the student and the University.
    2. Students who wish to discontinue their studies for one or more semesters (other than summer term) must complete a Request for Leave of Absence Form.
      1. The form must be approved and signed by the supervisory committee chair and department chair and then forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
      2. The form requesting a leave of absence for a current semester must be completed and received in The Office of the Registrar on or before the last day to add/drop second-half classes for the semester.
    3. Leaves of absence are not granted retroactively.
      1. Students must officially withdraw from classes in any semester for which a leave is granted; failure to formally withdraw results in the reporting of E or EU grades for all classes.
      2. For more information about official withdrawal, see Grading Policies in the Academic Catalog.
    4. The period during which a leave of absence is granted does not count toward the period allowed to complete the degree.
    5. Leaves are granted for a maximum of one year at a time, and may be renewed by submitting a new form to The Office of the Registrar.
    6. The leave of absence is void if a student registers for classes in a semester for which a leave was granted.
  5. Leaves of Absence for International Students
    Visit the ISSS website for complete information.
    1. For F-1 visa holders, vacation semesters will automatically be granted to all students during the Summer semester, although they can choose to take full time courses.
    2. All students must enroll full time for Fall and Spring semesters in order to keep their academic record active, unless they have an approved exception from ISSS.
    3. Students may choose to take courses at another university during their summer semester as long as they request a letter to attend another school from ISSS.
    4. Students will not be allowed to participate in Full-time CPT or on campus work during Spring or Fall semesters (unless during official university breaks such as Spring break or Fall break). Students MAY participate in Full-time CPT or on campus work during their summer vacation semester.  
    5. The Leave of Absence is a Registrar’s permission and applies only to a student’s academic record, not the immigration record.  For more information about taking a Leave of Absence, please see the Registrar’s website
    6. If a student is granted a Leave of Absence, it will keep the academic record open, but a student has two choices to address their immigration record:
      1. Stay in the U.S.
        1. If a student chooses to take a Leave of Absence and remain in the U.S., the student must also be approved for a Medical Reduced Course Load. Please see the ISSS Medical Reduced Course Load for more information. 
      2. Depart the U.S.
        1. If a student chooses to take a Leave of Absence and depart the U.S., students must notify ISSS to close their SEVIS record. Students who close their immigration record should notify ISSS in advance regarding their return to the U.S. so that a new I-20 can be issued. 
    7. If you have any questions about requesting a Leave of Absence as an international student, please contact ISSS at
  6. Charges
    1. Nonresident tuition is not imposed on matriculated students whose total registration in a given semester includes only courses identified as Thesis (Thesis Research) and courses numbered 6970, 6980, 7970, or 7980.
    2. Continuing Registration (course number 7990) is only available to doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy.
      1. Continuing Registration carries a charge of $37.50 per term. This charge is subject to change without notice.
  7. Full-time Status
    1. For more information about full-time enrollment status please see the Academic Catalog.
  8. Maximum Hours
    1. No candidate for a graduate degree is permitted to register for more than 16 credit hours in any single semester.
      1. A schedule of nine hours is considered a full load for master’s and doctoral degree candidates.
      2. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be submitted in writing to the dean of The Graduate School by the student’s supervisory committee chair.
    2. Students in the Tuition Benefit Program (TBP) are advised to refer to the TBP Guidelines to review policies related to maximum hours.
Last Updated: 9/29/23