Registration Procedures

Students should consult their Director of Graduate Studies and advisor for guidance regarding course enrollment. Students must initiate all requests for information and approval processes through their respective departments. 

Students are required to register for a minimum of twelve credit hours through the online Student Information System by the stated deadline each term in order to maintain full-time status. These credit hours may be comprised of a combination of courses and non-topical research. First-year graduate students must enroll in a minimum of nine credits per term of graded coursework on the standard lettered scale (A through F). A master’s candidate who wishes to enroll part-time must make this request in writing via e-mail to the Director of Graduate Studies, who will forward the request to the Graduate School with endorsement if appropriate.

Revising Registration After the Add/Drop Deadline

Revisions to a student's schedule after the drop/add deadline and other scenarios that cannot be addressed through SIS (such as course enrollment overloads, restricted course enrollment and grade option changes) must be requested on a GSAS Course Action Form. This form must be completed in its entirety and submitted to the instructor for signature. Once the form has been signed, it should be emailed to the Enrolled Student office for processing. Any revisions to a student’s registration record, including a change of grading option, that are requested after the deadline for dropping a course requires the approval of the assistant dean.

Course Credit Overloads

If a student seeks to enroll for more than fifteen credits (regardless of the grading option), the student's Director of Graduate Studies must petition the Graduate School by sending an e-mail detailing the academic rationale for the exception to the GSAS Registrar.  The email should also include the course mnemonic, course number, five-digit class id, the student's name and SIS ID, and the total number of credits for which the student wishes to enroll that term.  If the Graduate School approves the request, the GSAS Registrar will add the course to the student’s enrollment.

Auditing Courses

Audited courses do not count toward full-time status. As such, students will typically need to add audited credits as a course overload beyond the twelve credits required for full-time status. In order to register for an audit, the student will submit a request via e-mail to the director of graduate studies, including the course name and five-digit SIS class number. If the DGS approves the request, the DGS will forward this e-mail to the GSAS Registrar, who will enroll the student as an auditor in the course.

Time Conflicts

In order to enroll in two courses with overlapping schedules, the student must obtain approval from the instructors of both courses via email.  The student will then enroll in one of the courses via SIS and forward the approval e-mails to the GSAS Registrar along with a GSAS Course Action Form signed by the instructor for the second course.  Depending on the severity of the schedule conflict, the assistant dean’s approval may be required. If approved, the GSAS Registrar will enroll the student in the second course.

Course Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw from a course after the registration period has closed may do so through the first eight weeks of the term by completing the requisite form and submitting it to his or her DGS for review.  The completed form must be approved by the department and emailed to the GSAS Registrar by the appropriate deadline.  A grade of “W” will be recorded for this course on the student’s transcript.  In cases where this action will cause the student’s enrollment to fall below twelve credits, the student must notify his or her DGS and the assistant dean for graduate programs to ascertain any consequences of losing full-time status.  The student may be required to add non-topical credits to remain enrolled full-time, in which case the student must email a GSAS Course Action Form to the GSAS Registrar along with the course withdrawal form.

Full-Time Off-Grounds Status

A student completing degree requirements, pursuing research, or writing a dissertation or thesis away from Grounds for an entire semester or academic year may petition to enroll under the full-time off-Grounds status by submitting the requisite form to his or her director of graduate studies for review. Students enrolled in this category will be charged full tuition appropriate to their year of study, but will be assessed reduced fees in the semester or year that they are away from Grounds and will not utilize University facilities.

Doctoral/Thesis Completion Status

An advanced doctoral or master’s student who is enrolled full-time, has fulfilled all school- and program-level degree requirements with the exception of the dissertation/thesis, and is actively completing a dissertation/thesis under continued guidance from the faculty may petition for Doctoral/Thesis Completion status by submitting the requisite form to his or her director of graduate studies for review. Once approved for this status, students are not eligible to return to full-time study in a degree program, but may petition to renew this status each term for up to four (two for the master’s degree) consecutive terms. Students on this status pay an associated fee that is substantially lower than tuition and comprehensive fees.

Doctoral/Thesis Completion is an "affiliated status" that does not constitute enrollment, but provides continued NetBadge computer system privileges, including access to UVA e-mail and electronic library resources. Students on Doctoral/Thesis Completion status do not have an active student I.D. card or access to University labs, facilities or student services (including Student Health or student health insurance). They are not eligible for graduate assistantships.

Students with outstanding federal student loans will no longer be in deferment and will begin repayment once the grace period has ended. Students should contact Student Financial Services before petitioning for this status if they have questions related to student loans.

International students should contact the International Studies Office before petitioning for this status to determine what effect it may have on their eligibility to maintain a visa.  

Degree Conferral in Absentia

Students who have completed all degree requirements after the graduation deadline for a given term or after ceasing full-time enrollment may petition for Degree Conferral in Absentia. This status will enable them to receive their degrees in a subsequent term while paying an associated fee that is substantially lower than tuition and comprehensive fees. Students may petition for this status via e-mail to their director of graduate studies, who will forward requests endorsed by the faculty to the Graduate School. Because a student is eligible for this status for one term only, he or she will not be approved for this status until the satisfaction of all degree requirements has been recorded formally by the department. A student may request this status up to 15 days before the graduation deadline for that term, but in such cases may be subject to late enrollment fees.

Degree Conferral in Absentia is an "affiliated status" that does not constitute enrollment, but provides continued NetBadge computer system privileges, including access to UVA e-mail and electronic library resources. Students on Doctoral Completion status do not have an active student I.D. card or access to University labs, facilities or student services (including Student Health or student health insurance). They are not eligible for graduate assistantships.

Students with outstanding federal student loans will no longer be in deferment and will begin repayment once the grace period has ended. Students should contact Student Financial Services before petitioning for this status if they have questions related to student loans.

International students should contact the International Studies Office before petitioning for this status to determine what effect it may have on their eligibility to maintain a visa.

Leave of Absence

A student who wishes to suspend enrollment temporarily may request approval from his or her director of graduate studies to undertake a leave of absence and postpone his or her expected date of graduation. The student should first review the policy regarding leaves of absence in the Graduate Record. The student should then provide a statement via e-mail to the DGS indicating the reason for the request and the proposed period of the leave. The DGS will forward this request to the assistant dean with the department’s recommendation. Depending on the circumstances of the leave, a student may be required by the Graduate School to meet with the associate dean of students as part of the approval process. If the request is approved by the Graduate School, the GSAS Registrar will place the student on leave. The student must affirm his or her intent to return from leave via e-mail to the DGS and GSAS Registrar by November 1 to return in the spring term and by April 1 to return in the fall term. Students returning from leave must submit a reinstatement form that is reviewed by the Dean of Students.

Extension of Time to Complete Degree Requirements

A student who requires enrollment beyond the standard period of seven years for a doctoral program or five years for a master’s program must request an extension of time to complete the degree by submitting the requisite form and supporting materials to his or her director of graduate studies for review.  The form must be accompanied by a detailed statement of progress toward degree requirements during the preceding academic year and a detailed plan for completing all degree requirements during the coming year or some other suitable period.

Requests for fall-term extensions will be accepted between April 15 and May 15. Students with loans or receiving federal aid should submit requests by April 22 so that their continued enrollment will be reported in a timely manner to the National Student Clearinghouse. Requests for spring-term extensions will be accepted between November 15 and December 15, and students with loans or receiving Federal Aid should submit them by November 22.

Voluntary Withdrawal from the Graduate School

A student who wishes to withdraw voluntarily from the Graduate School must discuss the circumstances with his or her director of graduate studies and submit a formal notice of withdrawal via e-mail to the assistant dean. The student must complete a required form available at the Graduate School for withdrawal in good standing to be recorded.  The assistant dean will provide formal notice of the effective date of the withdrawal.  Students withdrawing during an academic term must do so at least one week prior to the examination period in order to receive notations of “W” on the transcript.

Reinstatement and Readmission

A student who voluntarily withdraws from the Graduate School, undertakes a leave of absence or otherwise ceases to enroll while completing a degree program for a period of one semester up to two years must petition for reinstatement by submitting the requisite form to his or her director of graduate studies by November 1 to return in the spring term and by April 1 to return in the fall term. A student who has been absent for longer than two years must reapply through the standard process to his or her program of study.

Reinstatement is only required for a student returning from an approved leave of absence or who needs to complete credit and residency requirements for the degree. Reinstatement is not necessary in order to graduate after a lapse in full-time enrollment, which is facilitated instead by the Degree Conferral in Absentia status described above.