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Graduate School Policies


Depending on the calendar of the graduate program into which a student has been admitted, graduate students must register for courses each semester (fall/spring) or each term (I, II, III, and IV) until the degree is awarded. See the Graduate School’s Continuous Registration Policy and Petition for Waiver of Continuous Registration Form.

Graduate students may request a leave of absence of up to two consecutive semesters for childbearing, adoption, serious health conditions, dependent care (children, ill or injured partners, or aging parents), or financial hardship. See The Graduate School’s Leave of Absence Policy and Request for Leave of Absence Form.

The Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Policy provides students the option to maintain full-time enrollment status rather than take a leave of absence. See Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Policy and Parental Accommodation Application.

The Graduate School monitors a student’s grade point average each semester or term. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation by the Graduate School.  When a student is placed on probation, the Graduate School will notify both the student and the Graduate Director of the student's program. Permission of the academic advisor and the Graduate Director will be required for a student on probation to register for courses. For complete information, see the Graduate School’s Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy.

F-1 students follow the same university policies regarding probation and dismissal. If an F-1 student is dismissed from the University and can no longer enroll full time in program requirements, that student can no longer remain on UMD F1/J1 immigration sponsorship. Students facing this possible outcome are encouraged to work with the University’s International Student & Scholar Services to discuss possible immigration options.

The Graduate School uses a unit system in making calculations to determine full-time or part-time enrollment status.  For complete information, see The Graduate School, Registration Policies, Designation of Full-time and Part-time Status.

Semester Academic Calendar Programs

For programs that use the semester academic calendar (16-week fall and spring semesters) and offers courses at the 400- and above level, generally this translates to the following:

  • Full-time means that a graduate student must register for program courses totaling nine credits or more per semester (fall/spring).
  • Part-time means that a graduate student registers for program courses totaling eight credits or less per semester (fall/spring).

Term Academic Calendar Programs

For programs that use the term academic calendar (12-week terms: I (fall), II (winter), III (spring), IV (summer)) and offer courses at the 400- and above level, generally this translates to the following:

  • Full-time means that a graduate student must register for program courses totaling six credits or more per 12-week term.
  • Part-time means that a graduate student registers for program courses totaling five credits or less per 12-week term.

For a complete listing of all Graduate School policies, see The Graduate Catalog.

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