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Registration and Enrollment


University policy requires continuous registration for students from the first quarter of enrollment in a program until completion of the degree. To be considered a registered student, students must be enrolled in coursework or 299 (research) units and pay tuition and fees for the quarter. Unless on approved part-time status, full-time registration is required (in at least 12 units). Students who fail to register will be regarded as having withdrawn from the university. There are some special registration options that can be arranged in advance, such as a Planned Leave of Absence (PELP) or Filing Fee, a reduced fee status for the writing of the thesis/dissertation.


Students must be registered to be eligible to:

  1. Be employed in a graduate student title, such as a Teaching Assistant, Associate In__, Graduate Student Researcher, etc. Students holding these titles must be enrolled full-time.
  2. Be awarded a graduate fellowship or financial award. Full-time enrollment is required.
  3. Receive federal, state, or university financial aid.
  4. Take the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination.
  5. Use university facilities or faculty time for research or other studies except for the final reading of a thesis or dissertation.

How To Register

Registration is online. However, the university computer system (Schedule Builder) must first recognize you as a student. The following steps will set you up in Schedule Builder:

  • Obtain your student ID (AggieCard) through the Office of the University Registrar. You can upload your photo and pick up the AggieCard when it is ready. You can also go directly to the Carding Office (1210 Dutton Hall) to have your photo taken and card prepared while you wait.
  • Obtain your e-mail address and Kerberos password by visiting Computing Account Services. When setting up your computing account online, be sure to respond to each prompt before exiting the system. Because the admission letter includes instructions for completing this step, most students have already done this by the time they are ready to register.
  • To login to Schedule Builder, the system that allows you to register for classes, you will need your Kerberos username and passphrase.
  • Once you have all of the above identifiers, you can complete registration for classes online through Schedule Builder.

Late Registration

It is important to enroll, register, and pay tuition and fees in a timely manner to avoid late fees and financial support hang-ups. Students may incur two fees by registering late:

  • Any student who adds or drops a course after the add/ drop deadlines will be charged a $3 fee (see the University Catalog, Class Schedule or University Calendar for these dates).
  • For students receiving support from sources that are paying their university tuition and fees (including fellowships and TA or GSR appointments), fees will not be paid until they are registered in a minimum of 12 units.
  • Students who do not complete their registration by the last day to pay university tuition and fees will be charged a $110 late fee.

The registration system (Schedule Builder) will not allow students access to register if they have not registered by the 10th day of instruction. After registration is officially closed, students must petition Graduate Studies for permission to register. At this point, an e-mail/memo from the graduate program faculty adviser authorizing activation is required. This memo should include a Petition to Add (PTA) number for just one course (including the number of units if it is variable) and a statement that tuition and fees will be paid (either personally or by the department). This must be sent directly to Graduate Studies by the program or brought into Graduate Studies by the student. Only Graduate Studies has the authority to approve late registration. If approved, Graduate Studies will send authorization to the Office of the University Registrar. The Office of the University Registrar will re-activate the term, register the course associated with the PTA and assess tuition and fees. Once re-activated, the student can use Schedule Builder for additional schedule adjustments.

How Many Units Should I Take

To be considered a full-time graduate student, students must enroll in 12 units each quarter. These units can be any combination of upper division (100 level) or graduate course units (200 level), group study (298), research (299) units, or professional development units (390, 396, 397) approved by Graduate Council as permitted by the student’s graduate program. If a student petitions to drop a course, the student must add units to maintain a total of 12 units for the quarter. Exceptions to the 12-unit minimum are part-time students and students with special circumstances.  Students who wish to register in more than 12 units should discuss this with their major professor and/or graduate program advisor to assess workload and their academic plan.

Part-Time Status

Certain graduate programs and degrees have been approved for enrollment of part-time students. Part-time status is only available to students who are unable to pursue full-time studies for the following documented reasons: full-time employment (at least 30 hours a week), health conditions, or family obligations. Doctoral students who have passed the qualifying exam are not eligible for part-time enrollment. The Office of the University Registrar will consider requests for retroactive part-time status by exception only, and only for reasons of a death in the family, medical issues, or administrative error. Part-time students may enroll in a maximum of 6 units per quarter. These students are not eligible for fellowships or academic appointments that require full-time enrollment. Students on F-1 or J-1 visas are not eligible for part-time status unless they have approval from the Services for International Students and Scholars Office (SISS). The Office of the University Registrar will approve or deny part-time status applications. The Petition to Change Status is available on the Office of the University Registrar website.  Approved part-time students pay the full student services fee, all campus fees and one-half of tuition; they receive ½-quarter credit toward satisfying residency requirements.