Enrollment and Residency Policies

Continuous Enrollment Policy
Graduate Residency
Master's Residency and Enrollment Requirements
Doctoral Residency and Credit Requirements
Minimum Enrollment and Credit Limits
Course Enrollment for Faculty and Staff Members
Concurrent Faculty-Student Status
Joint-Campus Registration
Enrolling in a WICHE Regional Graduate Program
Undergraduates Enrolling in Graduate Courses (Reservation of Graduate Credit)

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Unless On-leave status has been approved, graduate students enrolled in an advanced degree or graduate certificate program are required to be continuously enrolled (for a minimum of 3 graduate credits) from the first term in the program until all requirements have been completed.  Summer session registration is not required unless the student is using university facilities or faculty or staff services (for example, doctoral students taking exams or submitting papers for advancement to candidacy). Students must register for at least 3 graduate credits in the term of admission. 

To remain in compliance with the Continuous Enrollment Policy, graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 3 graduate credits each term. This includes students who are taking only comprehensives, or final examinations or presenting recitals or terminal projects. Students not in residence while writing a thesis, dissertation or project, but using faculty assistance, university services or facilities such as sending chapters to an adviser by email for feedback must register for a minimum of 3 graduate credits per term-- registration should be for Thesis or Dissertation or Project credits.

A graduate student who fails to maintain continuous enrollment or obtain On-Leave status is required to file a Permission to Re-Register form and petition for reinstatement (use the General Petition form). The petition is reviewed by the student's major department and the Graduate School. Approval from both the department and Graduate School is required for re-enrollment. The student may, at the discretion of the department, be required to meet departmental admission policies and degree completion requirements that are in effect on the date of re-enrollment.  Doctoral students may, at the discretion of the department, be required to register for a new year of residency--three consecutive terms of at least 9 graduate credits in each term. They may also be required to retake the comprehensive examinations if completed prior to stopping out, if the department feels that this is necessary in order to demonstrate currency of knowledge.

Graduate Residency

Each graduate degree at the University of Oregon has a residency requirement, which must be fulfilled by every graduate student who completes that degree. The residency requirement allows graduate students to concentrate exclusively on course work or research; to acquire knowledge, skills, and insights necessary for attaining the degree; and to find opportunities to work closely with faculty members and students. Residency provides significant and tangible advantages to graduate students because it enhances the quality of the academic experience. For example, competence in the field is enhanced by close familiarity with the university's libraries, computing resources, specialized collections, and other unique facilities; valuable experience is gained by attending and participating in formal and informal seminars, colloquia, and discussions led by specialists who visit campus; fluency in the specialized language and vocabulary of the discipline is enhanced by frequent and close association with faculty members and other students in the same field; and thesis or dissertation research is facilitated by frequent interaction with the adviser.

Academic programs in which the majority of course work is delivered away from the Eugene campus or by distance-education technology must obtain prior written approval for waiver of the residency requirement from the Dean of the Graduate School. Waiver of the residency requirement is dependent on the program's plans for satisfying the spirit of the residency requirement in the absence of full-time study on the Eugene campus.

Master's Residency and Enrollment Requirements

For a master's degree, the Graduate School requires that students complete a minimum of 30 University of Oregon graduate credits (applicable to degree requirements) during at least two terms of study. A second master's degree also requires a minimum of 30 University of Oregon credits completed over the course of at least two terms. Individual schools or departments may have additional residence requirements. For example, the Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts has a residence requirement of two academic years (six terms).

Students enrolled in an advanced degree program must attend the university continuously, except for summers, until all program requirements have been completed, unless on-leave status (maximum of three academic terms) has been approved. In the term the degree is received, the graduate student must register for at least 3 graduate credits. For more information see Course Registration Requirements and Limits, Continuous Enrollment, Graduate Residency, and On-Leave Status under General Requirements and Policies.

Doctoral Residency and Credit Requirements

Doctoral candidates must complete the equivalent of at least 81 quarter credits of graduate-level work beyond the baccalaureate degree, over the course of at least 3 calendar years. Some doctoral programs may have a higher credit requirement. 

At least one full-time academic year--the residency year--must be completed. This year of residency will occur after the student has been admitted as a student in a doctoral program. During this year of residency the student is expected to make progress toward the degree by completing course credits and satisfying doctoral degree requirements. The residency year consists of three consecutive terms of full-time University of Oregon coursework toward the degree, with a minimum of 9 completed graduate credits a term. Courses in Research (601), Reading and Conference (605), and other individualized study options may be a part of the 9 credits, but the majority of the year of residency is expected to consist of regular graduate course work.

The year of residency is expected to be the first year after admission as a doctoral student. A doctoral student may fulfill the residency requirement during the period in which the student works toward a master's degree on the university campus as long as the student has been officially awarded the master's degree, the doctoral degree program immediately follows the master's degree program, and both the master's degree and the doctoral degree are in the same major.

Doctoral Transfer Credits: There is no formal university transfer credit process for doctoral students. Each program sets its own policy regarding acceptance of transfer credits, and is responsible for tracking how transfer credits fit into departmental degree requirements. Transfer credits can only be used to meet departmental degree requirements; they cannot be used to waive or substitute minimum Graduate School doctoral degree requirements. 

Minimum Enrollment and Credit Limits

A graduate student may enroll for up to 16 credits for graduate and/or undergraduate level coursework in each term during the academic year. Registration in excess of 16 credits, up to a maximum of 18 credits, requires an additional per credit tuition fee assessment. During summer session graduate students are limited to a maximum of 16 credits. The minimum registration requirement for any term is 3 graduate credits.

For the term in which a degree is granted, graduate students must register for at least 3 graduate credits. If submitting a master's degree thesis in this final term, registration must include at least 1 of the 3 credits as Thesis (503) (see Master's policies). If a doctoral dissertation is being completed, registration must include no fewer than 3 credits of Dissertation (603) in the term of graduation (see Doctoral policies). Exceptions may be made depending on the timing of the submission of the thesis or dissertation; click here for details.

Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy are considered to be full-time enrolled when registered in a minimum of three credits of Dissertation (603) effective Fall 2014. However, various on-and off-campus agencies and offices have their own course-load requirements. For example, GEs must register for and satisfactorily complete at least nine graduate credits each term. Some agencies offering student loans also set registration requirements. Because the minimum registration requirements for the Graduate School may not satisfy some agency requirements, it is the student's responsibility to register for the required number of credits based on their individual situation. The Office of the Registrar can certify a student's registration.

Doctoral students that have not advanced to candidacy and master’s students are considered to be full-time enrolled when registered in a minimum of nine graduate credits.

Examples of minimum enrollment requirements:

  • GE: 9 graduate credits toward the degree
  • International Student Visa holders: 9 credits for master’s students and doctoral students not yet advanced to candidacy; 3 credits of 603 Dissertation for advanced doctoral students. International students should request information from the Office of International Affairs about Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations and minimum credit requirements.
  • Federal Financial Aid and Federal Loan Deferment:  In general 5 credits for master’s students and doctoral students not yet advanced to candidacy; 3 credits of 603 Dissertation for advanced doctoral students. These guidelines are general. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships to confirm eligibility. 


Advancement and Financial Aid:

Once formally advanced to candidacy, students receive email confirmation of their advancement from the Dean of the Graduate School. Students are not considered advanced to candidacy prior to receiving this email. While the advancement is tied to an academic term and not a specific date, the Financial Aid Office adheres to date-based timelines for disbursement of loans. Students should be advanced prior to the disbursement date in order to be full-time eligible for aid while registered for three credits of 603 Dissertation. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships for more information.  International student visa holders should confirm their eligibility by contacting both the Graduate School and the Office of International Affairs. 

Course Enrollment for Faculty and Staff Members

Faculty and staff members who want to take graduate courses should refer to the Office of Human Resources for information regarding staff registration benefits. University employees who enroll for courses are subject to the academic policies, procedures and deadlines in effect for all graduate students.

Concurrent Faculty-Student Status

Faculty members, including Officers of Administration, may not pursue an advanced degree in the department in which they hold an appointment. To pursue a degree in another department, they must petition to the dean of the Graduate School for approval to hold Concurrent Faculty/Graduate Student status. See Concurrent Faculty/Graduate Student Petition Process

Joint-Campus Registration

Graduate students at the university may, with adviser and departmental approval, take graduate courses at Oregon State University or at Portland State University. A student registers for these courses with the University of Oregon registrar, who records each grade on the academic record under Joint-Campus Course (JC 610). The student must be a matriculated UO graduate student in an advanced degree program and registered for UO courses the same term the JC 610 course is taken. A maximum of 15 credits may be applied toward a graduate degree program. Joint campus course work counts toward the 24 graded credits required for the master's degree. Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Enrolling in a WRGP/WICHE Regional Graduate Program

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) coordinates the Western Regional Graduate Program, an exchange program to enable students from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming to apply for admission to selected professional programs and, if admitted, to be treated as resident students for tuition purposes.

The University of Oregon has a graduate WRGP program in Historic Preservation. For information about this degree program, see http://hp.uoregon.edu/ or contact the director of the program, James Buckley jbuckley@uoregon.edu.

Reservation of Graduate Credit/Permission to Register for Graduate Credit

An undergraduate student who wishes to register for a graduate level course must request permission by submitting a Reservation of Graduate Credit form with the Graduate School no later than the first Friday of the term of registration.

Two options are available:


Option One permits inclusion of a graduate level course in your bachelor's degree program. Eligibility: Working toward a bachelor's degree. A GPA of at least a 3.0 in each of the three terms prior to enrolling. Note: An undergraduate student who receives less than a B in a graduate-level course will be ineligible for further enrollment in graduate-level coursework.


Option Two reserves a graduate level course for consideration by a department after admission as a graduate student. Under this option, you may take up to 3 graduate courses. The 3 courses may not exceed a total of 12 credits. Eligibility: Working toward a bachelor's degree. Classified as a senior. Have at least a 3.0 GPA in each of the three terms prior to enrolling in the graduate course. Note: An undergraduate student who receives less than a B in a graduate-level course will not be allowed to use the course toward a master's degree, and will be ineligible for further reservation of graduate credit.

The following courses do not qualify. These are graduate level experiences in which a student may enroll only after admission and enrollment in a graduate program.

  • Research credits (601);
  • Supervised College Teaching (602);
  • Internship (604);
  • Reading and Conference (605);
  • Field Studies or Special Problems (606);
  • Workshop, Special Topics, or Colloquium (508 or 608); and
  • Practicum, Terminal Project, or Supervised Tutoring (609)
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