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To establish the requirements for graduate students to be properly registered.


Academic Goal

To ensure that all graduate students in residence are properly registered for courses and that they receive quality advising so that they continually make adequate progress toward their degree.



All graduate students.

Policy Statement

  1. A graduate student who is in residence at the University is expected to be properly registered. “In residence" means that the student (whether full- or part-time, whether commuting to campus or other instructional site or living nearby or on campus) is pursuing graduate credits and/or an advanced degree by:
    1. attending classes or seminars for credit or audit;
    2. doing a thesis, term project, independent study, or similar research or scholarly work in a University laboratory or other research facility;
    3. consulting in person or by other means of communication with one or more faculty members on scholarly matters, research projects, or dissertation;
    4. using the library, computer labs, or other University information resources; or
    5. using other University facilities provided for graduate study.
  2. The responsibility for being properly registered rests first with the student and secondarily with the student’s adviser if the student has one (nondegree students may not).
  3. Advising is an important factor in enhancing the quality of a student’s program. To assist the student in planning a coherent program and meeting all degree requirements, the graduate program head or chair will designate a member of the Graduate Faculty to serve as adviser. It is the student’s responsibility to secure an adviser from the graduate program and to seek a conference with his or her adviser before each registration.
  4. A student must complete registration during the officially designated period and attend the first meeting of all classes.
    1. If this is impossible because of some emergency or unusual circumstance, the student may be granted permission by the instructor to miss a few class meetings, with the understanding that work missed will be made up subsequently. Under these conditions permission may be granted through the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services for the student to register late. In general, a student who receives permission to register late will be required to reduce the course load in proportion to the length of absence.
  5. A student who fails to complete the process of registration within the officially designated registration period will be liable for the late registration charge, regardless of when the student begins attending classes.
  6. A student must register for courses audited as well as those taken for credit.
  7. Ph.D. students who are in residence during summers must also register for summer sessions if they are using University facilities and/or faculty resources, except for students appointed as Summer Graduate Assistants, who are not required to enroll for any credits unless they are first-semester graduate students, or are required to be enrolled by their graduate program.
    1. A student may register for course work or research or a combination of the two. In the case of research, the number of credits shall be determined by the amount of time devoted to the investigation, with 1 credit representing approximately the equivalent of one week of full-time work. For registration requirements after course work has been completed, see GCAC-515 Registration Requirements When Course Work Has Been Completed.

Revision History

  • Adapted from Graduate Bulletin: June 2018
  • Updated: 6/21/17
This page was generated on June 16, 2024 at 5:52 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.