General Requirements and Policies
Students are responsible for staying informed about, and complying with, departmental regulations as well as Division of Graduate Studies regulations.
Graduate students may enroll for up to 16 credits during the initial registration period. Beginning Friday prior to fall term classes (and beginning two weeks prior to winter and spring terms), graduate students may increase their enrollment to a maximum of 18 credits.
Students who enroll for more than 16 credits will be billed additional tuition.
In summer term, graduate students are limited to 16 hours.
Students who wish to enroll for more than 18 credits (or 16 credits in summer) are required to submit a general petition form to the Division of Graduate Studies.
For the term in which a degree is granted, graduate students must register for at least three graduate credits. If submitting a master's degree thesis in this final term, registration must include at least one of the three credits as Thesis (503)—see master's policies.
If a doctoral dissertation is being completed, registration must include no fewer than three 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; see Division of Graduate Studies website 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). 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 Division of Graduate Studies 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:
- Nine graduate credits toward the degree
International Student Visa Holders
- Nine credits for master’s students and doctoral students not yet advanced to candidacy
- Three credits of 603 Dissertation for advanced doctoral students.
- International students should request information from International Student and Scholar Services about immigration and naturalization regulations and minimum credit requirements.
Federal Financial Aid and Federal Loan Deferment
- Five credits for master’s students and doctoral students not yet advanced to candidacy
- Three credits of 603 Dissertation for advanced doctoral students.
As previously noted, these guidelines are examples. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for accurate confirmations of eligibility.
Advancement and Financial Aid
Once formally advanced to candidacy, doctoral students receive email confirmation of their advancement from the Division of Graduate Studies. 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 Financial Aid and Scholarships for more information. International student visa holders should confirm their eligibility by contacting both the Division of Graduate Studies and the Division of Global Engagement.
An undergraduate student must request permission to register for a graduate-level course. The student must file a Reservation of Graduate Credit form with the Division of Graduate Studies by Wednesday of week 1 of the term in which they want to enroll in the graduate course. The form is available on the Division of Graduate Studies website. Two options are available for disposition of course credits.
Note: These options do not apply to students participating in an Accelerated Master's Program (AMP). AMP students should refer to Accelerated Master's Program policies for information about taking graduate classes while classified as an undergraduate.
Include the graduate-level course in requirements for the bachelor's degree. To be eligible, the student must be admitted as an undergraduate and have earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 in each of the three terms prior to enrolling in the graduate course. Non-admitted non-degree seeking students are ineligible for this status. Undergraduates receiving less than a grade of B in a graduate-level course will be ineligible for further enrollment in graduate-level course work.
Reserve the graduate-level course for consideration by a department after admission as a graduate student. This option is available to seniors only and is limited to a maximum of three graduate courses not exceeding a total of 12 credits. To be eligible, the student must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 in each of the three terms prior to enrolling in the graduate course. Non-admitted non-degree seeking students are ineligible for this status. Undergraduates receiving less than a grade of 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 reservations of graduate credit.
Undergraduates do not qualify to receive credits for the following graduate classes: Research (601), Internship (604), Reading and Conference or Special Problems (605), Field Studies or Practicum (606), Workshop or Laboratory Projects (508 or 608), and Terminal Project or Capstone (609).
Course Enrollment for Faculty and Staff Members
Faculty and staff members who want to take graduate courses should refer to the Human Resources office for information about regulations and fees.
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 submit a petition to the vice provost for graduate studies for approval. More information about the petition process is available on the Division of Graduate Studies website.
Graduate students at the university may, with advisor and departmental approval, take graduate courses at Portland State University or Oregon 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 Experimental Course: [Topic] (JC 610). A maximum of 15 credits taken under the joint campus program may be applied toward a graduate degree program. Joint campus course work counts toward the 24 graded credits required for the master’s degree. Additional information about eligibility and restrictions are available on the Division of Graduate Studies website. Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.
WICHE Regional Graduate Programs
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) coordinates a graduate exchange program, the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), to enable students from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, 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 currently has a WRGP program in historic preservation. For information, visit the website.
WGRP certification must be renewed each academic year.
Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in graduate courses taken in the degree program. Grades of D+ or less for graduate courses are not accepted for graduate credit but are computed in the GPA. Similarly, the grade of N (no pass) is not accepted for graduate credit. A grade of pass (P) must represent work equal to or better than a B–.
A GPA below 3.00 at any time during a graduate student’s studies or the accumulation of more than 5 credits of N or F grades—regardless of the GPA—is considered unsatisfactory. Accumulation of more than 7 credits of Incomplete is also considered unsatisfactory. Students found to be not making satisfactory progress may be placed on academic warning or academic probation, and may be dismissed from the program if improvement is not made. Additional satisfactory progress requirements and procedures may be found on the Division of Graduate Studies website.
There are two sets of policies regarding incompletes in graduate courses: (1) Department/Program policies as outlined in the program's graduate student handbook; and (2) University policies as outlined below. Graduate students should become familiar with both.
University Policy for Incompletes Assigned Fall 2022 or Later
Effective Fall 2022, students and faculty members must file an Incomplete Request Form to request a grade of Incomplete. Policy and procedure details, including the link to the request form, are available on this page.
University Policy for Incompletes Assigned Prior to Fall 2022
For Incompletes assigned in graduate courses prior to Fall 2022, Division of Graduate Studies policy requires that graduate students must convert a graduate course grade of Incomplete ("I") into a passing grade within one calendar year of the term the course was taken.
After one year, the student must petition the Division of Graduate Studies for the removal of an incomplete.
A petition to remove an incomplete must meet all the following criteria to be eligible for Division of Graduate Studies approval:
- The incomplete must be no more than seven years old.
- The student must have the approval of the instructor to complete the outstanding course requirements.
- The student must not have completed a terminal graduate degree since the term of enrollment in the course.
Incompletes that remain on the academic record after a degree has been awarded may not be removed.
All coursework documented on the transcript at the time of the awarding of a degree stands as a permanent record and it is not permissible to revise the record.
An incomplete, "I", assigned to Research (601) or Terminal Project (609, AAAP 611, ARCH 619, BA 740, CRES 611, IARC 611, LA 699, LT 611) does not require a petition.
Thesis (503) and Dissertation (603) credits should be assigned a grade of "P" for students making satisfactory progress. An "I" grade should only be assigned for students who did work of acceptable quality during the term, but some component of the work was not completed within the timeframe expected.
Research and Terminal Project credits are converted after the instructor submits a Supplementary Grade Report to the Office of the Registrar.
Unless leave status has been approved, a student in an graduate degree or certificate program must remain in continuous enrollment at the university, taking at least 3 graduate credits each term, until all the program’s requirements have been completed. Registration for summer term is not required unless the student is using university facilities or faculty or staff services. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment effectively withdraws the student from graduate status. See Reinstatement.
A graduate student interrupting a study program for one or more terms, excluding summer session, must apply for on-leave status to ensure a place upon return. Only graduate students in good standing are eligible for on-leave status, except by petition and with the support of the student's academic department or program.
The Division of Graduate Studies must receive the application by the last day of finals week of the term the leave begins. Leave status is granted for a specified period excluding summer session. Students with approved leave status should not use university facilities or faculty or staff services during the on-leave term and therefore need not pay tuition or fees.
On-leave status does not extend the seven-year deadline except when the leave is for the student’s serious health or medical condition or for parenting needs during the 12 months immediately following a child’s birth or placement in the home.
Master’s students, except summer-only students, may apply for a maximum of three academic terms of on-leave status during the course of study for the degree. A master's student who attends the university only during summer session must obtain on-leave status for each ensuing school year. These summer students also must complete all degree requirements within the seven-year time limit.
Doctoral students may apply for a maximum of six academic terms of on-leave status during the course of study for the degree. See Continuous Enrollment under Doctoral Degrees.
Additional details about on-leave status and how to apply are available on the Division of Graduate Studies website.
A graduate student who fails to maintain continuous enrollment or obtain on-leave status is required to file a Petition for Reinstatement form, available on the Division of Graduate Studies website. The petition is reviewed by the student’s academic program and the Division of Graduate Studies. 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 reenrollment. Doctoral students may, at the discretion of the department, be required to complete the doctoral residency requirement again. 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.
Review of the Petition for Reinstatement may result in a change of residency status from resident to nonresident for purposes of tuition assessment if the student has not maintained residency in Oregon. More information is available from the residency officer in the Office of Admissions.
Each graduate degree at the University of Oregon has a residency requirement that dictates how much of the work required for that degree must be completed at the University of Oregon. Please refer to the Master's Degrees and Doctoral Degrees sections below for details about residency requirements for each type of degree.
Waiver of Regulations
Graduate students may file a petition requesting exemption from any academic requirement. The petition must first be submitted to the student's home academic program for review and supporting statement. The Division of Graduate Studies then reviews the educational purpose the regulation in question was designed to serve. Petitions are seldom granted if the only reason given is to save the student from inconvenience or expense.
Division of Graduate Studies petition forms are available on the Division of Graduate Studies website.
University policy requires that students who intend to engage in research involving human or animal subjects have their research procedures approved before they begin to collect data. Researchers who want to use human subjects may obtain protocol forms and procedures from the Research Compliance Services website. Researchers who want to use vertebrate animals may obtain protocol forms and procedures from the Animal Welfare Services website.