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Graduate Student Enrollment Status

Two classifications of enrollment status are important with respect to financial aid and fellowships.


Some fellowships, such as the Graduate School Endowed Fellowships, require a nominee to be a full-time student in order to be eligible. To be considered a full-time student, one must be registered for a number of required courses. This number depends upon whether or not the student has a graduate assistantship.

No Assistantship

If the student does not have an assistantship, the student must register for 9 credit hours to be considered full-time.


Students holding a one-half (50% full-time equivalent, FTE) time assistantship normally should enroll in at least 6 credit hours during the semesters of the assistantship. A one-fourth (25% FTE) time graduate assistant normally should take at least 9 credit hours during the semesters of the assistantship.


There are two likely instances in which half-time status will impact graduate students. For students to be eligible to receive federal financial aid, they must be considered half-time. For students to begin or continue in loan deferment, they must be reported to their student loan provider as having half-time enrollment status.

Beginning fall 2019, students must be enrolled in a minimum of five (5) credit hours each semester to be considered as having “graduate half-time” status. Please note that this university-wide definition of graduate half-time status will have no impact on graduate assistantship policies and procedures.