Graduate Student Handbook: Credit Load
A regular student may be either full-time or part-time. Full-time students carry at least 9 credits or three courses per semester and up to a maximum of 12 course credits. Beyond 12 course credits the approval of the Faculty Advisor and Dean of Graduate Academics is required. Students holding an F-1 or J-1 visa must be full-time students. The noncredit Developmental English course can be considered as a course in defining a full-time load.
International students may also be considered full-time under the following circumstances and if an Exemption From Full-time Enrollment form is approved and on file with the International Student and Scholar Services Office.
- Student has been appointed as a research or teaching assistant (9 credits or three courses required; exemption form not required);
- Student is taking doctoral qualifying examinations within the next six months (approval by Director required);
- Student is in the last semester and requires fewer than 12 credits to complete the degree (remaining credits for degree required);
- Other special circumstances exist (approval by the ; Dean of the Graduate Academics required).
- All international students are subject to the English Language & Communications (ELC) Policies and Procedures requirements. Click here for the requirements.
A student who is employed full-time elsewhere than at Stevens is limited to a maximum of two courses per semester, unless the employer advises the Dean of Graduate Academics that the student is allowed time off for study or the Dean of Graduate Academics approves a heavier load. Non-faculty, full-time Stevens staff can carry a maximum load of two courses per semester. No person who is enrolled for a degree at Stevens shall be a full-time member of the faculty.
Students must enroll for a minimum of one credit each semester to maintain matriculation until they have completed or enrolled for all credits required for the degree. Students who have completed or have already enrolled for all needed credits and who need to maintain matriculation while completing a thesis, special problem, dissertation, project or other degree requirements must enroll for D999, Maintenance of Matriculation, and pay the required fees.
All regular students are expected to maintain continuity of enrollment, except for summer sessions. If this cannot be done, the student must apply in writing for a leave of absence, which is subject to the approval of the Dean of Graduate Academics. A leave of absence is granted for a limited period only. The period may be extended at the discretion of the Dean of Graduate Academics. Time spent in the Armed Forces of the United States while on leave of absence is not included in the six-year limitation noted above. Time spent on leave of absence for other reasons may or may not be included in the six-year limitation. Each case is decided on the basis of individual circumstances by the Dean of Graduate Academics.
Leave of Absence does not waive a review of an action on a student’s academic performance. Students who do not maintain continuity of enrollment and who do not obtain a leave of absence may be dropped from the program. Re-enrollment requires permission of the Dean of the Graduate Academics and the Department Director.
Course By Application
Under special circumstances, a regular course may be given by application in a term in which the course is not scheduled. Students can fill out a Request Course by Application form and have it approved by the Instructor, the Department Director and the Dean of Graduate Academics. Note on the enrollment form that the course is to be taken by application and submit the enrollment form along with the approved Course by Application form.
Special Problem Course
In order to meet special needs, a student may take a Special Problems course (800 at the Master’s level or 801 at the doctoral level). No more than six credits total can be taken in the 800 or 801 Special Problems courses. The student enrolls in the normal manner, paying for the designated number of credits.
Questions about your study load requirements? Please email the Office of Graduate Academics.
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