Continuous Enrollment Requirement

Unless on an approved Leave of Absence, all graduate students enrolled in master's or doctoral programs must register each term regardless of the student’s location. Students should follow the registration policies outlined below until their degree is conferred or until their status as a credential-seeking graduate student is terminated. This includes students who are only taking preliminary comprehensive or final examinations, defending or presenting terminal projects.

Graduate students who have successfully completed all course and non-course requirements and have met all diploma deadlines are not required to register during the subsequent term. Doctoral and master’s students who fail to meet all deadlines and complete all course and non-course requirements will be required to register for a minimum of three graduate credits during the subsequent term. An exception to this rule may be considered if library copies of the thesis have been submitted to the Graduate School within the first two weeks of the subsequent term and the thesis is the only outstanding requirement remaining for certification of the student’s graduate degree.

Minimum Course Loads

Students are responsible for knowing the appropriate number of credits required to meet both the terms of their employment contract or fellowship, the Graduate School's continuous enrollment policy, and any other registration requirements that may supersede the Graduate School requirements (i.e., international, financial aid, veteran’s). You are considered a “full-time” graduate student if you are registered for 9–16 credits in a given academic term. Students must receive approval from the Graduate School to exceed 16 credits and will be charged a per credit overload fee. You are considered a “part-time” graduate student if you have fewer than nine credits. Part-time graduate students are only eligible for federal financial aid support or tax benefits if they are enrolled in a minimum of five credits. If you are a degree-seeking student, you must be registered for a minimum of three graduate credits (unless on an approved Leave of Absence), including the term of the final defense.

Registration Requirements for GRAs & GTAs

Students supported on graduate teaching or research assistantships are required to enroll at levels higher than the minimum full-time load. The minimum credit load for students funded through teaching and research assistantships is 12 graduate credits in Fall, Winter, and Spring terms; three graduate credits in the Summer term.

Various agencies, funding entities, and offices maintain their own registration requirements that also may exceed nine credits per quarter (e.g., those of the Veterans Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service for international students, various fellowships and those required for federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of graduate credits that may be required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific regulations under which they are governed.

If you're registering for only on-campus credits, it benefits our College if you increase your total credit load up to 16 credits (by adding thesis credits). If you have any online credits in your registration, you should keep your registration at 12 graduate credits.

Students supported by teaching or research assistantships receive a tuition remission as part of their support. It is important for students to understand that tuition remissions are based on the on-campus tuition rate for resident students. As such, any terms where students include online courses in their registration can result in tuition bills that exceed the remission amount. This can result in the overage being billed to either the department, to a principle investigator's grant, or to the student depending on how the student is funded. Keep this in mind when registering for online credits. Please consult the Department or your Major Professor if you have questions about including ecampus courses in your registration.

Summer Registration

Graduate students are required to register for for a minimum of three graduate credits if they are actively working on their graduate research and intend to use university resources (e.g. facilities, equipment, computing and library services, or faculty or staff time) during the summer session. Graduate students who do not plan to make use of university resources are not required to register during the summer session and do not need to submit a Leave of Absence request for summer term. In such instances, absences during summer session will not be counted within allowed Leave of Absence limits. The following details should be reviewed prior to registration for summer term.

  • Students supported on a FW Departmental GTA should register for five graduate credits.
  • Students supported on a GRA should register for a minimum of three graduate credits. There are federal tax benefits for registering for five credits (1/2 time graduate student status). Students supported on a GRA should check with their Major Professor (or the person in charge of their grant) to determine if their funding is sufficient to support five graduate credit summer registration.
  • Students who are self-supported should register for a minimum of three graduate credits.
  • Students who are supported on any other type of funding (e.g., fellowship) should register for three graduate credits but should also check their award for any information about registration requirements (or allowances) imposed by their funding agency or organization.
Selecting Courses

Students should consult with their Major Professor as they select classes each term. All MS and PhD students are required to include three credits of graduate seminar (e.g. FW 507 or similar seminars offered by other departments) on their program of study. This course should be included in your registration as availability allows. The Graduate School also requires that students complete training in the conduct of ethical research. The Graduate Orientation class (FW 599) offered in Fall term includes content that fulfills the ethical research training required by the Graduate School. Other options for fulfilling this requirement include GRAD 520: Responsible Conduct of Research, or completion of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Module from the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). Students choosing the CITI module to complete their ethical research training will not list this course on their graduate program. A copy of the certificate of completion for the CITI module should be provided to the FW Graduate Program Coordinator.

The OSU Schedule of Classes and the online catalog contain an up-to-date course offerings for the current and upcoming terms, academic regulations, and registration procedures that apply to all students attending the University. For a listing of courses by campus and terms offered through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, visit our Curricula and Course Offerings page. The Fisheries and Wildlife Graduate Student Association (FWGSA) also keeps a Graduate Course Guide and Recommendations list of courses offered through other Departments that are highly recommended for our students. You can check the general catalog and schedule of classes website for subject descriptions before you register for classes.

If the credit load associated with the graded coursework in a student's registration does not meet minimum registration requirements, the student should use Thesis credits to increase their overall load to meet minimum registration requirements. If the graded coursework on a student's program is complete, they should continue to register for the appropriate number of Thesis credits each term until their degree is conferred.

Master's students should register for FW 503 Thesis credits; PhD students should register for FW 603 Thesis credits. Students can locate a CRN for the correct thesis credits under their advisor's name in the online catalog each term. If you do not see the correct type of Thesis credits listed for your Major Professor in any given term, email fw.gradadvising@oregonstate.edu for assistance.

Audit Registration

Audit registration permits a student to enroll in a course for no credit and no grade. Course requirements for an audited course will be determined by the course instructor. Audit registration is available to degree-seeking and nondegree-seeking students. The audit registration period runs Monday through Friday of the second full week of classes. See the Academic Calendar for the Audit Registration period.

Students wanting to audit a course must bring a completed Audit Registration form with the instructor’s permission to the Office of the Registrar for registration. Audit registration is not done online.

Audit courses are assessed instructional fees at the same rate as credit courses. Any changes to an audit registration are subject to the same procedures, deadlines, and special fees as registration changes to regular courses. Upon completion of an audited course, the designation of “AUD” will be recorded on the transcript. The designation of “WAU” will be recorded on the transcript for students who withdraw from an audited course.

Important: Credits from audited courses cannot be used to meet the minimum registration requirements for GTA, GRA or Fellowship support.

How to Register for Classes

Please reference the New Graduate Student Guide maintained by the Graduate School. Students should check the OSU Academic Calendar to determine when registration opens each term, drop and withdraw deadlines, dates for University holidays and the schedule for final examination week. Graduate students can register for classes on the first day of Priority Registration (Phase I) and throughout the remainder of the registration cycle. You can add/drop courses untill the priority registration period ends. Using the online schedule of classes, you can search course listings in several ways.

  1. Login to MyOSU
  2. Click on OSU Online Services In the Main Menu
  3. Click on Registrations
  4. Click on Select Term then select the term you want to enroll for
  5. Click on Registration/Add/Drop Classes, Find “Add Class Worksheet”
  6. Click on Class Search to search for your classes
  7. Select the courses you want to enroll and click add to worksheet
  8. Then select submit under the worksheet section to register

Issues such as late registration, adding or withdrawing from courses after deadlines, or late changes from letter or S/U grading are resolved through the petition for late change in registration filed with the Graduate School and Registrar's office. A late registration fee may be applied when using this form to resolve issues.