If you are a newly admitted student, you may defer enrollment to a later semester by placing a request in writing to your Graduate Program Director (GPD) and indicating to which semester you wish to defer (up to one year). The GPD will then approve or deny the deferral, and you will receive a letter indicating the decision.
Once admitted to a graduate program, you must remain continuously enrolled every semester in the academic year (fall and spring). This means that every fall and spring you should register in one of the following categories:
- Regular credit course(s)
- 799 or 899 (thesis or dissertation research credit)
- Internship or independent study
Leaves of Absence
With the implementation of PeopleSoft Student Administration (PS-SA), Leave of Absence (LOA) will no longer be a course. LOA will be a program action.
On the 10th day of classes of any new semester, the registrar will run a report of all active students with 0 credits. Those students will automatically be placed on LOA. The Graduate School will review the list and confer with graduate programs to verify student status.
Students who wish to continue in a degree program, but who cannot study in a particular semester or year, are required to take a leave of absence with the approval of the academic advisor. Leaves are taken one semester at a time.
The five-year period for completion of the master’s degree or admission to doctoral candidacy begins with the first semester of enrollment; this “clock” does not stop during leaves of absence. More than three consecutive leaves of absence require the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School.
Full-time and Part-time Status
- To qualify for full-time status, you must be enrolled for at least 9 credits. If you are enrolled for fewer than 9 credits, you are considered a part-time student. Full graduate teaching and research assistants need to register for at least 4 credits at the 600 level or above in addition to the 5 credit they receive as a GA.
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- Students attending UMBC on an F-1 or J-1 visa must remain registered as full-time students for the entire semester.
Transfers of Credits from Other Colleges/Universities
You may transfer up to 6 semester hours of graduate course work to be applied toward a master's degree. These courses could have been taken at UMBC or at another regionally accredited institutions. Please complete the transfer as soon as possible after enrolling at UMBC. Requirements include:
- Courses that are taken within the 5-year limit, for completing the master's degree
- Official transcript, with the courses listed on it, accompanying the request for transfer
- Grade(s) of A or B
- No courses that have been used to fulfill another degree
- Approval for graduate credit of courses numbered below the 600 level (if taken at UMBC)
- Maximum transfer of 6 semester hours
- Agreement by your program advisor and Graduate Program Director that the specific credit is appropriate to and acceptable in your program of study. NOTE: The Advisor and/or Graduate Program Director must approve the credits via their signature on the Request for Transfer of Credit form.
To request a transfer of credit, please fill out the Request for Transfer of Credit form, attach an official copy of the appropriate transcript and submit it to your advisor and Graduate Program Director for signatures.
Withdrawal from UMBC
To withdraw from the university, please submit the Request for Withdrawal from UMBC form to your department for their information, the appropriate signatures, and transmittal to the Graduate School.
In addition, please complete the Ph.D. Exit Survey.