Registration Requirements for Graduate Assistants

From the Graduate Assistant Handbook

Fall and Spring Semesters

Graduate Assistants (GAs) must be registered as full-time students whether they hold a full-time appointment or a part-time appointment. To be considered full-time, a student must be registered for a minimum of nine (9) credits in each Fall and Spring semester. The student must be registered in courses that lead toward his/her degree.

GAs must register for either GRAD 600 or GRAD 601. This graduate assistant course will count toward the nine (9) required credits for full-time status.

a) Full-time GAs, whose total commitment is 20 hours per week on average, have the option to register for GRAD 601. GRAD 601 is fixed at five (5) credits, so students who register for this course must register for a minimum of four (4) credits in addition to this course.

b) Part-time GAs in two different departments, whose total commitment is 20 hours per week on average, have the option to register for GRAD 601. GRAD 601 is fixed at five (5) credits, so students who register for this course must register for a minimum of four (4) credits in addition to this course.

c) Part-time GAs, whose total commitment is 10 hours per week on average, have the option to register for GRAD 600. GRAD 600 is fixed at three (3) credits, so students who register for this course must register for a minimum of six (6) credits in addition to this course.

Summer Session

GAs with appointments during the Summer have the option to register for the graduate assistantship course, GRAD 603. In order to retain FICA-exemption during the Summer, domestic GAs must be registered for at least three (3) credits at all times. GRAD 603 provides two (2) credits towards the three (3) credit requirement.

International Students with F-1, J-1, M-1, or Q-1 immigration status are already FICA-exempt. Students with these statuses are only required to register for GRAD 603 during Summer.

Notes Applicable to Fall, Spring, and Summer
a) GAs are not billed tuition or fees for GRAD 600, GRAD 601, or GRAD 603;

b) GAs receive credit towards full-time status from GRAD 600 and GRAD 601;

c) GRAD 600, GRAD 601, and GRAD 603 are not eligible for financial aid, nor are they considered when determining financial aid eligibility;

d) GRAD 600, GRAD 601, and GRAD 603 do not appear on transcripts;

e) GRAD 600, GRAD 601, and GRAD 603 will appear at registration to be for 0 credits. However, GAs are receiving the proper number of credits (3, 5, and 2, respectively);


Dissertation and Thesis Research

Master's thesis research (799) is a variable (2-9) credit course (billed at 1/2 rate), based on the amount of involvement in the University research program.

Pre-candidacy doctoral dissertation research (898) (for students who have not reached the doctoral candidacy stage) is a variable (3-9) credit course (billed at 1/3 rate), based on the amount of involvement in the University research program.

Doctoral dissertation research (899) (for students who have reached the doctoral candidacy) is a fixed (9) credit course (billed at 2/9 rate).


Questions may be directed to the UMBC Graduate School (ga-gradschool@umbc.edu or 410-455-1522).