Resident Students

Resident students are in the Boston/Cambridge area engaged primarily in degree work. 

Full-time resident degree candidates must register for four courses (16 credits) or the equivalent in TIME for each term. A semester-long course that meets regularly every week of the academic term, typically, equals four credits. Students who do not take action with regard to their registration status may be subject to "Lapsed Registration and Degree Candidacy" (Chapter V). Ordinarily, students are not permitted to register for a fifth unit of TIME. Degree candidates may register for up to six courses (24 credits) in each term without payment of additional tuition. Additional courses are charged at the per-course rate.

If a student’s enrollment includes a four-credit-course extending throughout the academic year (as opposed to an eight-credit course, which is equivalent to enrollment in a four-credit course each term), the student must register for at least four additional four-credit courses in each term in order to maintain full-time status.

The same is true if a student is cross-registered in another faculty for a course with less than four credits. The student must register for at least four additional four-credit courses.

Students may register for 100/1000-level or 200/2000-level courses, which are letter-graded courses of instruction, or for 300/3000-level courses, which may be individual courses of reading and research, graduate seminars, or direction of the dissertation. Courses at the 300/3000 level are graded only SAT or UNS.

A graduate student may enroll in courses, such as language courses, in the group labeled “Primarily for Undergraduates,” provided the student’s department approves the course enrollment. Normally, these courses may not be counted toward the minimum course requirements for a higher degree. The undergraduate pass-fail option is not open to graduate students. However, with the permission of the instructor, GSAS degree candidates may enroll in designated language courses on a SAT/UNS basis. See the Academic Calendar for the deadline to request this status. GSAS degree candidates who wish to enroll in one of the designated language courses on a SAT/UNS basis must file a petition with the Registrar’s Office. Language courses taken on a SAT/UNS basis may not be counted toward the minimum course requirements for a higher degree.

Units of TIME

At the discretion of departments, students may register for TIME as a means of indicating that appropriate independent work is replacing numbered courses. TIME is undertaken with a faculty advisor. Students should assign an appropriate number of units of TIME to be certain they are enrolled full-time in 16 credits. Units of TIME are ungraded and are not for academic credit.

The three types of TIME are as follows: TIME-C, for course-related work; TIME-R, for research-related work; and TIME-T, for teaching fellow-related work. Students may register for TIME-C when independent work is being undertaken that is not specifically indicated in a numbered course. TIME-R may be used to indicate that research work is being undertaken that is not directly related to the student’s dissertation work (i.e., additional laboratory research for a faculty member). TIME-T may be used to indicate that a student has received a teaching appointment and is engaged in teaching a course. It is inappropriate for graduate students to receive credit for the same work for which they are financially compensated, therefore, TIME-T should be used and not the course being taught.

Simultaneous Course Enrollment

Students, ordinarily, may not enroll in courses that meet at the same time or overlapping times. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that there is no overlap in the meeting times of their courses. Exceptions to this rule may be granted only by the Registrar. Graduate students requesting exemption to this rule must file a petition with the Registrar’s Office. The petition must include the reason for the simultaneous enrollment and an explanation of how the work will be completed for both courses.

Students may audit courses with the permission of the instructors concerned. However, auditors may not take course examinations or receive course grades. Audited courses do not appear on students’ transcripts.