Enrollment (Registration) & Residency

4.1 Enrollment

Minimum Enrollment Requirements
Withdrawal, Retroactive Withdrawal, & Leave of Absence Status                   
Considerations for Returning Students

4.2 Residency

4.1 Enrollment

MINIMUM ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS — It is the student’s responsibility to enroll in the appropriate number of credits to satisfy all department, college, Graduate School, and university criteria.

Students must be enrolled:

  • On or before the tenth (10th) class day of instruction as set forth by the Office of the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes. The Graduate School reserves the right to deny class registration to any student after tenth (10th) day of classes.

  • Each term they wish to use faculty time or university facilities (e.g., meeting with graduate committee chair, using the library, laboratory, and so forth).

  • For a minimum of three (3) credits during the term they sit for comprehensive examinations or defend their thesis or dissertation. 

  • For a minimum of three (3) credits during the term of graduation.

    • Certificate-seeking students are required to register for a minimum of one (1) credit during the term of graduation/conferral (updated November 2022). 

Note: Additional enrollment requirements may be required of Graduate Teaching or Research Assistants (GTAs/GRAs); see Graduate Assistantships.

Note: Additional enrollment requirements may be required of International Students see Office of International Programs.

 WITHDRAWAL, RETROACTIVE WITHDRAWAL & LEAVE OF ABSENCE STATUS — Students may be eligible to retroactively withdraw from classes or take a leave of absence per the University Leave of Absence and Retroactive Withdrawal Policy. Any student requesting a retroactive withdrawal, taking a leave of absence, or otherwise stepping away from their program is required to notify their graduate coordinator prior to the absence occurring, unless such notification is not reasonably feasible. If a graduate student wishes to drop all credits during any term, the student must initiate a university withdrawal by completing a withdrawal form

RE-ENROLLMENT/REGISTRATION — Students wishing to register for coursework following one (1) or more terms of absence (excluding summer) cannot register (enroll) in coursework until they first complete an Intent to Register Form (See Returning Student) through the Office of the Registrar. In exceptional cases, The Graduate School may charge an audit fee for degree-seeking students who have been absent for more than three terms.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR RETURNING STUDENTS — Students considering a gap in enrollment should be mindful of the following issues and considerations:

  • Student status is defined in the Code of Student Conduct. Individuals wanting to enroll in coursework that are not considered students per the Code of Student Conduct may be required to submit a new application for enrollment.
  • Official transcripts may be required for any academic work completed during a student’s absence.
  • At the time of graduation, the age of coursework in a student’s Graduate Program of Study is subject to the Age of Coursework policy.
  • Students may be required to retake the written/oral comprehensive examination if the examination is no longer valid. See Comprehensive examination (mastersdoctoral).
  • A graduate advisor/committee will need to be re-evaluated to determine whether the advisor remains available to advise the student or if the committee needs to be updated.
  • Students should consult with their advisors regarding the timing of their return to help identify the appropriate time to re-engage in a cohort to allow the student the opportunity to make progress in their program.
  • Previously arranged funding is not guaranteed upon re-enrollment and may need to be re-evaluated.

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4.2 Residency

Montana residency, for tuition purposes, is determined by the policies of the Board of Regents. The Graduate School reviews the residency status of each newly accepted graduate student.  

A non-resident domestic graduate student who would like to be considered a resident in the state of Montana, for tuition purposes, can find more information by reviewing the information provided on The Office of the Registrar website.

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