Minimum and Maximal Registration

Minimum Registration

Rutgers University requires that all students register every semester, beginning with the semester that they are admitted, and lasting until they graduate or leave the program. Students not wishing to register for formal credits must generally register for a status that Rutgers calls Matriculation Continued, and pay a fee, each semester. Certain students are required to register for larger number of credits.

Students whose enrollment has lapsed may request re-enrollment using the Reduced Course-load Form.

The Graduate School-New Brunswick has maximal times until degree. These allowed times are sufficient to permit either the MS or PhD degrees to be completed part-time, but significant periods of minimal registration may delay a student past the time allowed by the graduate school.

International students on student visas must maintain full-time student status. Generally full-time status requires registration for at least 9 credits per semester, except under certain circumstances, outlined on the Reduced Course-load Form, the Confirmation of Less than Full Time Form, and the request for full time status form. Only one of these three forms need be completed.
International students on student visas whose first term in the program is summer are required to register for at least six credits that summer. Students are not required to register for any credits during summers that are not their first term in the program.
Credits taken at other institutions count towards the minimal credit requirements for full-time registration only if they might plausibly be transfered to Rutgers in the future and be counted towards the degree. In this case, the student should submit the following to the international students' office to ensure that the student retains his or her full-time status:

  • A letter from the GPD indicating the specific 3 credit course the student will take, and the institution at which it will be taken, certifying that the credits will transfer to Rutgers University, reflect on the student's transcript after the summer session is over and will count towards the requirements of the student's degree program.
  • Proof of registration from the institution that the student is visiting for the course indicated in the letter from the GPD.
  • Proof of registration at Rutgers University for the remaining credits.

The rules regarding the minimum number of courses can change from year to year and depend on visa requirements. Students who need to take fewer than the usual minimum course load to be considered full-time (three 3-credit courses) are urged to check with the International Student Office.

Students may be required to maintain full-time status in order to remain eligible for university housing, or to defer repayment of some student loans. If you are required to maintain full-time status for these or other reasons, consult with the entity requiring the status for their precise definition of "full time", and with the graduate director.

The university's student health insurance requires that students register for half-time study to be eligible for health insurance. Half-time study is generally demonstrated by registration for at least 6 credits; there is a form for certifying half-time status in some cases in which the student registers for fewer than 6 credits.

Maximal Registration

Students may register for no more than 16 credits per semester. Registration for a number of credits exceeding 16 must be approved by the Graduate School - New Brunswick Administrator for Student Services. Students who are required to take an ESL course are allowed to take up to 19 credits for the semester.