The system used by the University of Maryland for registration and designation of a student's status as full-time is based on units, not credits. Different courses carry various units/credit hour depending on number as shown below and available from: (http://www.gradschool.umd.edu/catalog/registration_policies.htm). The system can be complicated depending on specific cases so a "simple" explanation of what you should register for is not always possible. The goals for BISI are:
- Make sure students take required courses generally within the first 3-4 semesters.
- Minimize student and faculty financial burden.
- Maximize Department and faculty teaching credits.
Below, I will present the most likely scenarios for students at various levels starting with those with teaching assistantships (TA) then those with research assistantships (RA). This description will focus on Ph.D students. These students have no formal credit requirement from the Graduate School other than fulfilling 12 898/899 credits, which is trivial since all Ph.D. students are automatically registered for 6 credits of 899/semester after passing their candidacy exam. Course requirements for Ph.D. students are those designated by the program or concentration area (BISI). Masters students have a formal requirement of 24 course credits and six 799 credits that is imposed by the Graduate School.
Designation of Full-Time and Part-Time Status
The Graduate School uses a unit system in making calculations to determine full-time or part-time student status. Please note that graduate units are different from credit hours. The number of graduate units per credit hour is calculated in the following manner:
Courses in the series: 000-399 carry 2 units per credit hour.
Courses in the series: 400-499 carry 4 units per credit hour.
Courses in the series: 500-599 carry 5 units per credit hour.
Courses in the series: 600-897 carry 6 units per credit hour.
Pre-candidacy Doctoral Research courses: 898 carries 18 units per credit hour.
Doctoral Dissertation Research: 899 carries 18 units per credit hour. All doctoral candidates must pay candidacy tuition for which they will be registered for six (6) credit hours of 899; this defines all currently registered doctoral candidates as full-time (See below).
All doctoral candidates must pay the flat candidacy tuition for which they will be registered for six (6) credit hours of 899; this defines all currently registered doctoral candidates as full-time (See below)
To be certified as full time, a graduate student must be officially registered for a combination of courses equivalent to 48 units per semester. Graduate assistants holding regular appointments have full-time status if they are registered for at least 24 units in addition to the assistantship (does not apply to RAs paid by off-campus sources); holders of half-time assistantships are considered full-time if registered for 36 units. Audited courses do not generate graduate units and cannot be used in calculating full-time or part-time status.
Students with a Teaching Assistantship that HAVE NOT passed Candidacy
- A full TA carries 24 units (and 10 credits of tuition remission) and a half time TA carries 12 units (and 5 credits of tuition remission).
- You need a total of 48 units to be full time.
- If you are a full time TA with 10 credits of tuition remission, do not register for more than 8 credits. Registering for more than 8 credits will increase your fees from ~$400 to ~$800.
- If you are a half time TA, do not register for more than 5 credits or you will have to pay additional tuition costs.
- The credits can be used for various things including regular courses, journal clubs, and finally 898 credits under your mentor's specific 898 section number.
Students with a Teaching Assistantship that HAVE passed Candidacy
- All students that have passed Candidacy are automatically registered for 6 credits of 899. Please ensure that you have been registered each semester. Failure to maintain continuous registration after reaching candidacy will result in automatic dismissal from the program.
- You may register for up to 4 additional credits using tuition remission from your full time TA, although it is not recommended. You will have to pay the additional fees for taking more than 8 credits.
Students with a Research Assistantship that HAVE NOT passed Candidacy
- A full RA on campus, or paid by UMCP faculty, carries 24 units (a ½ RA is 12 units). As above, 48 units are needed to be full time. RAs at off-campus locations paid by non-UMCP sources (off-campus mentor for example) do not count as any units.
- If your RA is your sole source of stipend (full RA), all credits that you register for are paid by your mentor's funds. Therefore register for as few as possible to maintain full-time status and fulfill required course needs.
- For on-campus RAs, you need an additional 24 units to be full time. Make sure what you register for gives you at least 24 units. If you are not taking courses, then 2 credits of 898 or 1 credit of 898 and 1 credit of a journal club will bring you to full time status.
- Students that are supported by off campus mentors and not paid through the University must take the full 48 units (even if you have a full RA). The off campus RA does not contribute any units. If you are not taking courses, 3 credits of 898 will cover this.
- If you are an out of state student, then your off campus mentor must pay the out of state tuition rate.
- If you are still taking courses then carefully count course units to make sure you are full time.
- Do not take any more credits than you need as your mentor's account is paying. Each credit for in-state or on-site students is about $525 and off-site non-residents are more than twice that amount.
Students with a Research Assistantship that HAVE passed Candidacy
- All students that have passed Candidacy are AUTOMATICALLY registered for 6 credits of 899. Please make sure that you are registered each semester. Failure to maintain continuous registration after reaching candidacy will result in automatic dismissal from the program.
- All students with on campus RA funding sources (see above for RAs that have not passed candidacy) are charged at the in-state rate for credits. Students with off-campus funding are charged based on their residency status, if you are not a Maryland resident you (or presumably your off campus mentor) will be charged at the out of state rate, which is about twice as high.
- Your mentor pays for any additional credits beyond the 899 credits that you take, so do not take them unless it is agreed upon.
Students paid in full or in part by a Fellowship
- Different fellowships have different rules with respect to providing tuition remission. These should be handled on a case-by-case basis. FELLOWSHIPS GENERALLY DO NOT COUNT AS ANY UNITS SO STUDENTS SUPPORTED BY FELLOWSHIPS NEED TO GET 48 UNITS FROM CREDITS OR OTHER SOURCES (TA FOR EXAMPLE) TO BE FULL TIME.
If you are unsure about registration, please contact the BISI Office, 2101 BRB or at email@example.com