Full-Time Academic Load Definition for Graduate Students
Graduate students enrolled in nine or more credits during a regular
semester or five credits during a summer session are considered full-time
students. All students registered for fewer than those specified totals are
classified as part-time students, unless they hold a teaching or research
appointment at UMKC.
Full-time enrollment for students holding
graduate teaching assistant
or graduate research assistant appointments (GTA/GRAs) is six hours in a
regular semester or three hours in a summer session. GTAs/GRAs are
make normal progress toward their degrees and should enroll in a
minimum of six hours per semester (three credits in the summer
session). However, GTA/GRA appointees who have completed all required
coursework for the degree
and who are working full time on research need only enroll for the
These designations of full time are for academic
only and do not apply to assessment of fees or degree program
Note that this policy in no way alters the
requirements and criteria for doctoral degrees. Further, international
students holding GTA/GRA appointments also must abide by requirements
of the U.S.
Immigration Service and should consult the international student
before reducing their course loads.
Special Cases: Requests for GTA/GRA Appointments Greater than Half Time and
Requests for Exemption from Social Security Withholding for GTAs/GRAs
GTA/GRA appointments are normally restricted to no more than 20 hours per week (.5 full-time employee).
Requests for GTA/GRA appointments greater than .5 FTE must be submitted to
the School of Graduate Studies prior to the beginning of the appointment and must be accompanied by
a statement from the student's major adviser that the additional work load will neither place the student
at risk academically nor impede the student's academic progress.
Graduate students holding GTA/GRA appointments are automatically exempt from Social
Security withholding tax as long as they are enrolled in at least six credit hours. If
the student's enrollment falls below six credit hours, the student's academic unit
may certify his or her eligibility for continued exemption for one of the following two reasons:
Certification forms are available in the School of Graduate Studies office. The form requires
signatures from the student's major adviser and the principal graduate adviser of the student's
academic unit. After these individuals have signed the form, it must be sent to the School
of Graduate Studies for recommendation. The School of Graduate Studies forwards the
completed request to the Payroll Office for final action on the request.
- The GRA is a doctoral student working in a research laboratory as a component of the
educational requirement and is enrolled in the minimum number of research hours required
for doctoral students who have passed comprehensive examinations.
- The GTA or GRA is a
graduate student enrolled in fewer than six credit hours because it is the student's exit
Restricted Academic Loads
Limitation on the size of the academic load for
which graduate students can
register might be imposed by the dean or faculty adviser. Generally,
students on probation are required to restrict the academic program to
a minimum full-time load until they have returned to good standing.
Interpretation of Full-Time and Half-Time Status of Graduate Students
for Purposes of Certification to Lending/Funding Agencies
To be eligible for certification of full-time status as a graduate
student, a student must meet at
least one of the following conditions:
To be eligible for certification of half-time status as a graduate student, a student must be enrolled in at least five credit hours.
Special Cases and Limitations on Registrar's Certification to
- Enrollment in nine credit hours.
- Ph.D., D.M.A. and Ed.D. candidates who have passed their doctoral comprehensive
examinations and are enrolled in one hour (not to exceed 10 semesters of
certification under this category).
- Ph.D. Ed.D. or D.M.A. students who have not taken
and passed their doctoral
comprehensive examinations and who do not meet one of the other
qualifications for certification and Master's/Educational-Specialist
students not qualifying for certification under one of the categories
listed above may petition the principal graduate adviser in
their academic unit for special consideration. If, based on a review of
student's petition, the principal graduate adviser believes there is
reason for certifying the student for full-time or half-time status,
principal graduate adviser may submit a request to the Registrar's
- Work to satisfy an incomplete grade or grades from a previous term or
terms does not count toward certification. Therefore, a class may
be used only in status calculation for one term. Since the hours are used in
status calculation during the original term of enrollment, that is the only
term that the hours may be counted.
- Status may not be calculated nor certified for future terms.