Minimum enrollment requirements for certain statuses or outcomes are as follows. Full-Time Certification is abbreviated here as FTC.

Status or Result Min Enr: Fall, Spring or Summer
Full-time status 9 cr, 1 cr if FTC
Eligibility for typical assistantship (some depts. require more) 1 cr*
Exemption from FICA/Medicare withholding on assistantship 5 cr, 1 cr if FTC
Access to UNL services (Libraries, Health Center, Rec Center as described below) 1 cr
*Graduate students are not required to register in the summer to hold an assistantship.

Procedures and Dates

Academic Calendar


Registration is required for services such as door access, the Recreation Center, the University Health Center, and some Library resources.

Students who pay the University Health Center (UHC) fee are able to access reduced-cost healthcare services at the UHC. Students enrolled in less than 7 cr per term pay a reduced University Program and Facilities Fee (UPFF) that does not include the UHC fee; to use the UHC they may pay the UHC fee or procure UHC services on a fee-for-service basis.


Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy status must be registered every fall and spring semester until they graduate, in accordance with the Guidelines for Registration During Doctoral Candidacy. Failure to maintain registration may result in the termination of the student’s program.

Credit Hour Requirements

Full-Time Status

Hour Requirements

Graduate students are considered full time when registered for 9 credit hours during the academic semester, including summer.

Status Academic Year
Full-time (F) 9 cr
3/4-time (T) 7 cr
1/2-time (H) 5 cr
Less than 1/2-time (L) 1-4 cr

Full-Time Certification

Graduate students may request full-time certification each semester they are under-enrolled, for the time allowed for their degree.

  • Eligibility: The student must be currently registered for at least one credit hour. Master’s degree-seeking students must have an approved Memorandum of Courses on file with the Office of Graduate Studies and must be pursuing a specific major under Option A (thesis); Doctoral degree-seeking students must be in candidacy.
  • Limitations: Masters students may use full-time certification for three consecutive terms, doctoral students in candidacy may use it no more than six consecutive terms. Summer is included in the terms.  An audited course does not qualify the student for full-time certification use as credits are not earned.

Request Form

Minimum Registration for Financial Aid 

Status Academic Year
Full-time (F) 9 or more cr
3/4-time (T) 7 cr
1/2-time (H) 5 cr

Summer minimum registration for financial aid is 5 credit hours. These credits may be in different summer sessions; aid is disbursed in the session the student reaches half-time enrollment.

Employment and Registration

Assistantships, Fellowships, and Traineeships

Graduate assistants are not required to register for courses during the summer term. Graduate assistants employed in the summer but who are not registered for 4 credit hours or certified full-time during the summer term are subject to FICA and Medicare taxes.

Graduate students holding any fellowship(s) are required to be enrolled as a full-time student as defined above. Students with external or departmental fellowships must follow the specific granting agency requirements.

Graduate students holding a traineeship are required to be enrolled full-time or be full-time certified during the tenure of their traineeship. Other remunerative employment must follow the granting agency requirements.

Graduate assistants may not work more than 19.6 hours per week, all jobs considered, including assistantship(s) and paid internships. Internships are considered work in a training environment related to the student’s educational career for which they receive pay; an assistantship and an internship may not be held by a student simultaneously if the total hours between the two equal more than 19.6 hours per week. This applies to fall and spring terms only.

Graduate students not employed, or graduate research assistants performing duties that are 100% thesis related, may register for a maximum of 15 credit hours during an academic year semester, 6 credit hours during one five-week summer session, 9 credit hours during one eight-week summer session, or 3 credit hours during the pre-session.

Maximum Registration Guidelines

Graduate students who are employed are advised not to exceed the following registration guidelines established by the Graduate Council.

Hours Employed Per Week Fall or Spring Summer 8-Week Summer 5-Week Summer 3-Week(1)
0 hrs 15 cr 9 cr 6 cr 3 cr
8-16 hrs 12 cr 8 cr 5 cr 2 cr
17-20 hrs 10 cr 6 cr 4 cr 2 cr
Full-time 6 cr 4 cr 3 cr 1 cr

 One course permitted in the Summer 3-Week term for a maximum of 3 credit hours.

These guidelines reflect the fact that graduate-level course work serves mainly as a guide for independent, scholarly study. Graduate students are expected to master subjects and to devote substantial time in independent library and laboratory investigation beyond minimum credit hour requirements.

For courses offered within a summer session, a general guideline is a maximum registration of 1 credit hour per week of instruction.

Tuition and Fees


Tuition and fee rates are published by Student Accounts and subject to change at the direction of the Board of Regents.

Regulations pertaining to Nebraska resident status for tuition purposes are established by the Board of Regents. Initial determination of resident status is made at the time of admission and is noted on the Letter of Admission. Students may apply for residency for tuition purposes in MyRed.


Students who withdraw from the University within the first four weeks of a semester, or within the first two weeks of a summer session, may be entitled to a fractional refund of tuition, as listed in the Academic Calendar. The conditions of eligibility for refunds are subject to change.

Tuition Remission for GRADUATE ASSISTANTS

Students holding a benefits-eligible graduate assistantship may receive tuition remission of up to 12 hours per semester during the fall and/or spring semesters plus a portion of the student's health insurance premium.

  • Payment of the student's portion of the health insurance premium, University program and facilities fees, library fees, technology fees, registration fees, special course fees, are the student's responsibility.
  • If a graduate assistant resigns or terminates the assistantship during the semester before four full months of service, all benefits will be lost. The student then is responsible for the total tuition payment and health insurance premiums.


Members of the academic-administrative, managerial-professional, and office-service staffs employed full time are eligible for the Employee and Dependent Scholarship Program.

Auditing a Course

Auditing gives a student the privilege of attending class, but credit is not earned and a grade of AU is assigned when auditing a class. All persons wishing to audit a course must be admitted and eligible to enroll in classes for the term in which they audit. Tuition and fees for audited courses are the same as for graded courses. Audited courses cannot be applied toward a graduate degree or certificate.

To audit a course:

  1. Register for the class online.
  2. Pick up a Permit to Audit Card at the Office of the University Registrar.
  3. Obtain the instructor’s permission to audit the course by having him or her sign the Permit to Audit Card.
  4. Turn in the signed Permit to Audit Card at the Office of the University Registrar no later than the last day to add a class for the term.

Drop and Add

Students may drop or add classes from the beginning of priority registration through the last day on which classes may be added for a term, as published in the Academic Calendar.

  • Students who do not register for classes until after the beginning of the term will be charged a late registration fee.
  • After the end of the add period, a course may be added to a student's record only with permission from the instructor and Graduate Studies.
  • Tuition liability for a course begins after the add period for a term.


Impacts of Withdrawal

Before withdrawing from courses, some students should seek information on the ramifications of withdrawal:

All courses dropped after the second week of the term are noted on the student’s academic record (transcript) with a grade of “W” (withdrawn).

Timing of Withdrawal

Before the 3/4 point of the term, students may withdraw from classes regardless of circumstance. A course drop becomes effective for tuition and grade purposes on the date the transaction is processed by the student.

After the 3/4 point of the term, any withdrawal from classes must be for extraordinary circumstances and will be granted only by petition through Graduate Studies, based on the following documentation:

  1. A written request from the student within 60 days of the end of the term.
  2. Written permission from the instructor.
  3. Documentation for illness, death in the family or abrupt change in work schedule.

Download: Petition for late withdrawal

Correction of Registration Errors

A graduate student who has registered in error (for example, for the undergraduate level of a 400/800 course) should correct the error through the normal drop and add process during the term in which the error occurred.

In the event the error is not recognized until a grade is posted, the student may request correction of registration within sixty days of the posting of the grade to the Office of the University Registrar. Changes to a student registration record will not be made more than sixty days after grades are posted.