Full-Time Graduate Student Status

The Graduate School at The University of Texas at Austin recognizes nine semester hours during a long session semester and three hours during a summer session as a minimum full-time course load. Individual graduate programs may require more. 

The three-semester credit-hour minimum course load for the summer session may be satisfied in one six-week term, or in the nine-week or 12-week terms. Students enrolled in Affiliated Studies—study abroad programs offered by organizations and institutions with which the university has an affiliation agreement—are considered full-time students.

Graduate students who must register and remain registered for a full-time course load include holders of Graduate School-administered fellowships and scholarships; assistant instructors, teaching assistants, academic assistants, assistants, graduate research assistants, and tutors; students living in university housing; students receiving certain student loans; and international students.

Agencies that grant loans or provide for educational funding may establish different definitions of full-time status. Students should be familiar with the regulations of any agency to which they have an obligation.

Certification of full-time status, when needed, is provided by the Office of the Registrar.

Maximum Course Load

The maximum course load for a graduate student is 15 semester hours in a spring or fall semester, or 12 semester hours in a 12-week summer session. Students who wish to exceed the maximum course load must submit a petition letter from their graduate adviser to the graduate dean for approval.