For many reasons, such as deferment of student loans, eligibility for University employment, health benefits, access to University facilities, it is important for graduate students to maintain their full-time registration. Students must register each semester; as of this writing, it may also be necessary to register for each of the two summer sessions in order to be exempt from certain federal taxes.
You can and should register whether or not you are taking regular classes.When you are not taking any regular coursework, you should register for AST 8990 (directed research), AST 8777 (M.S. thesis credits --- 16 in total are required), AST 8666 (Doctoral pre-thesis credits), or AST 8888 (Doctoral thesis credits ---if you have passed your Preliminary Oral Exam --- 36 in total are required).
Registration lasts through the first week of classes in each semester. There is a late fee charged after a certain date - see the Class Schedule. New students may go to 316 Johnston Hall to obtain registration materials. Detailed instructions are included. Alternatively, registration by computer is possible. However, all new students must have the ``advisor's block" removed before registering. Returning students obtain registration forms from each semester's Class Schedule.
Your registration form must be signed by your advisor - for new students this is the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). You then register at Fraser Hall, where you must pay all appropriate fees and where you will be given proof of registration and fee payment. Historically, there were numerous occasions both on and off campus when it was convenient to have your current fee statement (e.g., cashing checks at bursar's office, getting discounted tickets, etc.), but the University ID card is becoming more useful in this regard.
Students occasionally will have a hold placed on their registration, preventing them from registering until the cause of the hold has been addressed. The established criteria are:
a) GPA: your GPA has fallen below 2.8.
b) Incompletes: you have incompletes exceeding 6 credits.
c) You are overdue in submitting a degree program or thesis proposal.
Normally you will receive a warning the first semester the problem arises. The second semester your registration materials will be withheld and can be obtained in 316 Johnston Hall only after the reason for the hold is removed or the DGS has approved your continued registration.
The fee differential between "resident" and "non-resident" students is substantial. Regardless of your place of legal residency you are entitled to resident tuition rates if you are employed by the University at least 25 % of full time. (Most TA & RA appointments are at the 50 % level.) This also entitles members of your immediate family to resident rates. Otherwise, to obtain "legal" resident status as a student you must demonstrate that you came to Minnesota primarily for some purpose other than education.
Students on appointments of at least 25% full time get tuition rebates at a rate equal to two times their fractional appointment. For students who must pay, the tuition structure is complicated; you should obtain the official policies from the Graduate School.
Effective Fall 1997, graduate students holding assistantships will have tuition benefits capped at a maximum of 14 credits per semester during the academic year and 6 credits per term during the summer. Credits over 14 will be charged directly to any graduate student exceeding the cap.