Registration and Schedules - Graduate

Academic advising

Advising is a critical part of graduate education. It is important for each student to meet with their program director early in their studies to chart a plan of study. Program directors serve as the advisors in some programs; in other programs, advisors are assigned. Consulting with your advisor prior to each registration will reduce the possibility of enrolling in courses which do not meet your goals.

Registration process

The university has online registration via the WINGS Student Center. Registration for the winter and spring terms begins in November; summer registration begins a week before fall registration in early to mid-April. A student's enrollment date and time is located on his/her WINGS Student Center. The student may register at that assigned time or any time after, through the fifth day of classes (third day for a summer term) unless enrollment limits have been met. From the sixth to the tenth day of the semester, a student may register with approval from the instructor and/or department. The drop/add/change of schedule policy has more details on the deadlines for schedule changes.

The online Timetable and WINGS Class Search have complete instructions for registration and schedule changes after registration. The registration system will not permit a student to enroll in a class for which a prerequisite has not been completed, if there is a time conflict, if the class is closed, or if the additional credits will put the student's credit load over 18 credits for undergraduates or 15 credits for graduates. Some graduate programs require graduate students to register through their advisors instead of using the WINGS system. Course-related policies that affect registration, including the course repeat policy and the different modes of instruction, can be found in the course information section of the undergraduate and graduate catalogs.

Continuing students must have a zero balance on their accounts in order to register. In addition, all students are charged a non-refundable registration fee each term they register for one or more courses. The Cashier's Terms and Conditions Agreement covers this fee, and the exact amount is listed in the cost to attend UWL. If a student drops all classes before the term begins, the student is still responsible for this fee.

University drop/add/change of schedule policy

The period of time between a student’s initial registration for any term through the first 10 days of classes during an academic semester is considered to be the "drop/add/change of schedule" period. Classes shorter than the traditional full semester length offered during a semester or during an intersession have drop/add schedules that reflect deadlines pro-rated from a full semester based on the length of the class. 

Dropping a class

For schedule changes associated with dropping classes, neither the advisor's permission nor the instructor's permission is required during this period and a student may drop classes without affecting the permanent academic record. After the drop/add/change of schedule period, if a student withdraws from a course, the individual class withdrawal policy applies.

Adding a class

For schedule changes associated with adding courses, if the desired section is not closed, no permissions are needed during the first five days of classes for full semester courses. From the sixth day through the tenth day of classes for full semester courses, permission from the instructor is required and departmental permission may also be required. After the close of the add/drop/change of schedule period, classes cannot be added except in unusual cases and then only with the consent of the instructor, department chair, and the dean's office.

University class drops at an instructor's discretion policy

A student enrolled in any course is expected to be in attendance from the first day or to have notified the instructor or Student Life that attendance is not possible. A student registered in a section who fails to attend the first two class sessions or provide proper notification may be dropped from the course at the discretion of the instructor.

An instructor who wishes to drop a student from a course during the first five days of instruction should complete a drop/add form and submit it to the Office of Records and Registration during the "drop/add/change of schedule" period. A decision by an instructor to drop a student from a class may not be appealed to any other individual or body in the university. A student should not assume that an instructor will use the discretionary drop if the student does not attend class. It is a student’s responsibility to withdraw from a class.

Graduate student credit load policy

A recommended full-time load for a graduate student is 12 credits per semester. A maximum load is 15 credits per semester and nine credits during a 12-week summer session, with no more than six credits in a four-week summer session. (This applies to any combination of courses - all graduate or graduate/undergraduate.)

Students are considered full-time if enrolled for at least nine credits each semester and five semester credits during the summer term. Credit load requirements are different for students receiving financial aid during the summer. See the Financial Aid Office for more information.

A student may earn, as a maximum, the number of credits corresponding to the number of weeks in any interim session (i.e., a student may earn a maximum of three credits during winter intersession). Any request to carry more than the maximum allowable credits for a semester, summer term, or winter intersession must be submitted in writing with documented "extenuating circumstances." Requests must be approved by the student's graduate program director prior to enrollment (standard university overload approval process applies).

Graduate student credit load - international students

International Students: Both F-1 and J-1 student visa regulations require students to enroll full-time each fall and spring semester. Unless otherwise obligated by the requirements of their program or special circumstances, full-time enrollment for an undergraduate student is a minimum of 12 credits and for a graduate student it is a minimum of nine credits. Enrollment in summer classes is not required unless the initial entry document (I-20 or DS-2019) indicates the student is to begin a program in a summer session or required due to other circumstances. (See summer enrollment requirements for capstone continuation, graduate assistantships, and program progress.) Failure to maintain full-time status can result in loss of F-1/J-1 student benefits. International Education & Engagement (IEE) must authorize any exceptions to full-time enrollment. Permission by IEE to drop below full-time enrollment does not exempt an international student from meeting the enrollment requirement for assistantships.

Class attendance

Students are responsible to their respective instructors for all absences. If a student is absent an extended period of time (over one week), due to illness, family emergency, etc., the student should contact Student Life, 149 Graff Main Hall. That office will inform the instructors involved of the absence. This serves as notification only, not necessarily a formal excuse. It is the student's responsibility to contact each instructor for make-up work, etc. There is no "cut" system. University regulations prohibit excusing students and the dismissal of classes immediately preceding or immediately following scheduled vacation or recess periods except in cases of commonly recognized and extreme emergencies.


University audit policy

Students may audit courses under the following arrangements:

  1. Students must receive consent of the department chair and the instructor offering the course.
  2. No change from audit to credit will be permitted after the first week of classes. No change from credit to audit will be permitted after the official last day to drop a class. (See the individual class withdrawal policy for deadline details.)
  3. No credit will be granted for any course that is audited. "Audit" will appear on the student's permanent academic record. The "AS/AU" grading system is used for auditors. The grade will not affect a student's GPA.
  4. An audited course may be repeated for credit in another semester or term.
  5. Appropriate tuition and fees are to be paid for the course.
  6. Courses being audited are not usable to establish full-time or part-time status for any type of eligibility, such as for athletic participation, student grants/loans, or loan deferment.
  7. Courses being audited may not be taken in excess of student load limits for credit generating courses without special "overload" permission from the student's academic dean.
  8. A course previously completed for credit may be audited in another term.

University undergraduate enrollment in graduate courses policy

Undergraduate students with senior status (at least 90 credits) who have at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average, may enroll in a maximum of six graduate credits. These graduate level credits may not be used to satisfy requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Graduate Council.

Maximum student credit load for dual enrollment (graduate/undergraduate) is 15 credit hours for a semester and eight credit hours for a summer term (standard university overload approval process applies). 

Students must submit written permission from the course instructor and their advisor, along with a graduate special non-degree application, to the Admissions Office prior to registering for a graduate course. Undergraduate tuition and fees are charged. Students in dual-degree programs must complete the graduate program application process and pay graduate tuition fees. Students are expected to purchase texts for graduate courses.

Graduate research, comprehensive exams, and terminal project completion policy

The Graduate Council has approved a graduate research, comprehensive exams, and terminal project completion policy for students who are still working on required research, comprehensive exams, or terminal projects. The purpose of this policy is to provide continued access to university faculty, technology, facilities, and the library.

GRC 799 Continuous Registration (0 cr.) - For students with continuous registration

Once having completed all degree requirements1 in an approved program of study except for the thesis, seminar paper, comprehensive examination, or other culminating graduate projects, students must maintain continuous term-to-term enrollment (excluding winter intersession). Students meet this requirement by registering for GRC 799 for zero credits and paying a special course fee equal to the cost of one resident graduate credit.

  1. Students who require only one term after their regular coursework to complete their thesis or culminating project need to register for only for one (1) term of GRC 799.
  2. Students who need more than one (1) term after their regular coursework to complete their thesis or culminating project need to register for two and only two (2) continuous terms of GRC 799.
  3. Students who need more than two (2) terms after their regular coursework to complete their thesis or culminating project and who need continued access to university faculty, technology, facilities and the library must register for GRC 795 each term, excluding winter.
  4. Students must register for GRC 798 if they failed to register for GRC 799 in either of the two terms immediately following completion of their regular coursework. Instead they register for GRC 798.

Students must register for GRC 799 (Fall, Spring) immediately following completion of all coursework. Students register for GRC 799 only when they are not registered for any other credits. To maintain access to university resources (e.g. building access) during the summer, a student must be registered for GRC 799 for either that summer or the following fall. Repeatable - maximum two enrollments.

GRC 798 Interrupted Registration (0 cr.)  - For students with interrupted registration

This registration is required for students who failed to meet the University’s Graduate Research and Terminal Project Completion Policy (did not register for GRC 799 immediately upon completing all degree requirements in an approved program of study except for thesis, comprehensive examination, seminar paper, or other culminating project). In order to comply with the policy, students must register for GRC 798 for zero credits and pay a special course fee equal to the cost of three resident graduate credits. Prerequisite: approval by graduate program director and reentry to former academic program; approved reentry to the university.

GRC 795 Extended Continuous Registration (0 cr.) - For students who have enrolled twice in GRC 799

After completing two enrollments in GRC 799, students who are still actively engaged in research or writing and need to maintain access to university resources must continue term-to-term enrollment by registering for GRC 795 (Fall, Spring, Summer) for zero credits and paying a special course fee equal to 50% of the cost of one resident graduate credit. Enrollment in GRC 795 will provide the student with continued access to university email, library privileges, and buildings. Students register for GRC 795 only when they are not registered for any other credits. Repeatable - maximum 12 enrollments. Prerequisite: two semesters of GRC 799.

 Graduate thesis and dissertation committee policy

Students should select at least three members to their thesis or dissertation committee, but they can select more. All of the members of the committee must hold graduate faculty status at UWL. Each student should select a faculty member from the student’s department of study to serve as the chairperson of the thesis or dissertation committee. A minimum of at least one more committee member must be from the student’s department, unless the student is enrolled in the Student Affairs Administration and Leadership Ed.D (SAA Ed.D.) Graduate Program. SAA Ed.D. students may have committees with a single representative of the department (i.e., the committee chairperson). It is highly encouraged that at least one member of the committee be from outside the student’s department.

Additional information regarding thesis and dissertation completion can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies website.