III.1. Graduate Student Registration
III.2. Definition of Full Time & Half Time Registration
III.3. Continuing Registration Requirements
III.4. Minimum Academic Load
III.5. Maximum Academic Load
III.6. Leave of Absence
III.7. Registration at Other Institutions
1. Graduate Student Registration
A graduate student will report to the advisor specified in the acceptance letter and thereafter will follow the registration procedure for all SD Mines students. The advisor is responsible for counseling the graduate student with respect to programmatic requirements until the student has selected a major professor. In some programs, the advisor may continue to work with the student and the major professor to ensure that all degree requirements have been satisfied.
2. Definition of Full Time and Half Time Registration
A full time graduate student is defined as a student registered for 9 or more credit hours per semester at any of the universities in the South Dakota regental system during the academic year. All international students must be registered full-time to maintain student status with the U.S. government.
A three quarter time graduate student is defined as a student registered for at least 7 credits but fewer than 9 credit hours per semester during the academic year.
A half time graduate student is defined as a student registered for at least 4.5 credits and fewer than 7 credit hours per semester during the academic year.
2 credits are considered full-time during the summer for Office of Graduate Education purposes, including awarding assistantships and fellowships.
Audited credits do not apply toward the above definitions. Remedial English classes and deficiency courses count toward the determination of full-time status.
3. Continuing Registration Requirements
Degree-seeking thesis-MS and PhD graduate students must be registered on a continuing basis during each fall and spring semester. The number of credits required is specified in the next section, GEP III.4. Minimum Academic Load. This requirement applies regardless of whether the graduate student is in residence, is off-campus, or is pursuing a degree on a part time basis. Failure to maintain continuing registration will result in deactivation of the graduate student’s program. Students may petition for a leave of absence if they are unable to fulfill the continuing registration requirement (See section GEP III.6. Leave of Absence). Graduate students who have been deactivated for non-registration and subsequently wish to return to their same program of study will be required to obtain written permission from the department head or program coordinator and the dean of graduate education and may be required to reapply.
Graduate non-thesis MS students and non-degree seeking (special) students are exempt from the continuing registration policy. Students intending to sit out a semester should notify the department head and Graduate Office of their absence and intended return date. Students returning after a period of non-registration lasting longer than one calendar year require the approval of the department head or program coordinator to resume the program. Note that students declare a non-thesis degree by filing a program of study; students without an approved program of study on file are still subject to the continuing registration policy requirement.
International students are not eligible for a leave of absence or non-registration period if they intend to remain in the United States during the break in registration.
4. Minimum Academic Load for Thesis-MS and PhD Students
Degree seeking thesis-MS and PhD graduate students must enroll for a minimum of 2 credits during the spring and fall semesters. These students must also register for a minimum of 2 credits during the summer if they are using departmental or institutional resources or are graduating in the summer semester. Minimum registration is required during any semester in which a student schedules or takes exams, conducts research, defends a thesis/dissertation, or completes a degree. The number of credit hours taken in excess of the minimum should accurately reflect the extent of the graduate student’s coursework and research activities.
Thesis-MS and PhD graduate students must meet this minimum registration requirement during the specific semester or summer in which they complete all requirements for their degree and become eligible for graduation. If a student fails to complete all requirements for graduation at the end of a semester there will be no grace period. Hence students who fail to complete all degree requirements prior to the official closure date for a given semester or summer will be required to register for a minimum of 2 credits during a subsequent semester or summer in order to graduate.
International students should consult the Ivanhoe International Center for information about minimum registration requirements.
Please refer to section GEP II.2. Assistantships with Tuition and Support for additional information on the number of credit hours required during a semester to be eligible for assistantships and financial aid.
5. Maximum Academic Load
Thirteen (13) credit hours per semester are considered to be the maximum graduate load. Higher loads must be approved by the dean of graduate education and the major professor. Students wishing to take a higher course load must complete a course overload request form. Appropriate course loads should be determined in conjunction with the advisor or major professor and should reflect the effort required for students working as GTAs or GRAs.
6. Leave of Absence
A thesis-MS or PhD student who is unable to continue his/her program of graduate study due to unanticipated circumstances may request a leave of absence from his/her program of study by completing and submitting a request for leave of absence form, available on the graduate education website. The form must be completed and signed by the student, the student’s major professor, and the department head or program coordinator; then it is submitted to the Office of Graduate Education. The dean of graduate education will evaluate the request and either approve or deny it. If the request is approved, the student will not be subject to continuing registration, and the leave of absence will not count toward the time limits to complete his/her program of study. A leave of absence is determined on a semester basis and is usually limited to a maximum of one calendar year. International students are not eligible for a leave of absence if they intend to remain in the U.S. during the leave of absence.
Non-thesis students are not eligible to file a leave of absence, but they may petition for an extension of the time limit, if needed, as provided in GEP IV.7. Time Limitation for Graduate Degrees .
7. Registration at Other Institutions
Definitions: Regental institutions are universities under the authority of the South Dakota Board of Regents. Institutional credits are those offered by the institution granting the degree and must comprise at least 60% of any graduate degree.
- Registration for credits at non-regental institutions does not count toward the continuing registration requirement (GEP III.3) or toward the minimum registration requirement for an assistantship (GEP II.2 ).
- If an SD Mines program has a formal collaborative agreement with another regental institution, then the credits within the program offered by the other institution are considered in the same category as “institutional credits” offered by the institution granting the degree, and such credits count toward the 60% institutional credit requirement (GEP VI.4.f ), the SD Mines continuing registration requirement (GEP III.3), and the minimum registration for an assistantship (GEP II.2 ). Such credits may also be double-counted by students in accelerated Master’s programs (GEP IV.2 ). Programs in this category include the joint MS/PhD in Biomedical Engineering with the University of South Dakota, the joint MS/PhD in Physics with the University of South Dakota, and the joint PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with South Dakota State University.
- Registration for credits at another regental institution can be counted towards the SD Mines continuing registration requirement (GEP III.3) if the credits are part of an approved program of study and the student’s advisor or major professor requests a waiver of the continuing registration policy for any semester in which the student is not enrolled in at least two credits at SD Mines. A student should ensure that his/her program of study is approved and on file in the graduate office well in advance of requesting a waiver. Requests are made to the dean of graduate education.
- Registration for credits at another regental institution can be counted towards the SD Mines minimum registration for an assistantship (GEP II.2 ) if the credits are part of an approved program of study and if at least 50% of the credits for the semester are being taken at SD Mines.
- Graduate courses taken at other regental institutions are automatically included on the student’s SD Mines graduate transcript and do not need to be transferred in. However, in the absence of a formal collaborative program agreement, such courses are not counted as institutional credits, are counted against the total number of transfer credits allowed for a degree (GEP VI.4.f ), and may not be used toward an accelerated Master’s program.