5. Enrollment and Registration

5.1- Continuous Enrollment Policy

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences adheres to a continuous enrollment policy, which means that students must register every fall and spring semester until graduation in order to remain matriculated in their respective M.A., M.S., Ph.D., and certificate programs. Master's, doctoral, and certificate students intending to graduate in August must register for the summer prior to graduation if not otherwise registered for coursework in order to maintain continuous enrollment. The appropriate registration for the latter is called Requirement Prep in Summer (see §5.3- Registration Procedures and Special Categories).

Students are considered registered when they are enrolled in coursework, registered for comprehensive exams or preparation, registered for thesis or dissertation-related activities (e.g., proposal development, proposal acceptance, or dissertation direction), or when registered for Maintenance of Matriculation. The only exception to the requirement of continuous enrollment is when a student has been granted an approved leave of absence (see §5.1.3- Leave of Absence).

5.1.1- Non-Registration

Matriculated students who are not on an approved leave of absence and/or who do not register for two consecutive semesters are automatically withdrawn from GSAS without notice.

Students who have been dismissed due to non-registration and who wish to continue their education at GSAS must apply for readmission by submitting an online application, must secure the approval of their department chairperson or program director, and must receive the approval of the dean. Readmission is not guaranteed.

5.1.2- Maintenance of Matriculation

Students may register for Maintenance of Matriculation to retain continuous enrollment at GSAS while away from the University and/or not using University resources, including both faculty and facilities (e.g., library, laboratories, computing technology, online research platforms), and is typically used when a student chooses to spend time away from the University (e.g., in order to take advantage of an employment opportunity).

Time spent registered under Maintenance of Matriculation is counted toward a student's time limit for the completion of her/his degree, and is charged to the student as a 0.5 credit fee. Students who are registered for Maintenance of Matriculation may not be certified as full time (see §5.2- Full-Time Status Certification).

Maintenance of Matriculation may not be used while a student is in the process of preparing a requirement: for example, when studying in preparation for the comprehensive exams or when completing a dissertation during the summer prior to graduation. In these cases, Requirement Prep or Requirement Prep in Summer should be used.

5.1.3- Leave of Absence

Students who encounter circumstances that prevent their continuous enrollment may request a leave of absence through their department chairperson or program director. To request a leave of absence, a student must submit the leave of absence form to the appropriate departmental/program contact two weeks prior to the start of the term, indicating the reason for the request. Late requests for a leave of absence cannot be accepted. A leave of absence is typically granted only for extraordinary personal reasons outside the student's control that prevent involvement in graduate studies (e.g., serious medical problems). For occasions such as outside employment opportunities, students should instead register for Maintenance of Matriculation. 

A leave of absence will not normally be granted for more than one year, but under extraordinary circumstances may be extended for up to one additional year. A leave greater than two academic years will be considered only when the time period requested is inherent to the activity (e.g., a three-year term of active military duty) and must be stated at the time of the request.

Time spent on a leave of absence counts toward time limits for the completion of a degree, and will therefore not be granted to students whose time limits expire during the period of their leave. If a student requests a leave of absence as a result of being called to active military duty, time spent on leave does not count toward time limits.

Students on academic probation may be granted a leave of absence only on the condition that they correct their academic difficulties during the semester of their return to the University. Departments may recommend additional conditions for a leave of absence whenever a student is on academic probation.

When requesting a leave of absence, students should complete the appropriate Leave of Absence Form, located on the GSAS Student Forms page, and specify the reason and the time period involved.

Students requesting a medical leave of absence should complete the appropriate Leave of Absence Form, and include a doctor's note indicating they are under a doctor's care. Departments will forward the request, and its recommendation, to the dean, who will grant, deny, or modify the recommendation. If the request is approved, the dean will inform the student, the department chairperson, the program director, the Office of Enrollment Services, and the University Reentry team (for medical leaves). The student will then be administratively registered for Leave of Absence. There is no charge for this registration.

Students on a medical leave of absence may be required to complete the University reentry process prior to their return and should familiarize themselves with the deadlines and procedures noted on the University Reentry webpage.

5.1.4- Withdrawal

Students in good standing may voluntarily withdraw from the University by completing the University Withdrawal form published on the GSAS Student Forms page. Students should send the completed form to their department or program; the department or program will then forward it to GSAS for approval.

Veteran students should be aware that if they are using any military education benefit, withdrawal from the University (which may involve withdrawal from classes) may create a debt with the VA, their Service Branch, or Fordham. Before withdrawing from the University, such students should consult with the VA Certifying Officials in the Office of Academic Records.

A student who has withdrawn voluntarily who wishes to be reinstated in the graduate school must apply for readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed.

5.1.5- Readmission

Students dismissed for failure to make satisfactory academic progress or to maintain satisfactory academic performance (see §7.4- GSAS Standards for Satisfactory Academic Performance and Satisfactory Academic Progress; Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)), for failure of comprehensive exams (see §7.6- Comprehensive Exams), or for an academic integrity violation may not reapply.

Students who have withdrawn voluntarily may apply for readmission by submitting an online admission application. In addition, they should direct their inquiries to the department chair or program director; however, the decision to readmit is a prerogative of the dean.

Readmitted students must meet the current norms of the department, and they must include a plan of study (including a timetable) to meet the program's current requirements as a part of their application. Additional conditions for readmission may be imposed by the dean in consultation with the department chairperson or program director and/or may follow from policies found elsewhere in this guidebook.

If a student intends to use any courses, examinations, or requirements from her/his original matriculation as contribution toward these requirements, the time limits from their prior matriculation will apply (see §7.3- Time Limit on Completion of Degree). If they are unable to fulfill the requirements for graduation within these original time limits, a request for an extension must be included at the time of reapplication for admission.

5.2- Full-Time Status Certification

To be certified as full time, students must be registered for their program's full-time equivalent each semester (see Appendix D: Full Time and Half Time Program Requirements for full time equivalency by program).

With the recommendation of the department or program, students taking less than the full-time equivalent of coursework may be certified as full time by virtue of registration for other statuses which qualify as meeting, partially or fully, the requirements for full-time certification. For example, a student who is in the process of studying for comprehensive exams or who is serving as a teaching fellow will typically qualify as full time. Students who wish to be certified as full time while not enrolled in the full-time equivalent of coursework must complete the Matriculated Student Status Certification form available at the GSAS Student Forms page. The granting of full-time status is not guaranteed.

Students engaged in dissertation research who wish to be considered full time must enroll in either Dissertation Mentoring or Dissertation Direction, be certified by their mentor as working full time on a dissertation, and not be employed outside the University more than 10 hours per week.

All students receiving funding or tuition scholarships from the University must be full-time students, and they may forfeit their future eligibility for funding if they fail to maintain full-time status while continuing to receive funding. Students who are registered for Maintenance of Matriculation or who are on academic probation for any reason may not be certified as full time. The only exception to this full-time requirement is the Ricci Tuition Scholarship, which is available to part-time students in the International Political Economy and Development (IPED) program, and the Mayor's Scholarship, which is available to City of New York employees.

Students should be aware that less than full-time status affects eligibility for GSAS funding, while less than half-time status affects eligibility for federal funding and for deferment of past federal student loans. Please refer to the University Financial Aid Office page for more information.

5.3- Registration Procedures and Special Categories

Registration materials are provided by the Office of Enrollment Services. Dates for registration are published on the GSAS Academic Calendar as well as on the my.fordham.edu University portal, under the student tab.

Course listings for each department can be found at the top of the home page of my.fordham.edu.

Students should consult with their department or program adviser in planning their course of study. An advising hold is placed on all students each semester until the department or program adviser approves course selections, at which time the department or program adviser removes the hold and students are able to complete registration via the my.fordham.edu University portal.

It is the student's responsibility to bring any questions they may have about the registration process to the department or program. Failure to register during the proper registration periods (usually late in the preceding semester) can result in miscalculation of funding or tuition scholarships, ineligibility for student housing and loans, and/or cancellation of courses due to low enrollment. Students are encouraged to complete their registration before final exams of the semester preceding the semester for which they are registering and according to the registration deadline noted on the GSAS Academic Calendar. Students who register late will be charged a late registration fee.

5.3.1- Registration Process for Master's Students

Certain master's programs require students to pass comprehensive examinations as part of their degree requirements. Students must register for Requirement Prep if they are studying for comprehensive examinations during semesters in which they are not enrolled in coursework or actually taking comprehensive examinations. Students are not required to register for Requirement Prep if they are studying for comprehensive examinations while registered under any other status, or if enrolled in coursework while studying.

Master's students working on a master's research paper, project, or thesis during a fall or spring semester must register for Requirement Prep or an equivalent status established for this purpose, according to their program guidelines. If such work is carried out during the summer, students register for Requirement Prep in Summer or the equivalent, according to program guidelines.

Biological Sciences students engaged in master's-level research register for BISC 6999 Research for M.S. in Biological Sciences. In the semester of their M.S. Thesis defense, students register for BISC 0900 M.S. Thesis Defense.

5.3.2- Registration Process for Comprehensive Examinations and Beyond for Doctoral Students (Except Biological Sciences)

Doctoral students who have finished coursework must register for a series of statuses during the process of taking comprehensive examinations, developing a dissertation proposal, and completing dissertation research. Credits associated with these registrations do not count toward the total number of credits required for graduation. The prefix for these registrations is in all cases that of the student's department or program:

  • XXXX 0912 Requirement Prep (fee equivalent of 1 credit)
  • XXXX 0914 Requirement Prep in Summer (fee equivalent of .5 credit)
  • XXXX 0930 Doctoral Comprehensive (fee equivalent of 1 credit)
  • XXXX 0950 Proposal Development (fee equivalent of 1 credit)
  • XXXX 0960 Proposal Acceptance (fee equivalent of 3 credits)
  • XXXX 0970 Dissertation Mentoring (fee equivalent of 3 credits)
  • XXXX 9999 Dissertation Direction (fee equivalent of 1 credit)
  • XXXX 0910 Maintenance of Matriculation (fee equivalent of .5 credit)

Step I: Requirement Prep and Doctoral Comprehensive

Doctoral students are required to take and pass a comprehensive examination within two semesters of completing coursework. If the student does not pass the comprehensive examination within four semesters after completing coursework, the student may be dismissed from the program. If the student fails doctoral comprehensive examinations twice, the second failure is considered final and the student is dismissed from the program.

Students who are studying for comprehensive examinations while still completing coursework do not need to register for any special status; however, if they are neither registered for coursework nor taking comprehensive examinations during the semester in question, they must register for Requirement Prep.

During the semester in which comprehensive examinations are actually taken, students will register for Requirement Prep. Once the grade has been approved by the dean, GSAS will change the Requirement Prep registration to Doctoral Comprehensive.

Students who fail the comprehensive exam must register for Doctoral Comprehensive again in the semester in which the examination is actually retaken. If the student wishes to study for a full semester in preparation for the exam, they should register for Requirement Prep. The fees for these repeat registrations are the same as they are for first-time candidates.

Step II: Proposal Development and Proposal Acceptance

After passing the comprehensive examination, students have up to two semesters to develop a dissertation proposal and have it approved by the department or program. Students may be dismissed for failure to make academic progress if their proposal is not approved within four semesters, and they will automatically be placed on academic probation if proposal approval is not secured at least five semesters before the close of degree time limits (see §7.4- GSAS Standards for Satisfactory Academic Performance and Satisfactory Academic Progress; Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)).

For all departments other than Psychology, immediately after passing the comprehensive examination, students must register for Proposal Development. They are required to register for Proposal Development each semester until the proposal is approved by the department or program.

For the Psychology Department, students will demonstrate continuous enrollment either by registering for Proposal Development or another degree relevant course.

During the semester in which the student's proposal is accepted, and when a Dissertation Title Approval form is approved by the dean, the dean's office changes the student's registration from Proposal Development to Proposal Acceptance. Proposal Development is then dropped, and students are charged only for the 3 credits of Proposal Acceptance.

Step III: Dissertation Mentoring and Dissertation Direction

Following the acceptance of a dissertation proposal, students begin the process of dissertation research and composition under the guidance of a mentor.

For all departments other than Psychology, during the first semester after Proposal Acceptance students are automatically registered for Dissertation Mentoring. After one semester of Dissertation Mentoring, students must register for Dissertation Direction. They must continue to do so each fall and spring semester up to and including the fall or spring semester in which the oral defense of the dissertation is completed. Students defending their dissertation during the summer will be registered for Dissertation Defense by GSAS upon receipt of the defense notification.

For the Psychology Department, other than Clinical Psychology, students register for Dissertation Direction the semester after the proposal has been accepted and every semester until their progress report meeting. At that time, Dissertation Direction is changed to Dissertation Mentoring.

For students in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (CPDP), continuous enrollment while on internship will be demonstrated by registering in Clinical Psychology Internship (PSYC 8080). During the semester of their progress report meeting, students will be registered for Dissertation Mentoring in addition to any other required enrollment.

Step IV: Dissertation Presentation and Graduation

If, after completing the oral defense, additional registrations are required in order to maintain continuous enrollment before the dissertation can be presented to the dean, students must register for Dissertation Direction during the fall or spring semester. Students defending their dissertation during the summer will be registered for Dissertation Defense by GSAS upon receipt of the defense notification. Students requiring additional registrations before presenting a dissertation should not register for Maintenance of Matriculation.

Maintenance of Matriculation

Students who are away from the University without an approved leave of absence must register for Maintenance of Matriculation. This registration may not be used when the student is using University resources (for example, consulting faculty or using Fordham's technological resources and/or the library). (See §5.1.2 Maintenance of Matriculation).

5.3.3- Registration Process for Comprehensive Examinations and Beyond for Doctoral Students in Biological Sciences

Students in Biological Sciences are required to consult with the program director, who is their academic advisor, prior to any registration. All Biological Sciences students will complete the two-year course sequence also required for the M.S. in Biological Sciences and take the M.S. Comprehensive exam BISC 0936 Master's Comprehensive Examination-Biology, usually during the fall of the second year. Students who have completed coursework and passed the M.S. comprehensive exam must register for BISC 7999 Research for Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, and must continue to register for BISC 7999 until 30 research credits are completed. Biological Sciences students will register for BISC 0950 Proposal Development in the first semester they register for BISC 7999.

Biological Sciences students will take their oral doctoral comprehensive examination as part of their dissertation proposal defense. It is expected to be accepted within four semesters of completing coursework but cannot be attempted before the completion of the course phase. The dean's office will register students for BISC 0930 PhD Comprehensive Examination-Biology and BISC 0960 Proposal Acceptance for the semester in which their doctoral comprehensive exam has been passed and the dissertation proposal is successfully completed. The dean's office will register students for BISC 0970 Dissertation Mentoring- Biological Sciences in the semester after the proposal is accepted. In subsequent semesters, students should register for BISC 9999 Dissertation Direction, only if the 30 credits in BISC 7999 have been completed, and until their dissertation oral defense has been passed. 

5.3.4- Registration Changes

With departmental or program approval, and in accordance with dates specified in the GSAS Academic Calendar, students may add or drop courses without incurring the grade of W (Withdrawal). Students wishing to add or drop a class after the add/drop deadline must submit the course withdrawal/late registration form on my.fordham.edu to make any changes to their course registrations. Registration changes after the add/drop deadline may carry penalties as communicated in the University Institutional Refund Policy and in accordance with the GSAS Academic Calendar

After the appropriate approvals are obtained, the course withdrawal/late registration form will be submitted directly to the Office of Academic Records and the schedule changes will be made. Note that dropping a course may affect federal loan eligibility, and part of received loan monies may have to be returned if the cost of attendance is reduced.

Veteran students should be aware that if they are using any military education benefit, withdrawal from a class may create a debt with the VA, their Service Branch, or Fordham. Before withdrawing from a class, such students should consult with the VA Certifying Officials in the Office of Academic Records.

Students will not be permitted to delete courses after the add/drop deadline, and they will instead incur a grade of W (Withdrawal) or WF (Withdrawal Fail) if they opt to remove themselves from a course. Students will incur a grade of WF (Withdrawal Fail) if they withdraw from courses after the date specified in the GSAS Academic Calendar (approximately one week before the last final examination of the semester). Please note that this policy applies even in cases where withdrawal is made necessary for medical reasons, and that students withdrawing from courses remain responsible for tuition and fees according to the University Institutional Refund Policy.

5.3.5- Tutorials

Matriculated students in good academic standing who have completed at least 8 credits of coursework or the equivalent may register for a tutorial to supplement regularly scheduled courses. Tutorials are not normally approved for students on academic probation. Students must complete the Graduate Tutorial Request form (available on GSAS Student Forms page) and obtain approval of the instructor, department chairperson, and the dean. Tutorial request forms are submitted to enrollment services upon approval to complete the registration process.

Tutorials supervised by a faculty member outside of the student's home department or to a student in an interdisciplinary program require approval by the appropriate department chairpersons or program directors. Tutorials are not normally approved where substantial overlap occurs with a current GSAS course offering, and these tutorials may substitute for required courses only in exceptional circumstances. A request for substitution must be stated on the Tutorial Request Form, and a separate, written rationale for the substitution must accompany the form. Only in exceptional cases will students be allowed to register for more than one tutorial per semester.

5.3.6- Audits of Non-Language Courses

Students who audit courses are not required to take the final examination, prepare class assignments, or write term papers. No letter grade is given, but the transcript shows Audit for the course unless the instructor rules that the Audit is not warranted on the basis of attendance. In such a case, the course will not appear on the student's transcript.

Doctoral candidates who have completed the coursework required for their degree and who are registered for proposal development or dissertation direction may audit one course each semester without charge, with approval of the dean. Department advisers may require that such courses be taken for credit if deemed important to the student's academic development. Some courses (e.g., laboratory or seminar courses) are not open for auditing.

Students registered for a credit-bearing course may change their status to that of an auditor with the written approval of the department chairperson or program director and the dean, in accordance with GSAS Academic Calendar deadlines. Students who do not change their status to that of an auditor and are absent from the final examination without a satisfactory reason will receive an ABS for the course. Unless the ABS grade is changed to a letter grade by the deadline specified in the GSAS Academic Calendar, it is automatically changed to F.

In no case will an audit course be changed into a credit course after the last day for adding courses, as defined in the GSAS Academic Calendar.

Students who audit courses must pay full tuition for them. Students may make a special request to the dean to use University tuition scholarships to cover tuition for audited courses, but such requests are very rarely granted.

The University extends the privilege of auditing courses to scholars with Ph.D. degrees from Fordham and other universities. Applications for audits by scholars should be made by submitting a Non-Matriculated Application through the GSAS Admissions Department, who will then obtain the dean's approval. There will be a charge for general and technology fees. Please see the GSAS Tuition and Fees page for the current fee schedule. If an individual wishes to receive credit for the course, they must pay related fees and tuition for course credit.

5.3.7- GSAS Zero-Credit Undergraduate Language Study

GSAS students in good standing may request permission to register in an undergraduate language course offered by the Department of Modern Languages or Classics Department in the fall or spring semesters (summer courses are not currently covered by this policy). GSAS registrants will be accommodated only after all undergraduates have been placed into courses, and they will be allowed to register only with permission of the instructor. GSAS students may be asked to take a placement test before being assigned to a section. No language course with more than 15 undergraduate students will accommodate GSAS registrants, and no more than 20 GSAS students will be accepted in any given semester. If there are more applicants than seats available, priority will be given to students who need language skills to complete degree requirements, such as dissertation research or language exams (the latter applies only to languages other than French and German, since these languages offer graduate reading courses specifically designed with this goal in mind). GSAS students will complete all course requirements, including written work, exams, and daily class preparation. Students' work will be graded SAT/UNSAT, and they will sign an agreement indicating that they will complete these tasks. GSAS students are charged only a $100 language fee per semester for these 0-credit registrations; the fee is not covered by any GSAS tuition scholarships or award. Interested students should submit the 0-Credit Language Study Application (available at GSAS Student Forms page).

5.3.8- Undergraduates in Graduate Courses

Undergraduate seniors with an adequate grade point average are allowed to register in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for 5000-level courses. Undergraduates can take up to 3 graduate courses in total while undergraduates, with the permission of the director of graduate studies and their senior class dean.

Students should contact the chairperson or program director for information about how to register for 5000-level graduate courses. Undergraduate registration in 6000-level courses is not normally approved.

5.3.9- Graduates in Undergraduate Courses

Graduate students may not take undergraduate courses for graduate credit. Occasionally, undergraduate courses may be taken to meet language requirements (see §7.5 Language Requirements), but these credits do not count toward coursework requirements.
Graduate students may, in some circumstances, attend undergraduate courses as part of a tutorial, but they must register for a graduate-level tutorial (see §5.3.5 Tutorials) and complete graduate-level work, as determined by the course instructor.

5.3.10- Intercampus Registration

Students who wish to register for courses offered by other Fordham graduate schools (Graduate School of Education (GSE); Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE); Graduate School of Social Service (GSS); Gabelli, and the Fordham School of Law) can do so without special authorization from GSAS. Permission from the department or program, however, is still required, and students should consult with their departmental adviser before registering for classes at other Fordham graduate schools for clarification on the application of any credits awarded to their degree.

Students who wish to register for graduate-level courses offered by Fordham graduate schools must obtain written permission from their program director and forward the permission to the appropriate assistant dean at the intercampus school for registration approval and processing.

5.3.11- Consortium: Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC)

Students who wish to register for courses through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) must be matriculated in a GSAS doctoral program and must have completed at least one year of full-time doctoral study before taking a consortium course.

Typically, graduate students may take only one consortium course each semester and departments have the right to limit the type of courses and total number of credits taken through the consortium. Other participating universities may place additional restrictions on consortium enrollment. Courses may not be taken through the consortium in the summer.

For consortium courses, grading follows the system of the host institution and grades earned for consortium courses are not calculated into a student's GSAS cumulative GPA (see §6. Grades). Upon completion of consortium courses, students must obtain an official record of their grades and submit them to the dean's office; failure to do so may result in not receiving credit for the course.

Deadlines for making Consortium course changes (e.g., add, drop, or changes of grade type) are governed by both the GSAS Academic Calendar as well as host institution deadlines.

To register for consortium courses, students must use the IUDC Registration Form (available at GSAS Student Forms) and obtain all necessary signatures. It is then the student's responsibility to return a copy of the signed form to the dean's office. Upon approval, students will be registered for Consortium Registration. Audits are normally not approved for IUDC courses.

Students pay Fordham tuition for consortium courses; these charges are included in the regular bursar bill.

5.4- Refunds

The refund of tuition and fee payments, or the cancellation of charges incurred for tuition, fees, or housing are based on schedules issued by enrollment services and published on the Fordham Admissions and Financial Aid website. The fee schedule is based on University policy and is not within the purview of any department or program, or of the dean's office.

Amounts refunded or canceled are based on the date of withdrawal from courses or other registrations. If students have evidence that withdrawal from a course occurred on a date different from that indicated in official University records, the student may contest the official charges by writing to the dean's office.