Graduate Advisement and Registration Policies & Procedures


Document TitleGraduate Advisement and Registration Policies & Procedures
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A faculty advisor is assigned to each accepted graduate student according to his/her program of study. Students should consult their advisors as soon as possible and prior to the initial registration to ensure appropriate enrollment. Students should meet with their advisors regularly thereafter to discuss the progress of their studies, and the advisor should approve the student's overall program. Registration instructions will be available to students online and as a part of their acceptance information. Students must register during the time periods listed in the university calendar ( to avoid a late registration fee.

Graduate students must maintain continuous enrollment status to be eligible for registration in subsequent semesters. Continuous enrollment status is defined as either currently registered for course work or on approved academic leave. Graduate students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment must apply for reinstatement to their degree program.

Full and Part-Time Status

Fredonia generally recommends a full-time academic course load of 9 graduate-level credit hours per semester. Course load varies by degree program. Graduate assistants may be categorized as full-time students with a course load of 6 credit hours per semester. Some state and federal financial aid programs require recipients to register for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester (or a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester if recipient is a graduate assistant) to maintain funding. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office for details and personalized counseling.

Academic Credit and Course Load

Unit of Academic Credit

The State University of New York at Fredonia defines the credit hour in accordance with United States Department of Education regulations, USDE Guidelines for Preparing/Reviewing Petitions and Compliance Reports, January 2012, p. 74.

Credit hour: A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than-

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or 10 to 12 weeks for one-quarter hour of credit, or equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Course Load

The maximum course load for a full-time graduate student is 15 credit hours per semester during the academic year, 6 credit hours in each summer session, and 4 credit hours during J-Term. Graduate assistants normally carry a course load of 6 to 9 semester hours during the fall and spring. These limits may be waived; please contact the Graduate Studies Office for more information at

Graduate Course Numbers

Graduate courses at Fredonia are numbered 500-599 and 600-699. Under exceptional circumstances, a maximum of 6 credit hours of advanced undergraduate-level courses may be allowed. Prior permission is required prior to the student's enrollment in the course. Undergraduate courses previously taken in the major area of specialization will not receive graduate credit.

With prior approval, qualified undergraduates may enroll in a limited number of graduate-level courses, either for credit to be applied to their undergraduate programs or toward a Fredonia graduate program they enter at a later time. In the latter case, a student will be charged the difference between undergraduate and graduate tuition when the credit is applied to the graduate transcript.

Schedule Changes

Changes in student class schedules generally require the completion of a drop/add form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the signature(s) of the instructor(s) of the affected courses. Forms must be filed in the Office of the Registrar by published deadlines ( Dropped courses will be removed from the student's permanent record. A fee will be assessed for any course adjustment made after the published deadline.

Course Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw from a course may do so starting in the second week of the semester until the seventh full week of the semester. A 'WC' grade will be entered for the course. Course withdrawal requires the approval of the student's advisor or major department chairperson. The withdrawal grade will be recorded on the student's permanent record but will not be counted in the student's quality point average.

Exact dates for the drop/withdrawal period apply to all full-semester courses and are always available online (

Academic Leave of Absence

Academic Leave is defined as an appropriate, approved period of non-enrollment during a graduate student's degree program. Academic Leave will only be considered after a student has completed a minimum of one semester of graduate course work.

Students must apply to their academic departments for a one- or two-semester academic leave. Student who do not obtain permission from the department for an academic leave will be deemed inactive at the end of one non-enrolled semester and will be required to apply for reinstatement. Students approved for an academic leave will not be required to apply for reinstatement.

Withdrawal from Program

The university reserves the right to require any student who does not maintain minimum academic standards, or who is not in good academic standing, to withdraw. Graduate students who find it necessary to leave the university before the end of a semester must officially withdraw from Fredonia through the Graduate Studies Office using the form available in the forms section of the Graduate Studies website.

Students may withdraw for any reason up to a period of three weeks prior to the end of the semester. Students will be permitted to withdraw during the final three weeks of the semester only due to illness or other appropriate reasons as determined by the Office of Student Affairs. Failure to follow the required procedure may prejudice the right to an honorable dismissal and jeopardize any refunds. As a rule, all students should check with the Office of Financial Aid prior to withdrawing from the University. Those enrolled in any federal veterans' benefits program must also notify the Veterans Affairs Office of their withdrawal.

Students who withdraw during a semester may be eligible for certain refunds. For more information, students should contact the Student Accounts office at (716) 673-3236 or email


Students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment status and have not been granted approval to take an academic leave will be considered inactive at the end of one non-enrolled semester and must apply for reinstatement to their degree program.

Reinstatement applications are available in the forms section of the Graduate Studies website.


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