Published: April 2, 2020

Photo Graduate School Dean E. Scott AdlerDear graduate students:

Due to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School is adjusting the summer 2020 registration requirement for eligible students who were initially planning to graduate in spring 2020 and now need extra time to defend their dissertations and take their final examinations.  

Defense/Final Examination Registration Requirement

Graduate School registration policy requires that students be registered full time during the semester they defend their theses and dissertations or take their final examinations; this one-time adjustment of this requirement applies to eligible students. Eligible students are those who have completed all required coursework credit hours and  dissertation hours (minimum 30 for PhD students) and who were originally planning to defend their dissertations or take their final examinations during the spring 2020 semester.

Eligible domestic students will not be required to register in summer to meet the registration requirement.*

Eligible international students with F-1 or J-1 visa status must register for at least one dissertation hour, a reduction from the five credits normally required, to meet federal immigration status requirements. International students should discuss these graduation and registration requirements with their ISSS advisor.

Deadlines and Summer/Fall Graduation Planning

Students now planning to have their degrees awarded this summer need to meet the posted August graduation deadlines. Students planning to do their defense after the posted August graduation deadlines but before the fall 2020 semester begins need to apply to have the degree awarded in December.

Eligible students, as defined above, who pass their dissertation defense before the fall 2020 semester begins will not be required to register for fall.* This applies only to students who have completed all required coursework credit and dissertation hours. Eligible international students who registered for 1 dissertation hour in summer 2020, as explained above, should discuss these graduation and registration requirements with their ISSS advisor.

Comprehensive Examination Registration Requirement 

Graduate School registration policy requires that students be registered during the semester they pass their comprehensive examination. This registration requirement will be adjusted such that students who were planning to take the comprehensive examination in spring 2020 and now need to complete this milestone in summer 2020 will not be required to register in summer to meet the registration requirement.*

To help students understand these requirements, we encourage you to work closely with your graduate program assistant and advisor, and contact us at the Graduate School, gradinfo@colorado.edu, for additional information.

Thank you for your flexibility and perseverance as we navigate these challenging times together. Be sure to check the CU Boulder coronavirus updates and resources page and the Graduate School’s FAQs for the most current information.

Sincerely,

E. Scott Adler
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs

*While the Graduate School is adjusting the registration requirement in these cases, it is important to be aware that those who are not registered in any given semester are not considered currently enrolled students. This may have implications for financial aid eligibility, loan deferral or other areas where student status is necessary.