All PhD students on appointment (RA or TA) must maintain full-time status each fall and spring semester until graduation (outside of an approved leave of absence). Pro MS students may have more flexibility, but should create a degree plan within their capacity that allows them to meet their graduation goals. All international students on a J-1 or F-1 need to be full time.

Note that only PhD students take dissertation hours.

Please Note: The CU Boulder full-time requirements may not fulfill full-time status for other grants, fellowships or aid that you are recieving. Be sure to check with all of your financial aid stakeholders to make sure you recieve your aid in a timely manner. For example, some grants require 4 credits per period to be considered full time.

Full-time status according to the CU Boulder graduate school means:

  • 5 graduate course credit hours each fall and spring semester OR
  • 8 graduate/undergrad combined credit hours (Note: undergrad courses cannot count towards the PhD; 6 credits of 4000-level undergrad may count towards the MS) OR
  • 1 dissertation hour pre-comps (recommended enrollment: 1 hour while still taking courses, 3 if taking no courses) OR
  • 5 dissertation hours post-comps