All graduate students in the School of Engineering are required to be enrolled each fall and spring semester to remain in good academic standing. Note that this does not include the summer semester, unless you are a PhD candidate (post-comprehensive enrollment requirements) or have a GTA/GRA appointment. This includes part-time and international students, but does not include non-degree seeking students. If you do not plan to enroll in a given semester, you will need to request a Leave of Absence or Voluntarily Discontinue through your department or program. If you fail to complete the request within a given semester, you will be automatically discontinued, and you will need to complete a Permit to Re-Enroll should you return within two semesters. If you are absent for more than three consecutive semesters (counting the summer) you will be required to re-apply to the program. Students who are not enrolled before the first day of classes will receive a late enrollment fee and may have additional requirements to complete enrollment.
Full time enrollment for graduate students is defined by the university as 9 credit hours of enrollment for fall/spring semesters and 6 hours in the summer. International students and students receiving financial aid may be required to enroll full-time each semester. Students working as a GTA or GRA are required to enroll in 6 credit hours each fall and spring, and 1-3 credit hours each summer to be eligible for employment. Master's students in the final semester, working as a GRA only, and doctoral candidates who have completed their post-comp enrollment requirements may be eligible to enroll in fewer hours by completing the eligibility forms found on the Graduate Studies webpage. If you have questions about your enrollment requirements, please contact KUEngrGrad@ku.edu or call 785-864-1952.
Learn more about enrollment requirements and policies (pdf).
Frequently Asked Questions about Enrollment Breaks for Graduate Students
Am I required to enroll as a graduate student each semester?
All graduate students are required to enroll for fall and spring semesters to remain in good academic standing. This includes part-time students, but not non-degree seeking students. Summer enrollment is not a requirement unless you are working as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA), you are a PhD candidate (post-comp), or you are planning to graduate in the summer semester (regular deadline).
What is the difference between a Leave of Absence and choosing to Voluntarily Discontinue?
Leave of Absence – Use this option when you will be returning to your graduate program after one or more semesters. A Leave of Absence may be granted upon request to the graduate program in advance of the leave. Leaves may be granted in cases of illness, emergency, to pursue family responsibilities, or to pursue full-time activities related to long-range professional goals. To request a Leave of Absence, you must contact your department graduate assistant and provide information on why a leave is requested. A leave must be requested before the 20th day of class. Voluntarily Discontinue – Use this option if you do not plan to return to your graduate program in the School of Engineering. This means that you voluntarily resign from a program by requesting a discontinuance. If you choose to return at a later date, you must reapply for admission. Discontinuance is requested through your department or program.
Why do I need to take a Leave of Absence?
The university needs to be able to track graduate students’ progress, and all students must be in an approved “graduate student” category. Detailed information about this policy is available in the Graduate Catalog
under “enrollment.” This policy helps to ensure that you do not exceed your maximum tenure due to unforeseen delays in your graduate program. Failure to complete a master’s degree in 7 years, a doctoral degree in 8 years, or both a master’s and a doctoral degree in 10 years at KU may lead to dismissal due to lack of progress, and the program clock stops while students are on a Leave of Absence.
How long can I take a Leave of Absence?
You can request a leave of absence for a maximum of 1 year. Additional requests will be considered after the first year. Please keep in mind that you must re-apply for admission if your absences amount to a period of five years.
When do I need to complete a Leave of Absence?
You should contact your department or program assistant prior to the start of the semester you plan to be absent, and no later than the 20th day of class. Inactive students are automatically discontinued after the 20th day of class, and failure to be in good academic standing may result in dismissal. If in doubt, you are advised to request a Leave of Absence. You may always enroll later if you decide to do so.
How do I request a Leave of Absence?
You need to contact your department or program assistant as soon as you know you will not be enrolling in a future semester. Be sure to tell the assistant why you will be absent and when you plan to return. For specific details, see the “Leave of Absence” explanation under question #2 above. It is also very important that you have updated contact information in Enroll & Pay so that we may contact you if necessary during your absence.
How do I update my contact information if my KUID has been deactivated because I wasn’t enrolled for a semester?
Students can reactivate their account themselves, information can be found online
or contact the University Registrar’s office if still unable to log into Enroll and Pay to update personal information.
What do I do when I want to return from a Leave of Absence and re-enroll?
Notify your department or program assistant of your planned return date and the assistant will complete the necessary paperwork to reactivate your enrollment capabilities. This process may take up to 2 weeks, so please notify the department or program as soon as you know you will be returning. Please keep in mind that late enrollment fees may accrue if you do not initiate this process ahead of time.
What happens if I want to return earlier or later than initially planned?
In both cases, you need to notify your department or program assistant. They will complete the necessary paperwork to complete your request.
What happens if I decided to voluntarily discontinue and later change my mind and want to return?
You will have to re-apply to your program. If you are re-admitted, the associate dean for research and graduate programs will work with your program to determine which credits will count toward your degree. It is important that you only choose to voluntarily discontinue if you are sure that you do not want to complete your degree. If you have any questions about taking a Leave of Absence or volunteering to discontinue, you should contact your advisor, departmental graduate advisor, or engineering graduate division staff at (785) 864-1952 to discuss your enrollment options.
Do I need to pay a reactivation fee when I want to return from a leave of absence?
No. If you were on a Leave of Absence, you do not need to request reactivation from the University Registrar. Once you notify your department advisor or assistant that you plan to return, he or she will complete the necessary paperwork for your account to be reactivated. No fee is attached unless you do not allow your department or program enough time to process your return before the first day of class, in which case you may be assessed late enrollment fees. If you do not request a Leave of Absence, you would be required to re-apply for admission to the program and pay a reactivation fee.