May 21, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Enrollment and Time Limitations


Cullen College of Engineering  > Enrollment and Time Limitations

General Guidelines

  • In general, graduate students are expected to be enrolled in consecutive long semesters (i.e., fall and spring) until the degree is completed and awarded. If you cannot enroll in a given term, then you must apply by general petition to your college through your department for a leave of absence. The five-year rule on master’s coursework still applies.
  • Full-time enrollment means that you must enroll and complete the minimum number of hours each term as outlined below. We expect supported graduate students to progress toward their degrees at a reasonable pace. This means that dropping of courses by full-time graduate students is discouraged. Requests for full-time graduate students to drop courses below full-time status must have the approval of the Departmental Graduate Advisor, Chair and the Graduate Associate Dean and will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Full time enrollment for self-supported and supported (regardless of the source of campus employment or scholarship) Masters students is 9 hours. The only exception is the graduating semester, where the student will enroll in the hours required for graduation.

  Supported (RA/GA/GA-NE/TA/IA or Scholarship-Fellowship Unsupported Temporary Visa (F-1, J-1)
Term M/MS Spring and Fall PhD M/MS PhD
Spring 9 9 Hours  9 Hours 9 Hours
Summer 6 Hours 6 Hours(if required to enroll)    
Fall 9 9 Hours 9 Hours 9 Hours
  • Students who receive a waiver based on a scholarship are required to enroll full-time.
  • Full-time enrollment is expected of the following categories of graduate students:
    1. Students who receive financial support from the University of Houston.
    2. Students who are making significant use of campus resources.
    3. Students who are meeting PhD residency requirements.
    4. Non-Immigrant visa-holding students (F-1, J-1, or other temporary visas).
    5. Students during their last term can enroll for the hours required to meet their degree requirements by filing a petition for a reduced course load (RCL).

Thesis/Research Enrollment

  • Master’s students first enroll in the 6x98 as soon as you begin work on your master’s research. You must be continuously enrolled in research until you graduate, including summers if you are working on your research with your advisor.
  • Master’s students first enroll in the 6399-7399 (thesis courses) the term they submit their proposal and committee appointment page to their major department.
  • Master’s students continue to enroll in 6x98 (research course) each term until they graduate (including the term of graduation).
  • Master’s students are awarded a final thesis grade in 6399 and 7399 from their thesis chair after successfully defending their thesis and submitting a minimum of 1-2 copies of their thesis to the Engineering Dean’s Office for binding.
  • If you expect to graduate in a given term, you must enroll in and complete that term at the University of Houston (or the University of Houston-Clear Lake if you had also been taking courses there).

Dissertation/Research Enrollment

  • Doctoral students first enroll in the 8x98 as soon as you begin work on your Doctoral research. You must be continuously enrolled in research until you graduate, including summers if you are working on your research with your advisor.
  • Doctoral students first enroll in the 8399, 8699 and/or 8999 (12 hours of dissertation courses) the term they submit their proposal and committee appointment page to their major department.
  • Doctoral students continue to enroll in 8x98 (research course) each term until they graduate (including the term of graduation).
  • Doctoral students are awarded a final dissertation grade in 8399, 8699 and/or 8999 (12 hours of dissertation courses) from their dissertation chair after successfully defending their dissertation and submitting a minimum of 1-2 copies of their dissertation to the Engineering Dean’s Office for binding.
  • If you expect to graduate in a given term, you must enroll in and complete that term at the University of Houston (or the University of Houston-Clear Lake if you had also been taking courses there).

Time Limitation

The university has a five-year time-limit rule for Master’s degree programs (this includes PB credit level changes and graduate transfer credit). Students who enroll at the University of Houston must complete the usual master’s degree program within five years of the date of admission to the master’s program at the University of Houston. Students who are in the joint MIE/MBA program have 7 years in which to complete this joint-degree program.

No course over five years old at the time of graduation can be used to satisfy the master’s degree course requirements. This includes PB courses changed to graduate credit and transfer graduate courses approved for graduate credit. No PB courses from another university can be used for graduate credit.

Doctoral students must complete their dissertation within five years after completion of the comprehensive/qualifying exam. Otherwise, the exam must be repeated. The overall time limit for completing a PhD degree is ten years from the first day of enrollment.

The following comment is taken directly from the Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog: “Graduate students may hold a graduate assistantship (teaching or research) for no more than three years in pursuit of a master’s degree, no more than five years in pursuit of a doctorate, and for no more than six years if pursuing a doctorate directly after entering a graduate program with a baccalaureate degree. This means that financial aid is not available when the assistantship limit is exceeded. Normally, no individual may hold an assistantship at the University of Houston for more than a total of six years. Any exception to this policy must receive the approval of the dean of the college and the senior vice president for academic affairs.”