- The Graduate School defines full-time graduate student status as enrollment for nine (9) or more credits; part-time graduate student status is defined as eight (8) or fewer credits; and for financial aid and loan deferment purposes, half-time is defined as six (6) credits in a semester.
- UMass graduate degree candidates working full-time on research for a required thesis or dissertation may be considered full-time graduate students regardless of the number of credits for which they register provided their Graduate Program Director or Department Head/Chair certifies that they are working full-time on research.
- UMass master's and doctoral candidates legally employed for at least 40 hours a week at a University-approved co-operative education experience (Co-op) may be considered full time students regardless of the number of credits in which they are enrolled, provided the major department certifies the work experience is directly related and integral to the curriculum of the student's academic program.
- Audited courses do not count toward enrollment status.
- Working on incomplete courses from prior semesters cannot count toward enrollment status.
- Immigration law requires that foreign students be enrolled at full-time status.
- To satisfy the residency requirement for a doctoral degree, doctoral students must spend the equivalent of at least one continuous academic year of full-time graduate work (nine credits per semester) in residence at the university. A semester in which a department certifies a student as working full-time on research, without the student registering for credits, does not count towards the residency requirement.