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As part of the registration process, students select a program of courses with the advice of their advisors or committee and with the approval of their program director. Students must then officially register every semester for the appropriate courses according to established registration procedures and within the deadline dates announced by the Office of the Registrar on their website at

Continuous Registration Requirement

Graduate students must register for (and pay all tuition and fees not covered by a tuition scholarship) a minimum of one credit hour each fall and spring term until ALL requirements for the degree are completed. If continuous registration is impossible at any time, the student must secure a Leave of Absence from the Graduate School. Failure to secure a Leave of Absence by the end of the first week of the semester in which the Leave is to begin will result in a $350 reactivation fine being assessed to the student's account when the student subsequently registers for classes. Students may not be on a Leave of Absence in the semester immediately preceding degree conferral. Under some circumstances, the continuous registration requirement may be waived for the semester immediately prior to degree conferral if the student has an approved Application to Candidacy on file in the Graduate School, will not be using any University services or faculty time, and has submitted all required conferral materials to the Graduate School prior to the first day of the semester. Students may request a waiver of continuous registration by filing a Graduate Student Petition Form with the Graduate School.

Leaves of Absence

Requests for Leaves of Absence must be negotiated through the chair or director of graduate studies of the student's major department using a Graduate Student Petition Form. The form must then be forwarded to the Graduate School for review by the end of the first week of the semester in which the Leave is to begin.

Normally, Leaves are granted for a maximum of one year, but may be extended for up to one additional year if circumstances warrant. Each department may establish its own policies within the limits of these guidelines. All Leave requests must be supported by adequate documentation.

Students approved for a Leave of Absence remain liable for any outstanding tuition and fee charges.

International students are advised to consult with International Student and Scholar Services, 210 Talbert Hall, North Campus, (716) 645-2258, prior to applying for a Leave of Absence.

Failure to register for classes or secure a Leave of Absence by the end of the first week of the semester in which the leave is to begin, will result in the student losing his/her access to register for classes in a future semester. To regain registration access within a subsequent five-year period, the student's home academic department must file a semester record activation request on behalf of the student (see the Returning Student Semester Record Activation and Associated Fee section immediately below for more details).

Returning Student Semester Record Activation and Associated Fee

Academic departments may file a semester record activation request for graduate students who were previously admitted into an academic program through GrAdMIT, and had a break in attendance of no more than five (5) years, and had neglected to secure an approved Leave of Absence from the Graduate School. Once reviewed and approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, a new semester record will be created with exactly the same academic career, program, and plan as recorded for the last semester in which the student attended UB. At the time of semester record activation, the student will be assessed a non-refundable record activation fee (currently $350).

It is the prerogative of the academic department to decide whether or not to process/endorse a former student’s request for Semester Record Activation and return to graduate study as described in the previous paragraph. The department also determines how much of the previously completed work may be applied toward the graduate degree program, within established Graduate School guidelines.

Any graduate student who has had an enrollment lapse of more than five (5) years must reapply through the graduate program’s regular application process.

Full-Time Status

All graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours during each fall and spring semester or a minimum of 9 hours if the student holds a graduate, teaching, or research assistantship to be considered full-time by certain outside agencies/organizations such as lending institutions, health insurance carriers, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, etc.

Under certain circumstances, students can be certified full-time even though they are registered for fewer than 12 credits (or fewer than 9 credits if they concurrently hold an assistantship). A student must have on file an Application to Candidacy approved through departmental level, must be registered for between 1 and 11 credits, and must be working on his/her thesis, final project, or dissertation, or preparing for a comprehensive exam, or participating in a University-approved foreign exchange program extensively enough according to the following schedule:

Semester Credits Registered:

Number of Weekly Hours required (in addition to in-class hours) for Certified Full-Time Status

























If a student meets the conditions described above, certification must be formally requested through use of a Certification of Full-Time Status form.

Maximum Credit Hour Overrides

Graduate students may register for no more than 19 credit hours per semester. The chair or director of graduate studies interested in allowing students to exceed this maximum credit hour limit must submit a letter of justification to the Graduate School for review. In considering such requests, the Graduate School will not grant the 19-credit override to any student who has less than a 3.0 overall average or who carries two or more incomplete (I) and/or resign (R) grades.

Cross-Registration with Other SUNY Schools

The SUNY institutions approved for graduate cross registration are the University at Buffalo, State University College at Buffalo, State University College at Fredonia, State University College at Brockport, and the State University College at Geneseo. Students must abide by the rules and regulations established by the visiting institution where they intend to cross register. Students in the cross registration program may take only those courses where space is available, that are approved by the student's home department, and that are also not available at their home institution.

The Graduate Cross Registration form is obtained from the Registrar's Office of the student's home institution. In order to be enrolled in a cross-registered course, a student must get the Graduate Cross Registration form approved by both the home and visiting institutions and then return it to the Registrar of the student's home campus by the publicized deadline date. Students who do not meet these deadlines will not be enrolled into a cross registration course, and therefore will not receive credits or grades. Also, the student must be registered at the home institution for a minimum of three credit hours while participating in a cross registration program. Each participating institution may establish its own registration procedures and materials. Tuition and fees are paid at the student's home campus. Grades are forwarded to the home institution after the close of the semester. Contact the Office of the Registrar for information (716-645-5698).

Cross-Divisional Registration

Graduate Student/Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate courses may be taken by graduate students as appropriate prerequisites to their chosen field of study but may not be used to satisfy graduate program requirements or carry graduate credit. Exceptions are possible for some 400-level courses subject to approval in advance by the Graduate School. In order to obtain approval, the student must file a Petition for Course Credit Outside Your Primary Career that must include:

§  justification for taking an undergraduate course for graduate credit. (For example: that the course curriculum is important to the student's program and not offered in a graduate course.)

§  the signature of the course instructor, who must be a UB tenured or tenure-track faculty member, with a brief description of the nature and extent of the extra work to be assigned graduate students.

§  the signature of the department chair or director of graduate studies of the student's graduate program.

A student may file a maximum of two petitions for up to eight credit hours of this nature while pursuing a graduate degree. All such petitions must be filed prior to the end of the official add/drop period of the semester of registration. The student must officially register for the course during the designated registration period.

Undergraduate Students/Graduate Courses

Within certain academic limitations described in the Limits on Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses section, undergraduate students with senior standing can be registered into graduate level courses by an academic department with permission of the course instructor. Graduate credit will be awarded for the course unless the student petitions to use the course for undergraduate credit through the department. A graduate level course applied toward an undergraduate degree cannot also be applied toward a graduate degree.

Limits on Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses Policy

Prior to receipt of his/her baccalaureate degree, a UB undergraduate student may register for up to two courses (not to exceed 8 credits) at the graduate level which may later be applied to a graduate, professional, or advanced certificate program at UB. In order to exercise this option, the student must have the permission of the department offering the graduate course(s); senior standing; and possess a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 at the time of graduate course enrollment. Note that the graduate credit hour limit described above does not apply to students formally admitted to, and currently enrolled in, an SED-registered combined undergraduate/graduate (multi-award) degree program at UB, provided that the graduate courses taken are part of that student's specific combined degree program curriculum and are taken in the proper sequence defined for that curriculum.

Any graduate level courses successfully petitioned for use at the undergraduate level are not included in the 8 credit limit. However, a graduate level course applied toward an undergraduate degree cannot also be applied toward a graduate degree.

Registration Service Indicators

The Graduate School is responsible for processing registration service indicators (to prevent a student from registering) upon receipt of appropriate information from the academic department. Students who have been dismissed from a graduate program due to unsatisfactory academic progress will find a "GRD" service indicator on their record if they attempt to register. Such students may contact the chair of the department from which they were dismissed to seek advice regarding potential removal of this service indicator.

Students who have been registered as non-degree seeking students or who have not complied with departmental or Graduate School policies and procedures may also encounter a "GRD" service indicator when they attempt to register. These students should contact the Graduate School or the department through which they were previously enrolled to determine what is necessary to have the service indicator removed.

Departments wishing to have a "GRD" service indicator issued or removed should forward a letter or email to the Graduate School containing the following information:

  • Name of department
  • Name of student
  • Student's person number
  • Semester or Date for which service indicator action is effective
  • Reason for service indicator action with documentation
  • Name of the person requesting the service indicator action