Research Only Mode

What is it?

Research-only mode allows you to register for nine credits (full-time) at a reduced tuition rate. Its purpose is to

  • provide assistance to faculty who are supporting graduate researchers on external funds,
  • assist self-supported students who wish to be full-time, and
  • assist international students who must be full-time for reasons related to immigration.
  • provide an incentive to students and faculty to move through courses and exams in a timely fashion.

Is research only mode right for me?

Research only mode allows you to register for nine-credits of research at a reduced rate.  It is best for students who need to be full time, since it allows full-time registration at a reduced rate.  Supported students and international students are generally required to be full-time.

If you do not need to be full-time, the Graduate School only requires that you register for one-credit each fall and spring until you complete your degree. If this is your situation, research-only mode may not be necessary for you, particularly if you are self-supported. Note that your status as a full- or part-time student can affect repayment of or eligibility for financial aid.

Who’s eligible?

Students are eligible for full-time research-only mode at the start of the first semester following completion of the required milestones.

  • Master’s candidates—Must complete all required courses as well as the required number of credits for their degree (usually 30).
  • Doctoral candidates—Must satisfactorily complete both their qualifying and dissertation proposal exams, as well as all courses required for their degree (as applicable).

How do I petition?

Complete and submit the Petition to enter full-time research-only mode form to the Graduate School. It is due one week prior to the first day of classes in the semester you plan to enter research-only mode. In addition, the following forms must be submitted to the Graduate School before approval will be granted.

What about registration and tuition rates?

Permission to enroll in a research-only course is granted by the Graduate School after the petition is approved.

Fall and Spring SemestersSummer Session
Register for 9 credits*—special research-only course** Register for 1 credit—regular research course***
The reduced tuition rate is equal to one-third of the normal graduate tuition rate. Regular tuition rates are assessed in summer.
* If you enroll for less than 9 credits for fall or spring semesters, you will not be full-time for support, visa status, or loan deferral purposes.
** XX 5975 for MS and XX 6975 for PhD; XX is the prefix for your department (EE, MEEM…)
*** XX 5999 for MS and XX 6999 for PhD; XX is the prefix for your department (EE, MEEM…)


How can I register for an additional course while in research-only mode?

You can register for an additional course while in research-only mode.  You must

  • Submit a course overload request form
  • Receive approval of your request
  • Register for nine-credits of the appropriate research-only mode course AND the course you wish to take

Tuition will be billed at the full, regular rate for the extra credits.

When does research-only mode end?

Students will remain in research-only mode until they

  • Complete their degree or
  • Choose not to enroll in the 9 credit research-only course.

Note: Contact the Graduate School to request to be removed from research-only mode and discontinue registering in the 9 credit research-only course.