Graduate School

Research Mode

Students who have completed certain requirements may register for research credits at a reduced tuition rate. The primary purpose of research mode is to provide assistance to faculty who are supporting graduate researchers on external funds. 


Students are eligible for Research Mode at the start of the first semester following completion of the following 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).
    • Additional credit minimums are in place for the situations below:
      • PhD students who did not complete their master’s degree at Michigan Tech will need to complete a minimum of 18 credits at the 3000 level or above prior to entering Research Mode (any combination of course work and research credits). These are students who have a master’s degree from some other institution.
      • PhD students lacking a master's degree will need to complete a minimum of 20 credits (any combination of course work and research credits) at the 3000 level or above before entering Research Mode. These are students who directly pursue a PhD after earning a bachelor’s degree.

Entering Research Mode

To enter research mode, students must complete and submit the Petition to Enter Research Mode form to the Graduate School. The Petition is due one week prior to the first day of classes in the semester a student plans to enter Research Mode. A student's Final Degree Schedule (Master's | PhD) must also have been submitted to the Graduate School before any Petition to Enter Research Mode will be approved.

For doctoral candidates, a student’s home department must certify in the candidate’s Banner record that the candidate has successfully passed the qualifying and proposal defense exams before the Petition can be approved.

Registration and the Reduced Tuition Rate

Research Mode students enroll in regular research credits under their advisor. They may register for any combination of research and coursework credits and will be charged the reduced Research Mode tuition rate for any research credits taken.

All students must comply with registration and payment deadlines.

Full-Time and Continuous Enrollment

Students who need to be enrolled full-time (for example, supported students, most international students and students with certain types of financial aid) must ensure that the number of credits they take each semester is in compliance with all University regulations. All students must comply with the University's continuous enrollment policy.

Details on the policy including information on enrollment requirements for the summer session and for students with special circumstances can be found in the continuous enrollment policy section. The table below details the credit requirements for full-time status and continuous enrollment.

Semester Credits for
Full-Time Status
Minimum Credits for
Continuous Enrollment
Fall or Spring 9 A

1 course credit
3 research credits

Summer 1 course credit
3 research credits
0 B

A If a student has successfully completed their final oral defense during one of the two preceding semesters (including the summer session) registering for three (3) research credits or one (1) course credit will maintain full time status.

B Students completing their degree during the summer session must be enrolled.