Course Registration & Information

Course Registration

Students register for courses using Penn in Touch. New students register for courses at the beginning of their first term. Current students register in advance during the advance registration period noted on the academic calendar for each semester.

To register:

  1. Review the GSE course roster, the university course roster, and the registration instructions.
  2. Meet with your advisor, or consult your planned program of study to determine which courses to take.
  3. Obtain a permit for courses designated with a “P” on the course roster from the appropriate division .
  4. Go to Penn in Touch
  • Enter your PennKey and Password
  • Click "Registration and Planning"
  • Click "Register for Courses"
  • Enter the course and section numbers

Back to top

Drop/Request

There is a designated Drop/Request period each term during which time students may make changes to their course schedule without penalty. The Drop/Request period is published on the GSE academic calendar.  Within the dates posted on the GSE academic calendar, students may drop or register for courses through Penn-In-Touch. Course registration changes made after the published deadline will be subject to the refund schedule published in the GSE academic calendar. If there is a problem with a registration/drop, students should contact the Student Records Office immediately.  If students need to drop or register for a course after the drop period has ended, they must bring written permission of the instructor to the Student Records Office, where they will be manually registered or dropped and their bill will be adjusted. Once an instructor’s written permission to drop/add a course has been obtained, withdrawal from a course after the Drop/Request period will be permitted; however, a tuition refund is subject to a partial refund schedule. Students may not drop a course retroactively, that is, after the last week of the semester in which the course has been taught.
Back to top

Master’s Registration (EDUC 990)

All master’s degree candidates must be registered each term for coursework or Master’s Registration until they graduate unless a leave of absence has been granted. Master’s degree candidates who have completed all coursework must register for Master’s Registration (EDUC 990.001). This registration designates the student as an active full-time master’s degree student and allows the student to meet with his/her advisor, sit for the master’s comprehensive exam, use University facilities, complete outstanding coursework and/or graduate. EDUC 990 carries no course units. The student must be registered for coursework or Master’s Registration in the term when he/she takes the comprehensive exam and in the term when he/she graduates. Any master’s student who fails to register each semester for coursework or Master’s Registration will be considered to have withdrawn from candidacy for the degree. Master’s Registration is considered full-time status which requires mandatory enrollment in student health insurance unless the student has proof of their own health insurance. If this is the case or if you have questions, contact Student Records at gse-sro@gse.upenn.edu.
Back to top

Dissertation Status (EDUC 995)

Dissertation status signifies that doctoral students have completed all coursework for the doctoral degree. Dissertation status begins the first term in which they register for EDUC 995 after having completed all coursework.  Students who have successfully passed the doctoral preliminary examination and have identified a committee chair are considered to be on Dissertation Supervision.  

Doctoral students who have completed all coursework must register for EDUC 995. This registration designates them as active doctoral students and allows them to meet with their advisors, sit for exams, use University facilities and work on the dissertation. When students register for EDUC 995, they are considered full-time students for financial aid purposes. Full-time status converts to part-time status after 10 semesters of enrollment. Students who have not passed the preliminary examination and identified a committee chair will be registered for EDUC995 section 001.

Those students who have passed the preliminary examination and identified a committee chair will be registered for EDUC 995 with a section number determined by the committee chair (Each faculty member has an assigned section number). Students must contact their division and identify their committee chairs to be registered for dissertation status with a specific faculty member as chair.

Once students have registered for EDUC 995, GSE automatically re-registers them each fall and spring semester in the same section. If students change advisors, they must notify their division manager and the Student Records Office so the section number can be changed.

Dissertation students are ineligible to take a leave of absence except for the reasons described below in the Leave of Absence Policy. In keeping with the school's continuous registration requirements, dissertation students who fail to register each semester will be charged tuition for past semesters, if they seek if they seek to re-register, to a maximum of six terms. 

Tuition is waived for one and only one semester after the student successfully passes the dissertation defense.

Continuous Registration

All degree students in the Graduate School of Education must be registered during each fall and spring term until all degree requirements have been met unless a leave of absence has been granted. To satisfy the continuous registration requirement students must be registered for coursework, master’s registration tuition, or dissertation supervision. Students are not required to register for the summer unless they will sit for an examination, hold an oral proposal or defense, or graduate during the summer. Please refer to the fee schedule for current tuition for master’s registration and dissertation supervision. A degree student who has not maintained active status by registering each term, and who has not been granted an official leave of absence, will be considered withdrawn. Inactive students must apply for readmission to the Graduate School of Education in order to resume work toward the degree. Master’s degree students must register for master’s registration tuition (EDUC 990.001) if they have completed all coursework and will be taking the master’s comprehensive examination that semester (including summer term) or graduating. Doctoral students, when finished with coursework, must register for dissertation supervision while working on the dissertation and completing exams. Registration is not required during the summer; however students, who plan to use University facilities, take comprehensive or preliminary examinations hold dissertation hearings or graduate must register and pay the tuition.

Students on dissertation status who withdraw or fail to maintain continuous registration will be charged tuition for past semesters if they seek to re-register, to a maximum of six semesters.
Back to top

Auditing

All GSE courses are for grade only.  Students who wish to attend a course without completing the assignments or taking examinations may request to audit the course.  The students register in the usual way, but auditing a course requires the student to get permission from the instructor.  This permission is then given to the Student Records Office for changing the grade type to audit.  Auditors are subject to the normal course tuition and fees.    They will not receive credit for the course, but it will appear on their transcript with “AUD” in the grade column.
Back to top

Interschool Courtesy

Students of the Graduate School of Education are encouraged to take courses in other schools of the University, and students registered as candidates for degrees in other schools of the University are encouraged to take courses in the Graduate School of Education. To qualify for interschool courtesy, students must have the consent of their academic advisor and the instructor of the course in which they wish to enroll. Only courses 500 level or above are considered graduate level. Courses below the 500 level will not count toward degree requirements and will be charged at the GSE tuition rate.
Back to top

Application for Graduation

All degree candidates must apply to graduate for the term in which they plan to receive the degree. To apply to graduate, complete the online application for graduation, before the deadline listed on the GSE academic calendar. Failure to apply for graduation by the published deadline will make it impossible to receive the degree that semester. Master of Science & Ph.D. degree candidates must apply to graduate with the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
Back to top

Course Load Per Term

The maximum course load per term is five course units for master’s degree students and four course units per term for doctoral students. There is a maximum course load of four course units in the summer term, with a maximum of three course units permitted in either six-week session.
Back to top

Full-Time/Part-Time Status

Coursework
Registration for three or more course units in a semester is considered full-time student status.
Registration for .5 to 2.5 course units is considered part-time status. An exception to this policy is made in the case of internships. Degree candidates or certification students who are on full-time, program-required internships are considered to be full-time enrolled students. For an internship to be considered “program-required” and “full-time,” it must be approved by the division and must involve work of at least 15 weeks per semester at 40 hours per week. The registration must be approved by the division. The current facilities fee rate will be charged for tuition.

Internships
Degree candidates or certification students who are on half-time, program-required internships are considered to be full-time students if, in addition to the half-time internship, they take a minimum of three course units over the academic year. For an internship to be considered “program-required” and “half-time,” it must be approved by the division and must involve work of at least 15 weeks per semester at 20 hours per week. The current facilities fee rate will be charged for tuition. For further information, students should contact their division office.

Leave of Absence
If a degree student intends to become inactive, an application for a leave of absence must be submitted to the Assistant Dean. In order to maintain good standing in the Graduate School of Education, degree students must either be registered every term or have an approved leave of absence.  Leaves of absence are normally approved for up to one year.

Doctoral students who have reached dissertation status will not be granted a leave of absence except for military duty, medical reasons, or when a grant is received for dissertation research abroad and the grant does not include funds to pay home institution fees. A leave of absence may also be granted for purposes of providing care to children under the age of two if the student is the primary caregiver and not gainfully employed.

Eligible degree students who want a leave of absence must submit a request to the Assistant Dean prior to the term when the leave is desired (if possible). Leaves of absence will not be granted retroactively for terms when students failed to register or request a leave. The granting of a leave of absence does not automatically change the time limit for completing degree requirements. Time spent in military service does not count under the time limit.

Students may not register for courses, hold dissertation hearings, sit for exams or graduate during a leave of absence. Students returning from leave of absence must notify the Student Records Office in order to be reactivated as current students. Students with grants to undertake dissertation research abroad that do not provide home institution fees, and who wish to maintain the University Health Insurance Plan may obtain a special registration status entitled “Dissertation Research Abroad.” This special status allows the student to remain registered, but does not incur tuition charges. Once written permission has been granted by the Assistant Dean for the semester(s) in question, the Student Records Office will register the student.

Withdrawal
A student who intends to terminate candidacy for a degree at the Graduate School of Education should formally withdraw from the School by notifying the Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs in writing. The effective date of separation from the University is the date on which the student files a written request for withdrawal with the Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. Students are responsible for tuition charges and other financial obligations to the University incurred before the effective date of withdrawal.

Readmission
A student wishing to be readmitted into a degree program must reapply to the desired specialization. In order to be readmitted students will be required to have the support of their former advisor and the current division chair; complete any outstanding coursework from previous courses taken; demonstrate satisfactory performance in previous study at GSE; satisfy all financial obligations to the University; and be able to meet the time limit requirements for completing the degree. As a condition of readmission, inactive doctoral students (Ed.D. and Ph.D.) previously on dissertation status must pay past dissertation fees for each fall and spring term since last enrollment, to a maximum of six terms. All students readmitted to the Graduate School of Education will be subject to current academic policies of the Graduate School of Education.
Back to top