This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.


Any person engaged in graduate study at VCU must enroll each semester in which he/she is engaged in any form of study at VCU that involves use of university facilities, laboratories/studios and/or libraries, or who is supervised by or consults with a faculty member concerning graduate work on a project, work of art, thesis or dissertation.

Continuous enrollment for degree-seeking graduate students

Continuous enrollment – Pre-candidate

Once admitted to a degree program, a graduate student is expected to comply with minimum enrollment of one course per 12-month period from the beginning of his/her program.

Continuous enrollment – Candidate

A graduate student who has completed course requirements for a degree must register for at least one credit at VCU each fall and spring semester until the degree is awarded. Students must be enrolled during their graduation semester.

Revised 5/8/2012
University Graduate Council

Student load

Student load is the total number of credits for which students are enrolled in any semester. Students may be either full-time or part-time, dependent upon program rules. Students who are fully funded as VCU graduate assistants with tuition remission are classified as “full-time” during any semester in which they enroll for nine or more credits (three during the summer if funded on a 12-month stipend). Departmental requirements vary; therefore, funded students should verify expected course loads with their graduate program directors.

The maximum number of credits for which students may enroll in any semester without special permission is 15. More than 15 credits is an overload. More than 15 credits may result in increased tuition. Permission to enroll for more than 15 credits may be granted upon the written recommendation of the adviser, through departmental governance procedures, to the Office of the University Registrar with an Overload Approval Form.

Each summer course is designed to provide the equivalent of one semester’s work. With careful scheduling, it is possible for students to earn as many as 15 credits during the summer if course work extends over the full summer semester calendar. Permission to enroll for more than 15 credits in the summer semester may be granted upon the written recommendation of the adviser through departmental governing procedures to the Office of the University Registrar with an Overload Approval Form.

Summer success is predicted on the academic standard of one credit per week. Six credits in five weeks or nine credits in eight weeks is considered a normal load, but VCU does not permit six credits in four weeks or nine credits in six weeks. Suggested summer scheduling combinations are in the online Schedule of Classes.

Graduate courses are not offered during the winter intersession.

Revised 5/11/2010; 5/10/2011; 12/19/2023
University Graduate Council

Change in registration

Once students have registered for classes, changes in registration must be made during the add/drop period. Whenever students make any changes in registration, they should keep copies of their new schedules as verification of the changes. Changes in registration may affect financial aid. Students are advised to consult with a financial aid counselor before making any changes to their enrollment status. See the Financing graduate school section of the Graduate Bulletin for detailed information.

Cancellation of registration

To cancel registration, students must notify, in writing, the Office of the University Registrar before the end of the add/drop period, or drop all classes using the Web registration system. Refunds are issued in accordance with procedures described in the Financing graduate school section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Auditing graduate classes

Class size permitting, students may register for courses on an audit basis. Auditing a course means students enroll in courses, but do not receive academic credit upon completion of the courses. Students who register on an audit basis are subject to attendance regulations of that class and, unless otherwise specified at the discretion of the instructor, are subject to the same course requirements as other students in the class. Students who register on an audit basis may be administratively withdrawn by instructors for a violation of class requirements for audit students, before or after the normal withdrawal deadline as posted on the VCU Academic Calendar. Audit students are charged the regular rate of tuition and fees. An audit course is counted as part of a student’s semester load in terms of classification as a full-time student. Courses taken for audit, however, do not satisfy minimum enrollment requirements for students receiving graduate teaching or research assistantships, graduate fellowships or university graduate scholarships. Students may register for audit only during add/drop and late registration periods as a new registration and not as a change from credit to audit. Changes in registration status from audit to credit or from credit to audit will not be approved after the last day of add/drop registration. The grade of AU is not included in the calculation of the GPA.

Revised 5/11/2010
University Graduate Council