Registration and Tuition Classification


General Registration Requirements

The normal full load for graduate students is 9 credit hours per term. 

Full-time graduate students may register for an overload of up to 6 credit hours (up to 15 credit hours total) per term at no increase in tuition. Subject to written approval by their advisor and department head or division director, students may register for more than 15 credit hours per term by paying additional tuition at the regular part-time rate for all hours over 15. The maximum number of credits for which a student can register during the summer is 12.

Except for students meeting any of the following conditions, students may register at less than the required full-time registration.

  • International students subject to immigration requirements. This applies to international students holding J-1 and F-1 visas.
  • Students receiving financial assistance in the form of graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships or hourly contracts.
  • Students enrolled in academic programs that require full-time registration. Refer to the degree program sections of this catalog to see if this applies to a particular program.

Students for whom any one of these conditions apply must register at the appropriate full-time credit hour requirement. Special cases to the full-time registration requirement for students listed above are under Full Time Status-Required Course load and include first-year international students who must receive special instruction to improve their language skills, and students who have completed their credit-hour requirements and are working full time on their thesis.

To remain active in their degree program, students must register continuously each fall and spring semester. If not required to register full-time, part-time students may register for any number of credit hours less than the full-time credit hour load. Students who wish to take a semester off must submit the Leave of Absence paperwork, or the degree will be terminated.

Summer registration is not required to maintain an active program. Students who continue to work on their degree program and utilize Mines facilities during the summer, however, must register. Students registered during the summer are assessed regular tuition and fees.

New graduate students entering during the fall semester will be expected to pay full student fees for any courses taken in the summer sessions prior to the fall term of entry.

Research Registration

In addition to completing prescribed course work and defending a thesis, students in thesis-based degree programs must complete a research experience under the direct supervision of their faculty advisor. Master students must complete a minimum of 6 hours of research credit, and doctoral students must complete a minimum of 24 hours of research credit at Mines. While completing this experience, students register for research credit under course numbers 707. Faculty assign grades indicating satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress based on their evaluation of the student’s work. Students registered for research during the summer semester and working on campus must pay regular tuition and thesis research fees for summer semester.

Eligibility for Reduced Registration

Students enrolled in thesis-based degree programs who have completed a minimum number of course and research credit hours in their degree programs are eligible to continue to pursue their graduate program as full-time students at a reduced registration level. In order to be considered for this reduced, full-time registration category, students must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. For M.S. students,
    1.  completion of 36 hours of eligible course, research and transfer credits combined
    2. Paid for 27 credits.
      1. 1-9 credits per semester count as paid credits; 10-15 credits do not count as paid credits.
  2. For Ph.D. students,
    1.  completion of 72 hours of eligible course, research, and transfer credits combined
    2. Paid for 54 credits.
      1. 1-9 credits per semester count as paid credits; 10-15 credits do not count as paid credits.
  3. For all students, an approved Committee form and Degree Audit form must be on file in the Graduate Office the semester prior to one for which you are applying for reduced registration*.
  4. PhD students must submit an approved Admission to Candidacy form by the first day of class in which the student would like reduced registration*.

*See OGS Graduation Checklists and Deadlines website for specific deadlines. Students who are eligible for reduced registration are considered full time if they register for 4 credit hours of research under course number 707.

Full-time Status - Required Course Load

To be deemed full-time during the fall and spring semesters, students must register for at least 9 credit hours. However, international students need only register for 6 credit hours during their first year, if they are required to take special language instruction or are accepted in Provisional Status. In the event a thesis-based student has completed his or her required course work and research credits and is eligible for reduced, full-time registration, the student will be deemed full-time if he or she is registered for at least 4 credit hours of research credit.

To be deemed full-time during the summer semester, students must register for a minimum of 3 credit hours.

Internships and Academic-Year Registration Requirements

Thesis-based graduate students may participate in corporate-sponsored internship opportunities during the academic year. The intent of graduate internships is to allow students to continue to advance toward degree while pursuing research activities off campus, that are of interest to both the student and a corporate sponsor. To qualify for an internship during the academic year, the work done while in residency at the corporate sponsor must be directly related to a student's thesis/dissertation, the internship shall last for no longer than one regular academic-year semester, and the scope of the activities completed during the internship must be agreed upon by the student, the student's advisor and the corporate sponsor prior to the start of the internship. Students not meeting these requirements are not eligible for the internship registration defined below.

Graduate students completing a one semester of corporate-sponsored internship, either domestic or international, during the academic year should register for zero credit hours of off-campus work experience under the course number 597. This registration will maintain a student's full-time academic standing for the internship semester. Students registered for an internship experience under course number 597 are not assessed tuition nor regular academic fees and as such do not have access to Mines facilities, services or staff. The Mines Health Insurance requirement applies to all students participating in an academic program (such as, but not limited to, undergraduate cooperative education, study abroad, and graduate internships) regardless of the domestic or international location of the academic program. As such, students enrolled in the Mines Health Insurance program are charged health insurance fees during their internship semester. Students participating in an international internship are required to complete the Office of International Programs paperwork in fulfillment of security and safety requirements.

Late Registration Fee

Students must complete their registration by the date specified in the Academic Calendar. Students who fail to complete their registration during this time will be assessed a $100 late registration fee and will not receive any tuition fellowships for which they might otherwise be eligible.

Reciprocal Registration

Under the Exchange Agreement Between the State Supported Institutions in Northern Colorado, Mines graduate students who are paying full-time tuition may take courses at Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado, and University of Colorado (Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and the Health Sciences Center) at no charge by completing the request form and meeting the required conditions on registration and tuition, course load, and course and space availability. Request forms are available from the Registrar’s office.

Courses completed under the reciprocal agreement may be applied to a student's degree program. These are, however, applied as transfer credit into the degree program. In doing so, they are subject to all the limitations, approvals and requirements of any regularly transferred course.

Transfer Credits

With prior approval, graduate students may use transfer coursework credits towards a graduate level degree.  All transfer credits must be listed on the Degree Audit form and have the appropriate signatures of approval.

  • Master’s non-thesis, professional master’s and MIPER students must receive approval from the advisor, co-advisor (if applicable), minor representative (if applicable) and department head.
  • Master’s thesis and PhD students must receive approval from the advisor, co-advisor (if applicable), all committee members, minor representative (if applicable) and the department head.

Transfer credit limitations apply to all major and minor degrees. Transfer credits may be from a Mines undergraduate transcript or from another university. Transfer credits from a Mines undergraduate transcript must be 400 level or higher, may not have been used towards an undergraduate degree, and must have a grade of C- or better. Transfer credits from other universities must be graduate level with a grade of “C-“ or better. Credits without a letter grade (Pass/Fail, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, etc.) will not be accepted as transfer credit. The Office of Graduate Studies must have official transcripts on file prior to transferring credit from another university. The exception is transfer credits taken under the Reciprocal Agreement, in which case the Registrar’s Office must receive the grade from the transfer institution prior to transferring the credit.

Due to time constraints of receiving transcripts and grades, students taking transfer credits in their last semester may not be able to graduate in that semester. Students studying abroad are encouraged to not study abroad during their last semester.

Major degree transfer credit limitations

  • 30 credit Master’s non-thesis degree programs are limited to no more than 9 transfer credits.
  • 36 credit Master’s non-thesis degree programs are limited to no more than 15 transfer credits.
  • 30-38 credit Master’s thesis degree programs are limited to no more than 9 transfer credits.  
  • PhDs transferring a thesis based master’s degree may transfer no more than 36 credits.
  • PhDs transferring individual coursework, or any graduate level degree other than a thesis based master’s degree may transfer no more than 24 credits.

Minor degree transfer credit limitations

  • Less than half of the minor credit requirement may be transfer credits.
    • Master’s students may transfer no more than 4 credits towards a minor
    • PhD students may transfer no more than 5.5 credits towards a minor.

Transfer credit conversion

Colorado School of Mines uses semester credits. Any transfer credits taken at a university that does not use semester credits will have the credits converted. Quarter credit hours are equivalent to 2/3 semester credit hours. European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits are equivalent to ½ semester credit hours.

Dropping and Adding Courses

Students may drop or add courses through web registration without paying a fee during the first 11 school days of a regular semester, the first four school days of a six-week field course, or the first six school days of an eight-week summer term.

After the 11th day of classes through the 12th week, continuing students may drop any course for any reason with a grade of “W”. Graduate students in their first or second semesters at Mines have through the 14th week of that semester to drop a course. A student must process a drop-add form and pay a $5.00 fee for any change in class schedule after the first 11 days of class, except in cases of withdrawal from school. Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. Graduate students wishing to drop all credits must either submit a Leave of Absence form or a Withdrawal from Graduate School form. Those forms are available on the Graduate School website.

After the 12th (or 14th) week, no drops are permitted except in case of withdrawal from school or for extenuating circumstances. To request consideration of extenuating circumstances, a student must submit a written request to the Graduate Dean, which includes the following:

  1. A list of the courses from which they wish to withdraw. This must include all courses for which they are registered.
  2. Documentation of the problem which is the basis for the request.
  3. If the problem involves a medical condition, the documentation must be signed by a licensed medical doctor or a representative of the Mines Counseling Office.
  4. Signatures indicating approval by the student’s advisor and department head or division director.

A student who is allowed to withdraw from courses under this policy will receive a grade of “W” for each course and if the student has not already taken 2 semesters of leave, the student will be placed on automatic leave of absence. In order to resume the graduate program, the student must submit a Return from Leave form that includes documentation that the problems which caused the withdrawal have been corrected. The student will be reinstated to active status upon approval by their advisor and their department head or division director.

Students who have already used 2 semesters of leave will need to submit the Withdrawal from Graduate School form. Students who withdraw from graduate school will need to re-apply for admission online and be re-accepted before returning to school.

The financial impact of a withdrawal is covered in the section on “Payments and Refunds.”

Auditing Courses

As part of the maximum of 15 semester hours of graduate work, students may enroll for no credit (NC) in a course with the permission of the instructor. Tuition charges are the same for no credit as for credit enrollment.

Students must enroll for no credit before census day, the last day of registration. The form to enroll for a course for no credit is available in the Registrar’s Office. NC designation is awarded only if all conditions stipulated by course instructors are met.

Mines requires that all U.S. students who are being supported by the institution register full time, and federal financial aid regulations prohibit us from counting NC registration in determining financial aid eligibility. In addition, the INS requires that international students register full time, and we are discouraged from counting NC registration toward that requirement. Furthermore, there are no consistent standards for expectations of students who register for NC in a course. Therefore, in order to treat all Mines students consistently, NC registration will not count toward the minimum number of hours for which students are required to register. This includes the minimum continuous registration requirement of part-time students and the 9 credit-hour requirement for students who must register full time.

The reduced registration policy is based on the principle that the minimum degree requirement (36 or 72 hours) would include only the credits applied toward that degree. Deficiency and extra courses are above and beyond that minimum. NC courses fall into the latter category and may not be applied toward the degree. Therefore, NC registration will not count toward the number of hours required to be eligible for reduced thesis registration.

NC registration may involve additional effort on the part of faculty to give and/or grade assignments or exams, so it is the institution’s policy to charge tuition for NC courses. Therefore, NC registration will count toward the maximum number of credits for which a graduate student may be allowed to register. This includes a tuition surcharge for credits taken over 15.

Off-Campus Study

A student must enroll in an official Mines course for any period of off-campus, course-related study, whether U.S. or foreign, including faculty-led short courses, study abroad, or any off-campus trip sponsored by Mines or led by a Mines faculty member. The registration must occur in the same term that the off-campus study takes place. In addition, the student must complete the necessary release, waiver, and emergency contact forms, transfer credit pre-approvals, and FERPA release, and provide adequate proof of current health insurance prior to departure. For additional information concerning study abroad requirements, contact the Office of International Programs at (303) 384-2121; for other information, contact the Registrar’s Office.

All graduate students must register for credits at the Colorado School of Mines for at least one semester. A semester of study abroad does not count towards this requirement.

Students on study abroad who are using study abroad transfer credits towards a degree program must have official transcripts on file with the Office of Graduate Studies prior to graduation. Since foreign transcripts often take longer to arrive than US transcripts, students on study abroad during their last semester, may not be able to graduate in that same semester.   

Numbering of Courses

Course numbering is based on the content of material presented in courses:

Material Level Division
100-199 Freshman Level Lower Division
200-299 Sophomore Level Lower Division
300-399 Junior Level Upper Division
400-499 Senior Level Upper Division
500-599 Master's Level
600-699 Doctoral Level
Over 700 Graduate Research or Thesis Level