Enrollment and Registration Policies

Continuous Enrollment

Once admitted to a graduate program, each student has the obligation to continue a course of study and must register every semester in the academic year (both fall and spring semesters). Failure to comply with the requirement to register every semester will be taken as evidence that the student has terminated his or her program and admission status in the Graduate School. A new application for admission with the consequent re-evaluation of the student’s performance may be required of a student wishing to resume a graduate program terminated under this regulation.

Leave of Absence

Students who wish to continue in a degree program, but who cannot study in a particular semester or year, should notify their Graduate Program Directors and the Assistant Dean for Graduate Progressions and Academic Services in the Graduate School using the Leave of Absence Request Form .

A leave of absence is NOT required for summer or winter terms.

The five-year period for completion of the master’s degree or for admission to doctoral candidacy begins with the first semester of enrollment; this “clock” does not stop during leaves of absence. If additional time is needed to complete your degree or to reach candidacy, you can submit a request for an extension to the Associate Dean’s office.

Failure to enroll after two consecutive semesters of leave of absence will result in your enrollment status changing from active to discontinued, unless approval has been granted in advance by the Associate Dean of the Graduate School for additional semesters of leave of absence.

A student who is not enrolled, is not eligible to utilize university resources.


Students who wish to return to their programs after being discontinued for exceeding the leave of absence period must complete the Returning Student Request Form, obtain the Graduate Program Director’s signature, and submit the signed form to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the desired term of re-enrollment.

A student who has been absent from UMBC for a longer period of time and wishes to continue graduate studies may be required to reapply. The student should contact the appropriate program to which he or she was admitted for advice, and the graduate program director will notify the Graduate School about the recommended procedure.

Program Change

If a student wishes to change graduate programs after having been admitted and enrolled, the required steps depend upon whether the two programs are in the same department.

If they are in the same department (e.g., Data Science and Cybersecurity), the student should consult with the graduate program directors (GPDs) in both programs for permission. The GPD in the program to which the student wishes to move will notify the Graduate School that all parties agree with the change. The student will need to initiate the process using the Program Change form found on the Graduate School website.

If the two programs are in different departments (e.g., Computer Science and Information Systems), the student must apply to the new program (submitting a new application and fee) and be formally admitted.


If, after registration, a student wishes to discontinue pursuing a degree, a written notice of request for withdrawal from the university must be filed with the Graduate School. Withdrawal forms are available on the Graduate School Web site.

Course Load

The Graduate School at UMBC considers graduate students enrolled for a combination of courses carrying nine credits or more in a fall or spring semester to be full-time students. Full-time status may be defined differently by outside agencies and by some financial aid programs.

Graduate Assistants must be registered full-time in each Fall or Spring semester whether they are appointed to a full-time assistantship or a half-time assistantship.

Policy on Double Counting Courses

For students pursuing more than one Masters degree (either concurrently, or sequentially), coursework may not be utilized twice (i.e. “double counted”) in fulfillment of each degree. The exception is coursework taken through the accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program at UMBC, which permits transfer of up to six credits.

Auditing a Course

A graduate student who wishes to show that he or she has attended a course but does not seek academic credit, may register in a course as an auditor. The notation “AU” is listed for audited courses for which no credits are attempted or earned.

Audited courses count as zero-credit toward ALL enrollment certifications, such as full-time enrollment. Audited courses are not eligible for financial aid, nor are they considered when determining financial aid eligibility.

Tuition and fees for audit courses are the same as those charged for credit courses.

When the audit option is selected, the faculty teaching the audited class may set certain criteria which the auditor must meet, such as class attendance.

Inter-Institutional Enrollment

It is the university’s policy to encourage graduate students enrolled on one campus of the university to avail themselves of course offerings, research facilities and special faculty competencies on the other campuses of the University System of Maryland. The home campus retains responsibility for admission, academic advising, the collection of tuition and fees, grants of financial aid, the academic transcript and the awarding of the graduate degree. The host campus provides, on a space-available basis, access to courses and seminars, research facilities and libraries.

Enrollment Process for Outbound Students (UMBC Home)

  1. The student completes the inter-institutional enrollment form*, which can be found at the Registrar’s Website.
  2. The student is responsible for acquiring the UMBC Graduate Program Director’s signature on the inter-institutional form.
  3. The student submits the form directly to the Registrar’s Office for enrollment.
  4. The Registrar’s Office sends the completed enrollment form to the host campus to register the student for the specific course.

Enrollment Process for Inbound Students (UMBC Host)

  1. The student completes the inter-institutional enrollment form*, which can be found at the Registrar’s Website.
  2. The student is responsible for acquiring the UMBC Graduate Program Director’s signature on the inter-institutional form.
  3. The student then submits the signed form to the Graduate School at UMBC for application processing.
  4. The Graduate School submits the completed inter-institutional enrollment form to the Registrar’s Office.
  5. The Registrar’s Office then registers the student for the specified course.

*Please indicate on the form if your home/host campus is at Shady Grove.

Tuition and Fees and Financial Aid

The graduate student taking courses at a host campus pays the tuition and fees required of graduate students on the home campus


It is the responsibility of the student to determine the parking policies of the host campus, and the student must abide by parking policies of that campus. Some campuses honor parking permits from other USM campuses. Some require visiting students to purchase a parking permit for the host campus.

Library Privileges

The graduate student at a host campus enjoys similar library privileges extended to all graduate students on that campus. A temporary one-semester library card will be issued upon presentation of the home campus library card.

Emergency Medical Service

The graduate student at a host campus is granted emergency medical care comparable to that available to graduate students on the home campus. Evidence of payment of the health fee on the home campus or a copy of the approved request for permission to enroll will admit the graduate student to emergency medical service.