General registration opens for the Fall and Summer semester in late March or early April, and for Spring semester in early November. All initial registration made starting the first day of the semester will be charged a late registration fee. All registration dates can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s website

All CCAS graduate students are required to register continuously each fall and spring semester until the completion of their program. Even students on a Leave of Absence must register. Registration during the summer is optional, except for students in the Professional Psychology (Psy.D.) program and for those who plan to complete their degree requirements in the summer semester. Failure to register requires that a student apply for readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed.

Part-time vs Full-time Workload

The typical workload for a full-time graduate student is 9 credits in Fall and 9 credits in Spring. All students must register for at least 3 credits each fall and spring semester, unless they are eligible for Continuing Research (CR).

  • Minimum: 3 credits per semester.
  • Maximum: 15 credits per semester (Please check with your program, as they may require fewer credits for the maximum).

Taking more than 15 credits requires approval from your Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and the Associate Dean.

The credit hours required for half-time and full-time status are as follows:

  • Part-time: 3-4 credits per semester
  • Half-time: 5-8 credits per semester
  • Full-time: 9-12 credits per semester

Students who work more than 20 hours per week should not register for more than 6 credits

Failure to register for the minimum number of credit hours may lead to problems with student loans, with your degree completion deadline, or with your student visa (for international students). 

RTF-EZ or RTF-Classic?

Online registration through GWeb isn't permitted for some classes. When this occurs, there are two different types of Registration Transaction Forms (RTF) you can use to register for the course: 


  • Closed courses (not to exceed classroom capacity)
  • Courses that require permission of instructor or department
  • Courses with Major/Level/Class/Degree Restrictions
  • Pre-requisite waivers
  • Adding a course before the 4th week of class (2nd week in Summer)
  • Withdrawing from a course before the 10th week of semester (4th week in Summer)

You can take the RTF-EZ to the Student Services Hub in the University Student Center where you will be registered on the spot, or you can email it to [email protected].



  • Exemptions to academic policy
  • Time conflicts
  • Grade mode changes (credit/no-credit, audit)
  • Credit hours changes
  • Exceeding the maximum amount of credits hours permitted
  • Internship courses
  • Registration beyond the 4th week of semester (2nd week in Summer)

You must email the RTF-Classic to the Office of Graduate Studies ([email protected]) for approval, and we will forward it to the Office of the Registrar.

Dropping and Adding Courses

Effective Spring 2021, courses dropped prior to the start of the semester (before the first day of classes) will have 100% of the tuition charges canceled. Courses dropped beginning the first day of classes are subject to the university refund schedule, which governs the prorated cancellation of semester tuition charges in cases of program adjustment or withdrawal. The following financial penalties apply for dropped courses:

 Fall and Spring Semester  Refund amount
On or before the end of the first week of the semester 100%
On or before the end of the second week of the semester 100%
On or before the end of the third week of the semester 60%
On or before the end of the fourth week of the semester 40%
On or before the end of the fifth week of the semester 20%
After the fifth week of the semester 0%
 Summer Semester (4-7 week session)  Refund Amount
Within the first 5 calendar days of the summer session           100%
Within 6 and 10 calendar days of the summer session 70%
Within 11 and 14 calendar days of the summer session 50%
After the 15 calendar days of the summer session 0%

Non-refundable tuition is charged starting the first day of the semester, NOT the first day of class for your course.  

Off-campus courses and courses that do not follow the traditional semester may have a different refund schedule.

You may make adjustments to your registration by dropping and adding an equal number of credit hours, without penalty, during the first four weeks of the semester. To ensure you are not charged, you must drop a course and add an equivalent credit hour course within the same week, and you must do so using the same method, either through GWeb or by using a Registration Transaction Form (RTF).

You may continue to adjust your schedule within the first 4 weeks of the semester. If you drop a course after the 4th week, you will receive a grade of W (Withdrawn). You may not drop any classes after the 10th week. 

Withdrawing from your Program

If you find it necessary to withdraw completely from the University, you must notify the CCAS Office of Graduate Studies in writing to [email protected]. If you want to resume your degree at a later date, you will be required to reapply for admission. If you wish to resume your degree within 2 years of leaving, you may be required to back register for one credit hour for each semester spent away. 

Tuition bill

Students will be billed for tuition by the Student Accounts Office after registering for courses. Tuition is based on the degree program you are registered in and is charged by credit hours. For example, students admitted to Foggy Bottom campus programs pay the on-campus tuition rate for any courses they register for, regardless of course format or location. Graduate tuition rates can be found on the Student Accounts Office website.


Registration Tips

  • Create an academic plan with your faculty advisor.
  • Identify any courses, such as Consortium courses or those requiring special permission, which are not available through GWeb. For more information on Consortium courses, see the Consortium Registration section.
  • Be sure to avoid time conflicts.
  • You are held financially responsible for courses on your record effective the first day of the semester. Register before the first day to avoid additional financial responsibility.
  • Utilize DegreeMAP as a degree tracking tool.
  • Please note that when registering for variable credit hours (ranging from 2-12 credits), the registration system defaults to 1.0 credit hours. You will need to adjust your credit hours in the Schedule and Options tab on the Register for Classes menu. Please follow the instructions under Variable Credit Adjustments on the Office of the Registrar's website to update your registration. 
  • Visit the Office of the Registrar's website for guidelines on using GWeb to register.


Half-Time/Full-Time Certification

There may be times when you are permitted to register for fewer credits than normally required and still be considered a half-time or full-time student for student loan or other purposes. This can be done using a Half-Time/Full-Time Certification form. The only acceptable reasons for requesting Half-Time/Full-Time Certification are when you are:

  • Completing Thesis/Dissertation Research;
  • Enrolled in Cooperative Education;
  • Preparing for your comprehensive/general examination; or
  • Completing a required internship/externship/practicum/capstone.

After you complete the online form, it will be routed to the CCAS Office of Graduate Studies (Dean’s Office) for approval. If approved, your enrollment status will be updated starting on the first day of classes for the semester requested. Once your enrollment status has been updated, you may request an enrollment certificate from the National Student Clearinghouse through GWeb that will certify your updated enrollment status.

Ph.D. Students

If you are a pre-candidacy Ph.D. student, CCAS will certify you for one semester only while you are preparing for the general examination. In order to be certified again, you will need to advance to candidacy. Once in candidacy, you may register for 3 credits per semester until you reach 72 credits and still be certified as full-time.

International Students

International students must remain as full-time students for visa purposes. You should complete the international student Full-Time Certification Request form or the Reduced Course Load form, depending on your situation. You may submit these forms electronically through the ISO gateway.

Continuous Registration Policy

All CCAS graduate students are required to register continuously each fall and spring semester until the completion of their program. Registration during the summer is optional, except for students in the Professional Psychology (Psy.D.) program and for those who plan to complete their degree requirements in the summer semester. Failure to register requires that a student apply for readmission. 

However, there are certain situations in which a student may not be registered for coursework, but is instead permitted to enroll in Continuing Research, Continuous Enrollment, or a Leave of Absence. Each of these situations is discussed in this section, but please reach out to your Student Services Coordinator if you feel you are unable to complete courses in a given semester but wish to maintain your student status.

Continuing Research (CR)

If you have completed all of your required coursework, all special departmental requirements, all thesis/dissertation research registration requirements, and are within the deadline to complete your program, you may register for one credit of Continuing Research (CR) each semester until the completion of your degree. You may need to register for CR because you are sitting your comprehensive examinations or completing your thesis or dissertation.

Continuing Research is listed in the Schedule of Classes under Columbian College as CCAS 0940 for doctoral students and CCAS 0920 for master's students. Semesters of Continuing Research count against the time limit for completion of degree requirements. 

Continuous Enrollment (CE)

If you are completing your program in the Summer semester, you may register for Continuous Enrollment (CE). Continuous Enrolment is a 0 credit course, so there is no tuition charge. To register for CE, you must contact your Student Services Coordinator at [email protected].

There is a special section of Continuous Enrollment designed for international students completing their degree requirements in the summer. While it is still zero credits, in order to comply with visa regulations the title of the course is Continuing Research. This is different from the 1 credit Continuing Research course (CCAS 0920/CCAS 0940) mentioned above, and you will need to contact your Student Services Coordinator at [email protected] in order to register.

Continuous Enrollment in summer semesters is permitted on a routine basis, without petition. Semesters of Continuous Enrollment count against the time limit for completion of degree requirements. 

Doctoral students with external funding
If, in a Fall or Spring semester, you are otherwise eligible to register for either Continuing Research (1.0 credits, normal tuition) or Dissertation Research (8999) and either 1) is otherwise entitled to receive one or more credits of tuition support from CCAS in the semester in question or 2) is awarded external funding in competition for the semester in question, then the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies may approve a petition to register instead for Continuous Enrollment. Registration for international students receiving external funding for whom the Associate Dean approves for CE will be restricted to the 0 credit Continuous Research course.

Continuous Enrollment vs Leave of Absence

It is important to note the differences between Continuous Enrollment (CE) and a Leave of Absence (LOA).

  • CE implies that you are still studying and making progress towards your degree completion, while LOA means that you are not studying at all and are taking a "leave".
  • Semesters of CE count towards your time to degree completion, while semesters of LOA do not count towards your time to degree completion.
  • You are an "active" student while enrolled in CE, so you can access the library, gym, receive student loan deferrals, etc. You are an "inactive" student while on LOA, so you may not access the library or gym, and you may be required to start paying back your student loans.


Consortium Courses

GW is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area Consortium of Universities, which allows you the opportunity to enroll at other member institutions for courses that are not available at GW.

Participation in this program is open only to students who are located at the Foggy-Bottom or Mount Vernon campuses (with the exception of Corcoran students). You must be in good academic standing in order to participate. With prior approval, up to 9 credits toward a master's degree and up to 12 credits towards a doctoral degree may be taken through the consortium. In all cases, at least one-half (50%) of the hours counting toward your degree must be taken at GW. For example, if you receive 7 transfer credits to a 30 credit hour program, then you may only take 8 consortium credits.

Access to Consortium courses is not guaranteed, as priority is given to students enrolled at the home institution. DGS approval and the GW equivalent course number on the Consortium Registration form are required for the Associate Dean’s review. Please visit the Office of the Registrar's Consortium page to obtain the necessary forms and for more information on Consortium courses.


Limits on Undergraduate Courses Counted Toward Graduate Programs

No more than 25% of the credits completed for a graduate program may consist of upper-level (2000+) undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit. Graduate students may still take such courses for graduate credit, provided they complete additional, graduate-level coursework and have the instructor’s permission to do so. But students who wish to fulfill more than 25% of their degree requirements via undergraduate courses will need to petition the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for permission to do and provide an academic justification for this requested exception.