search physics search Rutgers Search Rutgers Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences: Physics and Astronomy

Registering for classes and appointment

In the Rutgers system, graduate students registering for a term need to register for courses and / or research, and also for their appointments, if any.

Active graduate students must register for at least 1 course or research credit each term.

You need to register for at least 9 (7) credits to be full (half) time. Most international students generally need to be full time due to their visa requirements. Domestic students with undergraduate loans generally are able defer repaying their loans if they are at least half time.

For a Ph.D. (M.S.), 72 (30) credits are required. There is no reward for getting more credits. SAS is limiting tuition support for Ph.D. students to 75 credits maximum. Senior students should be careful to limit the number of credits they register for.

International Ph.D. students approaching 72 credits who have completed all coursework can maintain full time status despite fewer credits by applying for reduced credits with Global Services. More detailed information and a link to the online application are available here. The application is automatically sent to the GPD for review and approval.

Domestic students with too few credits and loans should submit the ``Enrollment Certification of Doctoral Students'' form available at the SGS form web site.

A Ph.D. degree is a research degree, and requires a minimum of 24 credits of research courses 701 and / or 702, which are graded on a satisfactory / unsatisfactory basis. Students signing up for research may sign up for 701 or 702 after they are advanced to candidacy. You can choose how many credits to sign up for, with the number nearly always being 1 - 9. If you are not advanced, register for 623 and / or 624 if you are going to do non-classroom work with your adviser - these courses are given letter grades.

If your appointment is...

  • a Fellow, register for course 811, 0 credits.
  • a GA, register for course 866, 6 GA credits.
  • a TA, register for course 877, 6 TA credits.
Course and research credits count both towards your degree and your full- or half-time status. TA/GA/Fellow appointment credits count towards your full- or half-time status, but DO NOT count towards your degree.

Ph.D. students generally need permission to register for more than 16 credits (6 credit appointment + 10 credits courses and/or research). If you need to exceed this limit, contact the GPD concerning special permission.

Back to Rutgers Physics Home Page

Reports of broken links or other technical comments about this Web page should be reported to
All correspondence about the Graduate Program in Physics and Astronomy should be addressed to

Last revised August 29, 2021