Registration Information


Students should consult with their Major Professor as they select classes each term. All MS and PhD students are required to include three credits of graduate seminar (e.g. FW 507 or similar seminars offered by other departments) on their program of study. This course should be included in your registration as availability allows. The Graduate School also requires that students complete training in the conduct of ethical research. The Graduate Orientation class (FW 599) offered in Fall term includes content that fulfills the ethical research training required by the Graduate School. Other options for fulfilling this requirement include GRAD 520: Responsible Conduct of Research, or completion of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Module from the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). Students choosing the CITI module to complete their ethical research training will not list this course on their graduate program. A copy of the certificate of completion for the CITI module should be provided to the FW Graduate Program Coordinator.


A full list of courses (FWCS Course List) and when they are offered is available on the FWCS Curricula and Course Offerings webpage. Other graduate level courses can be found in the OSU Catalog; only the current term offerings and one future term are accurately scheduled in the OSU Schedule of Classes. The Fisheries and Wildlife Graduate Student Association (FWGSA) also keeps a Graduate Course Guide and Recommendations list of courses offered through other Departments that are highly recommended for our students. The FWCS Faculty have curated a list of Quantitative courses found in the Resources > Faculty Resources page in this website. You can check the general catalog and schedule of classes website for subject descriptions before you register for classes.

If the credit load associated with the graded coursework in a student's registration does not meet minimum registration requirements, the student should use Thesis credits to increase their overall load to meet minimum registration requirements. If the graded coursework on a student's program is complete, they should continue to register for the appropriate number of Thesis credits each term until their degree is conferred.

Master's students should register for FW 503 Thesis credits; PhD students should register for FW 603 Thesis credits. Students can locate a CRN for the correct thesis credits under their advisor's name in the online catalog each term. Type the thesis credit course number (e.g., FW 503 or FW 603) into the Keyword box, select the term you want to view, and click Search. Look for your advisors name on the right and click on it when you see it. That will open up a new window that shows the CRN for your thesis credits that term. If you do not see your major professors name listed under FW 503 or FW 603, email for assistance.



Please reference the Registrar's page for how to register and the New Graduate Student Guide maintained by the Graduate School. Students should check the OSU Academic Calendar to determine when registration opens each term, drop and withdraw deadlines, dates for University holidays and the schedule for final examination week. Graduate students can register for classes on the first day of Priority Registration (Phase I) and throughout the remainder of the registration cycle. You can add/drop courses until the priority registration period ends.

Issues such as late registration, adding or withdrawing from courses after deadlines, or late changes from letter or S/U grading are resolved through the petition for late change in registration filed with the Graduate School and Registrar's office. A late registration fee may be applied when using this form to resolve issues.


Unless on an approved Leave of Absence, all graduate students enrolled in master's or doctoral programs must register continuously for a minimum of 3 graduate credits each term (fall, winter, and spring terms) until all degree requirements are met, regardless of student’s location. Students on approved leave are exempt from the continuous enrollment policy for the term(s) they are on leave.

Graduate students who use facilities or faculty/staff time during summer session are required to register for a minimum of 3 credits during the summer session. Students defending in the summer term are required to register for a minimum of 3 graduate credits.

Students may appeal the provisions of the continuous graduate enrollment policy if extraordinary circumstances arise by submitting a detailed request in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School. Scheduling difficulties related to the preliminary oral exam or the final oral exam are not considered an extraordinary circumstance.

Graduate assistantship eligibility requires enrollment levels that supersede those contained in this continuous enrollment policy. Various agencies and offices maintain their own registration requirements that also may exceed those specified by this continuous enrollment policy (e.g., those of the Veterans Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service for international students, and those required for federal financial aid programs.) Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that may be required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.

Graduate students who have successfully completed all course and non-course requirements and have met all diploma deadlines are not required to register during the subsequent term. Doctoral and master’s students who fail to meet all deadlines and complete all course and non-course requirements will be required to register for a minimum of three graduate credits during the subsequent term. An exception to this rule may be considered if library copies of the thesis have been submitted to the Graduate School within the first two weeks of the subsequent term and the thesis is the only outstanding requirement remaining for certification of the student’s graduate degree.



Students are responsible for knowing the appropriate number of credits required to meet both the terms of their employment contract or fellowship, the Graduate School's continuous enrollment policy, and any other registration requirements that may supersede the Graduate School requirements (i.e., international, financial aid, veteran’s). You are considered a “full-time” graduate student if you are registered for 9–16 credits in a given academic term. Students must receive approval from the Graduate School to exceed 16 credits and will be charged a per credit overload fee. You are considered a “part-time” graduate student if you have fewer than nine credits. Part-time graduate students are only eligible for federal financial aid support or tax benefits if they are enrolled in a minimum of five credits. If you are a degree-seeking student, you must be registered for a minimum of three graduate credits (unless on an approved Leave of Absence), including the term of the final defense.



Students supported on graduate teaching or research assistantships are required to enroll at levels higher than the minimum full-time load. The minimum credit load for students funded through teaching and research assistantships is 12 graduate credits in Fall, Winter, and Spring terms; three or five graduate credits in the Summer term depending on your support.


Various agencies, funding entities, and offices maintain their own registration requirements that also may exceed nine credits per quarter (e.g., those of the Veterans Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service for international students, various fellowships and those required for federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of graduate credits that may be required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific regulations under which they are governed.

If you're registering for only on-campus credits, it benefits our College if you increase your total credit load up to 16 credits (by adding thesis credits). If you have any online credits in your registration, you should keep your registration at 12 graduate credits.

Students supported by teaching or research assistantships receive a tuition remission as part of their support. It is important for students to understand that tuition remissions are based on the on-campus tuition rate for resident students. As such, any terms where students include online courses in their registration can result in tuition bills that exceed the remission amount. This can result in the overage being billed to either the department, to a principle investigator's grant, or to the student depending on how the student is funded. Keep this in mind when registering for online credits. Please consult the Department or your Major Professor if you have questions about including Ecampus courses in your registration.



Graduate students are required to register for for a minimum of three graduate credits if they are actively working on their graduate research and intend to use university resources (e.g. facilities, equipment, computing and library services, or faculty or staff time) during the summer session. Graduate students who do not plan to make use of university resources are not required to register during the summer session and do not need to submit a Leave of Absence request for summer term. In such instances, absences during summer session will not be counted within allowed Leave of Absence limits. The following details should be reviewed prior to registration for summer term.


  • Students supported on a FWCS Departmental GTA should register for five graduate credits.
  • Students supported on a GRA should register for a minimum of three graduate credits. There are federal tax benefits, meaning you will pay less in taxes and keep more pay in your paycheck, for registering for five credits (1/2 time graduate student status). Students supported on a GRA should check with their Major Professor (or the person in charge of their grant) to determine if their funding is sufficient to support five graduate credit summer registration.
  • Students who are self-supported should register for a minimum of three graduate credits if they are using university resources.
  • Students who are supported on any other type of funding (e.g., fellowship) should register for three graduate credits but should also check their award for any information about registration requirements (or allowances) imposed by their funding agency or organization.


Leave of Absence status is available to eligible students who need to suspend their program of study for good cause. The time the student spends on approved leave will be included in any time limits prescribed by the university relevant to degree completion. Students on approved leave may not a) use any university facilities, b) make demands upon faculty time, c) receive a fellowship or financial aid, or d) take course work of any kind at Oregon State University. Leave of Absence/Intent to Resume Graduate Study Forms must be received by the Graduate School at least 15 working days prior to the first day of the term involved. Family Medical Leave (FML) may be granted at any point during a term. FML inquiries should be directed to NOTE: Students who are pursuing a certificate only are not subject to the Leave of Absence Policy.


Degree seeking graduate students who take an unauthorized break in registration relinquish graduate standing at the University.

To have graduate standing reinstated after an unauthorized break, students are required to reapply to their program (complete the online graduate admission application, pay the application fee, and may be required to register for three graduate credits for each term of unauthorized break in registration).  It is advisable that students in this situation state that they are applying for readmission in the application packet.  A reapplication does not ensure admittance to the program.


A learning outcome of Master's and Ph.D. programs at Oregon State requires that students are able to conduct scholarly activities in an ethical manner. The course GRAD 520 is one way to satisfy this university requirement. Students can also take other courses that cover ethics as a topic. One example is FW 599 Graduate Orientation (1 credit) currently offered on campus.


Another option is to complete the online CITI training program, Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research Course that is free for OSU students.

If you choose the CITI Training Program option to fulfill the ethics requirement, please sign up with your OSU credentials. Once you are finished send a copy of the certificate to the FWCS Graduate Advisor at Please also indicate how you chose to satisfy the ethics requirement on your program of study planning template.

Instructions for accessing required ethical training on the CITI website

  1. Go to
  2. Register as a new user by clicking on the white “Register” box near the upper right-hand corner of CITI’s homepage.
  3. Complete the seven-step, online CITI-Learner Registration process
    1. Step 1: Enter “Oregon State University” in the box where you are asked to “Select Your Organization Affiliation”
    2. Step 2: Enter your personal information being sure to use your e-mail address. This way OSU will pay for your course fees for any training you take on the CITI website. Do not use a personal e-mail or you will be charged for the courses you complete.
    3. Steps 3-7 are self-explanatory.
  4. Log into your CITI account.
  5. Upon login, choose the dropdown menu item listed as “Oregon State University Course.”
  6. Under the heading, “My Learner Tools for Oregon State University” choose “Add a Course.”
  7. Answer Questions 1-3 and Question 6 as “Not at this time,” leave Question 4 unanswered, and choose “Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research Course” for your answer to Question 5, and hit the Submit button at the bottom of the curriculum selection form.
  8. Now a course entitled “Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research Course 1” should be listed in your Oregon State University Courses dropdown, click on the title of the course.
  9. Click on the “Complete the Integrity Assurance Statement before beginning this course” box.
  10. Read and agree to the assurance statement and other for accessing CITI Program materials and submit the form.
  11. Complete the seven modules within the Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research Course.

Upon completion of the entire course you will see a message that tells you that a completion report has been sent to Oregon State University. That report goes to OSU’s Office Research Integrity. Please send a copy of the certificate to the FWCS Graduate Advisor at so we have a record on file.



Audit registration permits a student to enroll in a course for no credit and no grade. Course requirements for an audited course will be determined by the course instructor. Audit registration is available to degree-seeking and non degree-seeking students. The audit registration period runs Monday through Friday of the second full week of classes. See the Academic Calendar for the Audit Registration period.


Students wanting to audit a course must bring a completed Audit Registration form with the instructor’s permission to the Office of the Registrar for registration. Audit registration is not done online.

Audit courses are assessed instructional fees at the same rate as credit courses. Any changes to an audit registration are subject to the same procedures, deadlines, and special fees as registration changes to regular courses. Upon completion of an audited course, the designation of “AUD” will be recorded on the transcript. The designation of “WAU” will be recorded on the transcript for students who withdraw from an audited course.

Important: Credits from audited courses cannot be used to meet the minimum registration requirements for GTA, GRA or Fellowship support.