Article II. Registration and Enrollment



Students must register for classes during the registration period as announced in the University Calendar as well as follow procedures for registration as outlined in the Student Reference Manual and Directory of Classes. These documents can be found at the Howard University website, .

Section 1.    Permanent Record

The official permanent record of a students’ enrollment in the university, registration for classes, grades earned, and other qualifications fulfilled are maintained in the Office of the Registrar.

Section 2.    Student Load

Nine credit hours are considered to be a full-time schedule for students prior to being admitted to candidacy. After admission to candidacy, enrollment for at least one credit hour of dissertation research or dissertation writing may constitute a full-time schedule. This does not apply to students who are enrolled in financial aid loan programs and teaching/graduate assistantships that may require additional credits for full-time or part-time status.  Students must also, if applies, check with their lending institutions to determine full-time and part-time load status.  It is the student’s responsibility to be responsive and adhere to the requirement(s) of the lending institution regarding student load.

The maximum load for a graduate student is fifteen credit hours. Enrollment in more than twelve credit hours requires approval by the Graduate Studies Committee of the department. Courses for no credit allowance will not be included as part of the regular student load.

Section 3.    Leave of Absence for Exceptional Family Circumstances

In recognition of the effects that childbirth, adoption, illness, disability, caring for incapacitated dependents (such as children, ill or injured partners, or aging parents), military service, or similar circumstances may have on the time and energy that graduate students must devote to their educational programs, the University allows students in such circumstances to apply for a leave of absence.

A.    Length of Leave

Students who apply for a leave of absence should indicate the length of the requested leave of absence and explain why their circumstances warrant a leave of that length. Leaves of absence in excess of four semesters are disfavored and will not be granted absent extraordinary circumstances or as required by law. Time to degree will not be impacted by an official approved leave of absence. Approval of leave can only be granted by the Graduate Dean in consultation with and support of the students’ graduate program Chair and/or Director of Graduate Studies.

B.    Application Procedures

A leave of absence for childbirth, adoption, illness, disability, dependent care, or similar circumstances normally must be requested and approved prior to the beginning of the academic term for which it is being requested. A letter of request should provide a detailed explanation of the circumstances leading to the request and a justification of the length of the requested leave. Students should describe the progress they have made in their graduate program and indicate if the requested leave of absence is expected to affect the time-to-degree, course- viability, or course-restoration limitations set forth elsewhere in these Rules. The letter of request should be sent to the Dean of the Graduate School and, in cases of disability, the Office of Student Services. The letter of request must also state whether the request is supported by the student’s faculty advisor and Director of Graduate Studies and include supporting documentation. The faculty advisor, Director of Graduate Studies, Office of Student Services, and/or the Graduate Dean may request a doctor’s statement to document any limitations arising from a student’s disability or illness.

C.    Special Considerations

Registration Requirements

Students on an approved leave of absence are not registered at the University and, therefore, do not have the rights and privileges of registered students. Upon the conclusion of an approved leave of absence, a student must reapply to the university as a former student returning (FSR). Students must be registered during a semester in which they fulfill a university or departmental degree requirement, such as taking qualifying exams or submitting a dissertation/thesis. Students must also be registered in order to be eligible for any form of university financial aid (e.g., a teaching or research assistantship) and to be certified as full-time students.

Impact on Funding

When contemplating a leave of absence, graduate students are advised to consult the sources of their funding to determine whether a leave might involve a long-term financial loss. Because academic programs and financial aid packages may be constructed and sequenced over a period of years, individual interruptions to the normal sequence of academic progress and scheduled employment may result in a loss of future funding and a slower time to completion of degree. In some programs, a leave of absence may mean that students may have to begin a new project upon return, with the likelihood that their research may take longer to complete. Whenever a leave of absence is being considered, a student should meet with the advisor to develop a plan for resumption of study and gain a clear understanding of future funding opportunities. Some outside funding agencies frown on interruptions to a degree program. Some only allow leaves for medical reasons or military service. Others require prior approval of the fellowship agency.
Students with outstanding educational loans need to consider the effect of taking a leave of absence on their loan status. For some student loans, a grace period for repaying the loan begins once the student stops registering. If the leave period is longer than the grace period, then the student may have to begin repaying the loan while on a leave of absence. Prior to taking a leave, students should arrange to meet with a Student Financial Aid officer, and/or contact their lenders.

International students

Non-immigrant F-1 and J-1 students and their dependents must maintain legal immigration status at all times. Students with F-1 or J-1 visas must be enrolled full-time every semester at the University while they remain in the United States. The only possible exception that might allow a student to remain in the United States while on an approved leave of absence might be a serious illness or medical condition. Students are advised to consult with the staff of the Office of International Educational Services for more information when considering a leave of absence.

Student Accounts

Students are advised to check with the Enrollment Management Office and the Office of the Bursar prior to taking an approved leave of absence in order to determine the status of their student accounts. Students are advised that accounts that are overdue will be subject to regular procedures in accordance with university guidelines, notwithstanding any approved leave of absence: specifically, late fees and finance charges will continue to accrue, students will be blocked from future registration upon their return, and accounts will be referred for collection, with the imposition of additional collection charges, for non-payment in accordance with regular timeframes.

University Housing and Other Resources

The University's general policy is that students must be registered to be eligible for university housing. For specific information about continued eligibility for university housing during an approved leave of absence, students are advised to contact the Department of Resident Life. Students who are on a leave of absence do not have a valid Howard University identification card and therefore are not entitled to use university resources, such as the libraries, shuttle buses, and other services covered by mandatory fees.

Section 4. Temporary Interruption of Student's Program for Other Reasons

Students who are readmitted to the Graduate School are subject to the rules and regulations in place at the time of readmission.

Section 5    Howard E-Mail Address

Your Howard University email address 
All email correspondence will be sent to your Howard University email address. As a student, your email address ends in “”. However, if you are an HU employee, or at any point you become a Howard employee (including as a Graduate Assistant) you will also have an email address that ends in “” If you are both a student and an employee, email sent to “” can only be forwarded to one of the two accounts. You will need to check both accounts regularly.
Section 6    Consortium Courses
Howard University is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area Consortium of Universities (CUWMA), which allows you the opportunity to enroll at other member institutions for courses that are not available at Howard. 
Access to Consortium courses is not guaranteed as priority is given to students enrolled at the home institution.  Students must be registered at Howard University for the same semester they are interested in taking a Consortium course.
Consortium registration forms are available in Suite 105 in the Administration Building during the registration period each semester. For more information on the CUWMA and participating universities course schedules, please visit 
To be eligible for this program a student must meet the following requirements: 
1. Be a fully admitted degree seeking student (these does not include students enrolled in certificate programs).
2. Be actively enrolled in courses at Howard University at the same time that the Consortium course is being taken.
3. Not exceed the number of credits they are registered for at Howard University.
4. Be in good academic/financial standing - (2.0 GPA for UG students and 3.0 for GR students)
5. Obtain the following approvals to participate in the Consortium Program.
     (a) ACADEMIC APPROVAL- Signature of the Academic Dean and Department Chairperson
     (b) ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL- Return Consortium form to the Consortium Coordinator for signature and validation stamp - Administration Building, Suite 105.

Section 6    Health Insurance

Student Health Insurance is mandatory for all students.  Students are required to be enrolled in the University Student Health plan.    For additional information regarding student health insurance, contact United Health Care: Student Resources at Homepage | UnitedHealthcare StudentResources ( or the Division of Student Affairs/ Wellness at Wellness | Howard University Student Affairs.