Advisement and Registration

A faculty advisor is assigned to each accepted graduate student according to his/her program of study. Students should consult their advisors as soon as possible and prior to the initial registration to ensure appropriate enrollment. Students should meet with their advisors regularly thereafter to discuss the progress of his/her studies, and the advisor should approve the student's overall program. Registration instructions will be available to students online and as a part of their acceptance information. Students must register during the time periods listed in the university calendar ( to avoid a late registration fee.

Graduate students must maintain continuous enrollment status to be eligible for registration in subsequent semesters. Continuous enrollment status is defined as either currently registered for course work or on approved academic leave. Graduate students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment must apply for reinstatement to their degree program.

Full and Part-time Status

SUNY Fredonia generally recommends a full-time academic course load of 9 graduate-level credit hours per semester. Course load varies by degree program. Graduate assistants may be categorized as full-time students with a course load of 6 credit hours per semester. Some state and federal financial aid programs require recipients to register for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester (or a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester if recipient is a graduate assistant) to maintain funding. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office for details and personalized counseling.

Academic Credit and Course Load

The unit of academic credit is the semester hour, which normally represents one hour of lecture or recitation each week per semester. Seminars, research courses, and laboratories bear academic credit appropriate to the work expected of the student in the course.

The maximum course load for a full-time graduate student is 15 credit hours per semester during the academic year, 6 credit hours in each summer session, and 4 credit hours during J-Term. Students employed full-time may not carry more than 6 credit hours per semester during the academic year. Graduate assistants normally carry a course load of 6 to 9 semester hours during the fall and spring. These limits may be waived in consultation with the student's advisor, and permission of the department chair, Dean of the College of Education (for education programs only), and the Graduate Studies Office. The form is available on the Graduate Studies website:

Upon recommendation of the chairperson of a student's major department and with the approval of the Graduate Studies Office, work experience directly related to the student's academic program may be given academic credit via the appropriate departmental, school, or college Independent Study course number. Decisions about such credit are subject to the requirements for independent study in the department and include approval prior to the work experience except in unusual circumstances. In all cases, graduate students seeking approval for prior experience are asked to submit documentation of their experience, including letters of support from supervisors and additional evidence of the applicability of the experience to the standards, content, and breadth of the graduate program. A maximum of 6 credit hours may be awarded and applied toward fulfillment of graduate degree program requirements.

Graduate Course Numbers

Graduate courses at SUNY Fredonia are numbered 500-599 and 600-699. Under exceptional circumstances, a maximum of 6 credit hours of 300- or 400-level courses outside the major area of specialization may be included. The recommendation of the faculty advisor and the approval of the department chairperson, Dean of the College of Education (education majors only), and the Graduate Studies Office is required prior to the student's enrollment in the course. Undergraduate courses taken in the major area of specialization will not receive graduate credit.

Courses numbered 600-699 are advanced graduate courses open to graduate students only. Qualified undergraduates who have completed 90 credit hours with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 may be allowed to enroll in graduate courses numbered 500-599.

With the approval of the Graduate Studies Office, qualified undergraduates may apply to enroll in a limited number of 500-level graduate courses, either for credit to be applied to their undergraduate programs or toward a SUNY Fredonia graduate program they enter at a later time. In the latter case, a student will be charged the difference between undergraduate and graduate tuition when the credit is applied to the graduate transcript.

Permission of the chairperson of the department offering the course and approval of the Graduate Studies Office is required. The form is available at the following web address:

Courses may not be used for both undergraduate and graduate credit. Undergraduates are not allowed to enroll in courses numbered above 599.

Schedule Changes

Changes in student class schedules generally require the completion of a drop/add form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the signature(s) of the instructor(s) of the affected courses. Forms must be filed in the Office of the Registrar by published deadlines ( Dropped courses will be removed from the student's permanent record. A fee will be assessed for any course adjustment made after the published deadline.

Course Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw from a course may do so starting in the second week of the semester until the seventh full week of the semester. A 'WC' grade will be entered for the course. Course withdrawal requires the approval of the student's advisor or major department chairperson. The withdrawal grade will be recorded on the student's permanent record but will not be counted in the student's quality point average.

Exact dates for the drop/withdrawal period apply to all full-semester courses and are always available online (

Academic Leave of Absence

The purpose of the Academic Leave policy is to ensure quality by providing continuity in the student's degree program and to provide a mechanism for obtaining appropriate academic leave. Academic Leave is defined as an appropriate, approved period of non-enrollment during a graduate student's degree program. Academic Leave will only be considered after a student has completed a minimum of one semester of graduate course work.

Students must apply to their academic departments for a one- or two-semester academic leave. If a student does not obtain permission from the department for an academic leave, he/she will be deemed inactive at the end of one non-enrolled semester and will be required to apply for reinstatement with no guarantee that he/she will be accepted back into the program. Students approved for an academic leave will not be required to apply for reinstatement.

The Graduate Studies Office will be the final signatory for a student's request for academic leave. The Academic Leave form may be found at the following web address:

Withdrawal from Program

The university reserves the right to require any student who does not maintain minimum academic standards, or who is not in good academic standing, to withdraw. Graduate students who find it necessary to leave the university before the end of a semester must officially withdraw from SUNY Fredonia through the Graduate Studies Office using the form available at the following link:

Students may withdraw for any reason up to a period of three weeks prior to the end of the semester. Students will be permitted to withdraw during the final three weeks of the semester only due to illness or other appropriate reasons as determined by the Office of Student Affairs. Failure to follow the required procedure may prejudice the right to an honorable dismissal and jeopardize any refunds. As a rule, all students should check with the Office of Financial Aid prior to withdrawing from the University. Those enrolled in any federal veterans' benefits program must also notify the Veterans Affairs Office (Nixon Hall) of their withdrawal.

Students who withdraw during a semester may be eligible for certain refunds. For more information, students should contact the Student Accounts office at (716) 673-3236 or email


Students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment status and have not been granted approval to take an academic leave will be considered inactive at the end of one non-enrolled semester and must apply for reinstatement to their degree program. Students who do not enroll in their initial admission semester and did not indicate on their enrollment confirmation that they intended to defer admission will be considered inactive at the end of one non-enrolled semester and must apply for reinstatement to their degree program.

Reinstatement applications are available at the following web address: