General Information

Mail: University of Houston
Cullen College of Engineering
E421 Engineering Bldg 2, Houston, TX 77204-4007
Map & Driving Directions (includes parking information)
Email: info [at] egr [dot] uh [dot] edu

Graduate Academic Policies

Enrollment and Time Limitations

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  • In general, graduate students are expected to be enrolled in consecutive long semesters (i.e., fall and spring) until the degree is completed and awarded. If you cannot enroll in a given semester, then you must apply by general petition to your college through your department for a leave of absence. The five-year rule on master's coursework still applies.
  • Full-time enrollment means that you must enroll and complete the minimum number of hours each semester as outlined below. We expect supported graduate students to progress toward their degrees at a reasonable pace. This means that dropping of courses by full-time graduate students is discouraged. Requests for full-time graduate students to drop courses below full-time status must have the approval of the Departmental Graduate Advisor, Chair and the Graduate Associate Dean and will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Students with a major in any aspect of engineering must obtain information on the number of hours for enrollment from their major department or the Dean's Office, not from the International Student Services and Scholars Office.
      Supported (RA/GA/GA-NE/TA/IA or Scholarship-Fellowship) Unsupported Temporary Visa (F-1, J-1)
      M/MS PhD M/MS PhD
    Spring 12 hours 12 hours 9 hours 9 hours
    Summer 6 hours 6 hours    
    Fall 12 hours 12 hours 9 hours 9 hours
    1. Supported PhD students who have been admitted to PhD candidacy can register for 9 hours in Spring and Fall
    2. Students who receive a waiver based on a scholarship are required to enroll full-time.
  • Full-time enrollment is expected of the following categories of graduate students:
    1. Students who receive financial support from the University of Houston.
    2. Students who are making significant use of campus resources.
    3. Students who are meeting Ph.D. residency requirements.
    4. Visa-holding students (F-1, J-1, or other temporary visas).

Thesis/Research Enrollment

  • Master's students first enroll in the 6x98 as soon as you begin work on your master's research. You must be continuously enrolled in research until you graduate, including summers if you are working on your research with your advisor.
  • Master's students first enroll in the 6399-7399 (thesis courses) the semester they submit their proposal and committee appointment page to their major department.
  • Master's students continue to enroll in 6x98 (research course) each semester until they graduate (including the semester of graduation).
  • Master's students are awarded a final thesis grade in 6399 and 7399 from their thesis chair after successfully defending their thesis and submitting 5 copies of their thesis to the Engineering Dean's Office for binding.
  • If you expect to graduate in a given semester, you must enroll in and complete that semester at the University of Houston (or the University of Houston-Clear Lake if you had also been taking courses there).

Dissertation/Research Enrollment

  • Doctoral students first enroll in the 8x98 as soon as you begin work on your Doctoral research. You must be continuously enrolled in research until you graduate, including summers if you are working on your research with your advisor.
  • Doctoral students first enroll in the 8399, 8699 and/or 8999 (12 hours of dissertation courses) the semester they submit their proposal and committee appointment page to their major department.
  • Doctoral students continue to enroll in 8x98 (research course) each semester until they graduate (including the semester of graduation).
  • Doctoral students are awarded a final dissertation grade in 8399, 8699 and/or 8999 (12 hours of dissertation courses) from their dissertation chair after successfully defending their dissertation and submitting 5 copies of their dissertation to the Engineering Dean's Office for binding.
  • If you expect to graduate in a given semester, you must enroll in and complete that semester at the University of Houston (or the University of Houston-Clear Lake if you had also been taking courses there).

Time Limitation

The university has a five-year time-limit rule for Master's degree programs (this includes PB credit level changes and graduate transfer credit). Students who enroll at the University of Houston must complete the usual master's degree program within five years of the date of admission to the master's program at the University of Houston. Students who are in the joint MIE/MBA program have 7 years in which to complete this joint-degree program.

No course over five years old at the time of graduation can be used to satisfy the master's degree course requirements. This includes PB courses changed to graduate credit and transfer graduate courses approved for graduate credit. No PB courses from another university can be used for graduate credit.

Doctoral students must complete their dissertation within five years after completion of the comprehensive/qualifying exam. Otherwise, the exam must be repeated.

The following comment is taken directly from the Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog: Graduate students may hold a graduate assistantship (teaching or research) for no more than three years in pursuit of a master's degree, no more than five years in pursuit of a doctorate, and for no more than six years if pursuing a doctorate directly after entering a graduate program with a baccalaureate degree. This means that financial aid is not available when the assistantship limit is exceeded. Normally, no individual may hold an assistantship at the University of Houston for more than a total of six years. Any exception to this policy must receive the approval of the dean of the college and the senior vice president for academic affairs.