Course Registration

Students should consult with their advisors, program requirements, and the Ohio State master schedule of courses when planning their schedules. Students are responsible for knowing and observing registration deadlines.

Registration Instructions

Most registration happens through your Student Center at Buckeye Link. For more detailed information, visit Enroll in Classes/Add a Class.

  1. Student Center - At your Student Center, under the ACADEMICS section, click ADD A CLASS. 
  2. Search - Search the Master Schedule or enter the class number to enroll in the course.

    The class number is a 4-5 digit number that appears on the Master Schedule after the course number. It is contained in parentheses.  EXAMPLE - Department - SOCWORK, Course Number - 6999-04000, Class Number (17834)

  3. Add to Shopping Cart - Once you have selected a course, it is placed in your shopping cart. Click PROCEED TO STEP 2 OF 3.
  4. Finish Enrolling - Select FINISH ENROLLING to finalize your registration. If the class has been added to your schedule, a success message will appear. 
  5. Errors - If the course is full or you lack the appropriate prerequisites and you would like to proceed with adding the course, complete a Course Enrollment Permission form (and acquire the required signatures), and bring it to the Graduate School.

    Note: The Graduate School will accept an instructor’s email in lieu of a signed Course Enrollment Permission form. To use this method, forward the following to Registration Services:

    1. Your instructor’s email response 
    2. Your Ohio State username (name. #) 
    3. Semester or term and year of course 
    4. Course department 
    5. Course number 
    6. Class number 
    7. Number of credit hours 

Course Load

Course loads for full-time graduate students can vary depending upon a student's appointment or point in their degree program. However, graduate students may not enroll for more than 18 credit hours per semester, including audited courses, without advisor and Graduate School approval. The 8, 6 and 4-week summer sessions have individual maximums that are not to be exceeded. See Summer Enrollment for more information.

The number of credit hours attempted is mutually determined by the student, his or her advisor, and reflects faculty and student effort and the extent to which university resources are utilized.

If a student wishes to exceed the 18-hour limit, the student’s graduate studies committee chair must make a written petition to the Graduate School. That petition should include the number of hours requested and an explanation of why the additional hours are needed.

Post-Candidacy Enrollment

Post-candidacy students have additional requirements involving continuous enrollment. 

Course Load Requirements

Graduate Associate, 50%

Autumn and Spring Max -18

Autumn and Spring Min - 8

Summer Max - 15 

Summer Min - 4

Graduate Associate, 25%

Autumn and Spring Max -18

Autumn and Spring Min - 4

Summer Max - 15 

Summer Min - 2

Graduate Fellow

Autumn and Spring Max -18

Autumn and Spring Min - 12

Summer Max - 15 

Summer Min - 6

Post-Candidacy Student

Autumn and Spring Max -18*

Autumn and Spring Min - 3

Summer Max - 15 

Summer Min - 3

For Financial Aid and Fees

Autumn and Spring Max -18

Autumn and Spring Min - 8

Summer Max - 15 

Summer Min - 8

* Post-candidacy students typically enroll in three hours. Post-candidacy students who wish to take more than three hours should speak with their graduate program.

Students may be eligible for financial aid at half time. Please contact the Buckeye Link for detailed information about financial aid.

The 8, 6 and 4-week summer sessions have individual maximums that are not to be exceeded. See Summer Enrollment for more information.

Enrollment Eligibility Reactivation

Enrollment eligibility is removed from students who do not enroll for a full semester. They cannot register without first having that eligibility reactivated. Students wanting to reactivate their enrollment eligibility must submit the Permission to Reactivate Enrollment Eligibility form to the Graduate School. Students who have not enrolled for two calendar years must have their reactivation approved by their Graduate Studies Committee chair.

Enrollment eligibility is automatically deactivated for master’s degree students or pre-candidacy doctoral students who have not registered in the Graduate School within the preceding two full calendar years. To reenroll, such students must petition the Graduate Studies Committee for reactivation. If the petition is approved, the Graduate Studies Committee notifies the Graduate School, which then reactivates the enrollment eligibility. See the Graduate School Handbook for more information.

Students who wish to take courses post-graduation but do not intend to pursue another degree, or a certificate, should complete a graduate non-degree application to be able to enroll in courses.

Transfer of Graduate Program

Students who have already been admitted to a graduate program at Ohio State and who have paid fees may request

  • to change their degree being sought within their current graduate program; e.g., from a master’s to a PhD
  • to transfer from their current graduate program into another Ohio State graduate program; or
  • to return to graduate studies in order to complete another graduate degree at Ohio State.

Students must complete the Request for Transfer of Graduate Program form to get these change and transfer requests under review.


A graduate program transfer requires the approval of the graduate studies committee in the receiving program and the written acknowledgment of the graduate studies committee in the current program.

Graduate School fellowships do not automatically transfer with students who are approved for transfer into a different graduate program. Doctoral candidacy status does not generally transfer to a new graduate program.

Transfer of Delivery

Students who are transferring from an on-campus program to an online program (or vice versa) should contact the Graduate School or their graduate program directly for questions.

Still Have Questions?

Registration Services