MA Registration

Every semester they are registered, MA students in the Graduate School must register for an enrollment category (a quarter, half, or full Residence Unit, or Extended Residence). The process is the same as that used to register for a course through Student Services Online (SSOL), and is completed at the same time.

Students register for courses through Student Services Online (SSOL). You may only register during your designated Registration Appointment times. A list of your Registration Appointments is available in SSOL. For general information regarding registration periods, see the Registration Dates page on the Registrar's website or the Academic Calendar.

To register, you will need a course's five-digit call number, which is available in Vergil or the Directory of Classes. When registering, you should follow the guidelines and requirements of your department or program and consult with your advisor. Additionally, individual courses may be restricted to students in a particular program only, or may require completion of prerequisites and/or permission from the department or instructor; these and any other special instructions will be listed in the course entry.

You may add or drop courses without penalty through the first two weeks of the semester, known as the Change of Program period. For more information, see the Registrar's website.

Please note that your registration is not complete until you also register for an enrollment category, which affects your tuition bill. For more information on how Residence Units affect your tuition bill, please click here.

MA students must register for one of the following four enrollment categories each semester*. Search for the correct five-digit call number in the listings for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (listed under Departments) in the Directory of Classes, then register in SSOL (following the same process used for course registration).

  • Full Residence Unit (RESI G0001) – a full “RU” is for students who will be taking four or more courses in a semester; additional tuition is charged per point if the student registers for more than 20 points per semester.
  • Half Residence Unit (RESI G0002) – a “0.5 RU” is for students who will be taking up to three courses in a semester.
  • Quarter Residence Unit (RESI G0003) – a “0.25 RU” is for students pursuing their degree part-time who will be taking one or two courses in a semester.
  • Extended Residence (EXRS G0001) – “ER” is for students who have already completed two full Residence Units.

Please note that students holding a visa must register for either a full Residence Unit or for Extended Residence to maintain their visa status.  

For more information about these registration categories, click here. Full, half, and quarter Residence Units are calculated on the basis of courses taken for a letter grade, Pass/Fail, or for R credit.

Two Residence Units are required for the free-standing MA degree (with the exception of the programs listed below*).

*Exception: Students entering the following free-standing MA programs in Fall 2016 or later register for a full or fractional Residence Unit following the rules above. Students who entered these programs in Spring 2016 or earlier do NOT register for Residence Units.

  • American Studies
  • European History, Politics and Society
  • Human Rights Studies 
  • Islamic Studies 
  • Jewish Studies 
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies 
  • South Asian Studies


1000 and 2000

These are undergraduate-level courses; typically but not always, 1000-level courses are general introductions to a broad field and 2000-level courses are introductions to an area or aspect within a broad disciplinary field.  Introductory and intermediate language courses are typically numbered at the 1000 level. 


3000-level courses are advanced undergraduate courses, generally offered either in a seminar or lecture format. Courses at the 3000 level in language departments may involve the study of literature rather than practice in reading or speaking. 


Generally, though not in all departments, graduate students and advanced undergraduates may register for 4000-level courses.

6000 and higher

These are graduate-level courses; some 8000- and 9000-level courses are reserved for PhD students only.