PhD Registration

Every semester they are registered, PhD students in the Graduate School must register for an enrollment category (a full Residence Unit, Extended Residence, or Matriculation & Facilities). 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.

Doctoral students must register for one of the following three 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) – “RU” is for students who will be taking courses or who will still be within their first six semesters at GSAS. The completion of six RUs is a requirement for the MPhil and PhD degrees. 
  • Extended Residence (EXRS G0001) – “ER” is for students who are beyond the first six semesters of their PhD program and are serving as Teaching Assistants (TAs), as Research Assistants (RAs), as Research Fellows, or as Core Preceptors. 
  • Matriculation & Facilities (MTFC G0001) – “M&F” is exclusively for students who are beyond their first six semesters, who will not be teaching, and who are instead:
    • completing a degree requirement such as a language examination or qualifying examination;
    • preparing the dissertation proposal; or
    • writing or distributing the dissertation.

For more information about these registration categories, click here.

Two Residence Units are required for the MA earned as part of a PhD degree; four additional Residence Units, for a total of six overall, are required for the MPhil, PhD, and DMA degrees.

PhD students may not register for more than 20 credits per semester. Credits in excess of 20 must by approved by both the DGS and the GSAS Office of Student Affairs.


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.