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Zero Hour Registration

Zero Hours registration is for students who have completed all degree requirements except for the master's project, master's thesis, professional doctorate project, or doctoral dissertation, and need to satisfy a registration requirement until the term of defense or graduation.  Students register for their master's project (usually 597), master's thesis (598), professional doctoral project, or doctoral dissertation (599) for 0 hours via Student-Self Service.  (Other courses that many departments offer for zero hours, such as research seminars, are not part of the descripion on this page.)  There are two options of zero hour registration, Option A and Option B.  Option A is for master's and doctoral students; Option B is only for doctoral students.

Students are not eligible for zero hours if you have a fellowship that requires a certain minimum hours registration (eg. University Fellowship) or a Tuition and Service-Fee Waiver from the Graduate College.  Normally, students holding an assistantship also are not eligible for zero hours although if the student who holds an assistantship does register for zero hours they will lose the tuition waiver resulting from the assistantship.

Note for Student Visa Holders:  Current SEVIS (federal immigration) regulations do not allow an international student on a student visa to register for more than zero (0) hours in a subsequent term if the student was registered for zero (0) hours previously, unless the student is admitted into a different program.  This  precludes accepting an assistantship or tuition waiver for future terms after a zero-hour registration occurs.  The rationale for the regulation is that zero-hour registration is allowed for students on a visa only if all requirements other than the thesis or master's project are completed, and registration for more than zero hours indicates that they did not originally qualify, and, are thus be out of status.  Unfortunately, flexibility to take a course for intellectual development or to register for hours to qualify for an assistantship or tuition waiver after zero hour registration does not exist currently.  Consult with the Office of International Services (OIS) if there is a question on this issue.
 

Permission to use either Option A or B will be considered by the Graduate College upon receipt of a Graduate College Student Petition supported by the graduate program.  Approval by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate College signifies that all requirements except the final project, thesis, or dissertation have been completed. On rare occaisions, a course with a grade of I, DFR, or NR may still be pending, but the DGS should note the exception on the petition. Additionally, if the student goes over the degree or preliminary exam time limit after approval of zero hours, a re-evaluation of the student's status may occur. (Students must complete project or defend the thesis/dissertation by the degree deadline, regardless of which option is chosen.)

Students requesting Option A only have to petition one time for zero hour approval.  Doctoral students who request Option B must specify Option B on the petition and the terms requested (maximum two terms per petition).  If more than two terms of Option B are required a new petition must be filed before the start the that term. Students must re-file a petition for Option B by the 10th day of the term (5th for summer) so that the student bill is correctly calculated.

Students should register via Student Self-Service for project (usually 597), master's thesis (598), professional doctorate project, or doctoral dissertation (599) by the registration deadline each term, even if the petition is still pending approval.  

The following are some scenerios where a student may need to register for zero hours:

  • master's student completing a project or thesis and registration is required by the student's program
  • master's student holding a student visa completing a project or thesis and registration is required by immigration regulations (as stipulated by the Office of Inernational Services, OIS)
  • doctoral student who has passed the preliminary examination and must be continuously registered through the term of the successful defense of the dissertation (or professional doctorate project) as stipulated by Graduate College regulations
  • doctoral student holding a student visa completing a professional doctorate project or dissertation and registration is required by immigration regulations (as stipulated by the Office of Inernational Services, OIS) after the term of the successful defense
  • student who has completed all requirments except the project or thesis/dissertation and needs to maintain registration through graduation to continue student loan deferment - a student approved for zero hour registration (via Graduate College petition) is eligible to have student loan payment deferred

Master's Students

The Graduate College does not have a registration requirement for master's students who have finished all coursework but are still completing a project or thesis.  If the student is required to be registered for another reason (see above) the student may petition to register for zero hours in the project (usually 597) or thesis (598) course.  Master's students who are in a coursework-only option are not eligible for zero hours.  Master's student's are only eligible for Zero Hours Option A.  Charges for Option A include Range IV (0 hours) tuition, tuition differential (if applicable to your program), and all related fees, including CampusCare (unless under the the opt-out option - see www.uic.edu/hsc/campuscare for information and deadlines).

See http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/grad/tuition_grad.html for current tuition.

See also Examination and Defense Committees and Registration

Doctoral Students

Doctoral candidates must be registered for credit the term when they take the preliminary exam, however, doctoral students are not eligible for Zero Hours registration in the term taking the preliminary exam. Students must also register each semester (excluding summer) after passing the preliminary examination and until successfully defending the dissertation. Students must register for the summer term if taking the preliminary exam or defending the dissertation during that term. 

Students who hold a fellowship, assistantship, or tuition and fee waiver must register each semester for the number of hours required by their award, even if they have completed all degree requirements except the dissertation. (See Course Loads, Financial Awards section).

Doctoral students who have completed all degree requirements except the dissertation, and who do not wish to register for additional coursework, must choose either:

  • Option A:
    Register for zero hours of credit in thesis research (599) each semester until the degree is awarded (excluding summer unless defending dissertation during the summer). Range IV (0 hours) tuition, tuition differential (if applicable to your program), and all related fees, including CampusCare (unless under the the opt-out option - see www.uic.edu/hsc/campuscare for information and deadlines) are assessed.
     
    See http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/grad/tuition_grad.html for current tuition;

    or,
     

  • Option B:
    Must petition for each renewal and specify Option B.  No fees are assessed; only Range IV (0 hour) tuition (and differential, if applicable) is assessed (see http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/grad/tuition_grad.html for current tuition).   Students who elect Option B are ineligible for access to certain on-campus facilities, such as the gym, and student health insurance (CampusCare). Students may purchase CampusCare in the Summer provided they had CampusCare coverage in the previous Spring. Students must go online and complete the Summer Continuation form at www.uic.edu/hsc/campuscare in order to purchase coverage over the Summer while under Option B.  Deadlines are listed on that site.  CampusCare for Option B students is not available in Fall and Spring Semesters. 

    Students may elect from one to two terms of Option B with each petition, and must file a new petition if future terms of Option B are required.  Note: A student is not eligible for Option B (i.e. not paying the attached fees) if registered in one or more hours.

See also Examination and Defense Committees and Registration