Registration Policies and Procedures

Only students who have been officially admitted to USD’s graduate degree, certificate, credential, or as a special student admitted through the office of Professional and Continuing Education and taking a maximum of six units, are permitted to register.  Registration takes place only when the student completes and submits all appropriate forms and pays all required tuition and fees. No credit will be granted for courses in which a student is not officially admitted and registered.

Registration Deadlines

Students are responsible for adhering to the deadlines for registration, payment, withdrawal and change of registration listed in the Academic Calendar, published in the Graduate Course Catalog (online), the Summer Sessions Course Catalog (online), the Intersession Course Catalog (online) and in registration instructions distributed subsequently.

New Graduate Students

All admitted applicants will receive new student information and registration materials with their letters of acceptance. Although new students are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor prior to enrollment, they must wait until they receive a letter of admission and pay the admission deposit before they can register (registration periods are listed in the Academic Calendar). Students must observe all deadlines for course reservation and payment of fees. Upon arrival at USD, all international students must report promptly to the Office of International Students and Scholars.

Continuous Registration

Upon matriculation, students are expected to register every fall and spring semester until all degree requirements have been completed. Some programs have more stringent residency requirements including summer enrollment; consult specific program descriptions for details.

Exceptions to this policy will be made for students who have been approved for a leave of absence (see Leave of Absence). Generally, a leave will not be granted to students who are approaching the limitation of time for program completion; to doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy; or to master’s students whose programs require continuous registration between the completion of all coursework and final submission of the thesis. In these cases, students must continue to register each semester until the degree is completed.

Change of Course Registration

In the regular fall and spring semesters, students may add or drop courses added during the first eight days of the semester and may withdraw from a course with a grade of “W” until the 10th week of the semester. For deadlines during Summer Sessions and Intersession, see the Summer Sessions and Intersession course catalogs or go to

Students who receive any form of financial aid must consult with the One Stop Student Center if their registered units drop below the required number of units for continuation of aid.

Students who discontinue class attendance and neglect to withdraw officially from the course are subject to failing the class. Courses dropped before the last day to add a class will not be included on the transcript. Courses officially dropped between the last day to add classes and the last day to withdraw from classes will receive a grade of ‘W’ (not included in the GPA). After the drop deadline, a grade will be reported for all courses.

Registered students who withdraw from the university (e.g. terminate all courses in progress) must officially drop their courses by filing a Notice of Withdrawal form and submitting it to the One Stop Student Center. The same drop policies and deadlines apply to students who withdraw from the university as for those who drop only one course (see also Withdrawal from the University).


Auditing a course means attending a class without credit, without the obligation of regular attendance and without the right to have tests and examinations scored or corrected.

Students register for audit in the same manner as for credit. Those who audit courses are not eligible for credit by examination in such courses, nor are they eligible for financial aid, nor may auditors register for credit after the last official day to register in a class. Each course audited is entered on the student’s permanent record. Auditing of laboratory courses or education recreation courses is not permitted.

Students wishing to register for credit have priority over those who desire to audit.

Change of Address

Students are responsible for informing the Registrar’s Office in writing of any change in either their permanent or local address so that they will receive all information vital to their enrollment. Failure to receive instructions due to an incorrect address will not be considered a legitimate reason for a policy exception if the student did not file a Change of Address form in the One Stop Student Center prior to the mailing of the information.

Email Accounts for Graduate Students

All USD graduate students are required to have a MySanDiego email account. The university may conduct official business by sending notices or other information to the student’s USD email address. It is the student’s responsibility to check regularly his or her account and to respond to any notices or information in a timely manner. Failure to do so will not be considered a legitimate reason for a policy exception.