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Summer Enrollment Guidelines

General guidelines
  1. Full-time enrollment in the summer term for graduate students is 6 credits. Although students may enroll for up to 16 hours in the summer term, they are strongly discouraged from enrolling in more than 12 hours.
  2. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (3 credits) to be eligible for Federal loans in the summer. To apply for a loan, students must complete a summer loan application.
  3. Students must be enrolled for at least 1 credit to receive University services (such as access to the Student Recreation Center and WellWVU services).
  • All graduate students who participate in any course work or individually supervised academic work during the summer are expected to concurrently enroll in appropriate courses and credits to document their own and their instructors’ effort.
  • Some graduate programs may require summer enrollment.
  • Minimum enrollment for graduate assistants and fellowship recipients

    1. To be eligible to hold a graduate assistantship or fellowship during the summer, a graduate student must enroll in a minimum of 1 credit during the summer term.
    2. Graduate assistants’ programs or supervisors may require enrollment in specific courses or for more than 1 credit.
    3. Graduate assistants who are funded by research grants may be required to enroll in more than 1 credit because their tuition waiver from the University is considered to be part of the cost share for the grant. These students should check with their supervisor to ensure that they enroll for the required number of credits.
    4. Even though graduate assistants and 12-month fellowship recipients are allowed to register for fewer than full-time credits during the summer term, they are expected to devote their time to their academic pursuits as if they were a full-time student during the time they receive a stipend. Stipends for students on 12-month fellowships are for the entire summer term, even though they are paid in a lump sum. Academic pursuits may include work required for an assistantship, research, writing, coursework, program requirements, activities that contribute to development of the student’s intellectual and professional skills, and activities that facilitate the student’s progress toward degree completion.

    Graduate assistants – special paycheck considerations

    1. Graduate assistants earning the equivalent of at least one month of the minimum 9-month stipend in the summer term (currently $1,378) receive a waiver of University tuition (see information below). They are responsible for paying College tuition and University fees.
    2. Graduate assistants who enroll for less than half-time (fewer than 3 credits) are subject to FICA tax (Social Security and Medicare) withholding from their paychecks. These withholding amounts are 6.20% and 1.45%, respectively, for a total of 7.65%.
    3. International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa may be exempt from FICA tax withholding; contact Tax Services (304-293-3379×3 or with questions.
    4. Students who do not have other constraints on their enrollment must individually determine the number of credits of enrollment that is the most financially advantageous for them. Follow the procedure below to compare the relative cost of tax withholding vs. tuition and fees for a student who enrolls in 1, 2, or 3 credits.


    Student X is offered a graduate teaching assistantship in the summer that will pay her $1500. She qualifies for resident tuition in a graduate program in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, so her College tuition is $31 per credit and her University fees are $69 per credit.

    A (FICA and Medicare withholding if she enrolls in <3 credits) = $1500 x .0765 = $114.75

    B (College tuition and University fees for 1 credit) = $100

    C (College tuition and University fees for 2 credits) = $200

    D (College tuition and University fees for 3 credits) = $300

    Her total costs for enrolling in 1, 2, or 3 credits would be:

    A+B = $214.75 for 1 credit

    A+C = $314.75 for 2 credits

    D = $300 for 3 credits

    She would have the highest take-home pay by enrolling in 1 credit. She would also have higher take-home pay by enrolling in 3 credits than in 2 credits.

    University tuition waivers

    A student who receives a full-time waiver of University tuition during the summer term (6 credits) may register for more than 6 credits without additional University tuition charges. However, the student’s waiver form must indicate the actual number of credits to be taken to avoid charges for the credits above 6. Contact the Office of Student Accounts concerning any incorrect charges.

    International students

    1. International students who are not graduate assistants are not required to be enrolled in the summer.
    2. International students are required to be enrolled full-time during their first term at WVU. 
      International students whose first term is summer must be enrolled for at least 6 credits.
    3. International students who are unclear about their need to enroll during the summer should contact the Office of International Students and Scholars (304-293-3519,

    Student health insurance

    Student health insurance (whether paid for by the student or provided as part of a graduate assistantship or fellowship) is not impacted by enrollment in the summer. Students enrolled in the student health insurance plan in the spring will continue coverage through the end of the plan year in August.