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Summer enrollment

General guidelines
  1. Full-time enrollment in the summer term for graduate students is 6 credits. However, tuition is charged for each credit hour up to and including 9 credits. Although students may enroll for up to 17 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. See Summer Financial Aid for information. Students who will enroll in the fall do not need to enroll in the summer to avoid loan repayment.
  3. 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.
  4. Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy do not need to enroll in the summer to maintain continuous enrollment unless required by their program.
  5. Some graduate programs may require summer enrollment.
  6. Students must be enrolled for at least 1 credit to receive many University services during the summer. Some services remain available to non-enrolled students during the summer as follows:
    1. Students not enrolled in the summer but who were enrolled in the spring term and have pre-registered for the fall term can purchase a Student Recreation Center pass for $110. This pass is also available to incoming graduate students who can provide documentation of fall admission or enrollment.
    2. The WVU Libraries offer summer library privileges at no charge to WVU students who were enrolled in the prior spring term or have pre-registered for the upcoming fall term. Students meeting either of these criteria are eligible for all of the library services that are available to them during the regular academic year.
    3. Continuing students with an established service relationship with the WELLWVU Carruth Center for Counseling and Psychological Services may be allowed to continue those services during the summer even if they are not enrolled.
    4. Students do not need to be enrolled in the summer to use their Mountaineer Card for free Mountain Line bus service.
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 supervisors 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. 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 summer paycheck considerations

  1. Graduate assistants earning the equivalent of at least one month of the minimum 9-month stipend in the summer term (currently $1,500) receive a waiver of University tuition (see information below). Most graduate assistants 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 $1,500. She qualifies for resident tuition in a graduate program in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, so her College tuition is $42 per credit and her University fees are $73 per credit.

A (FICA and Medicare withholding if she enrolls in <3 credits) = $1,500 x .0765 = $114.75

B (College tuition and University fees for 1 credit) = $115

C (College tuition and University fees for 2 credits) = $230

D (College tuition and University fees for 3 credits) = $345

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

A+B = $229.75 for 1 credit

A+C = $344.75 for 2 credits

D = $345 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.

International students

International students have different requirements for summer enrollment that take precedence over general WVU policies. Some basic guidelines are provided here, but international students who are unclear about their need to enroll during the summer should contact International Students and Scholars Services (304-293-3519,

International students who do not hold a graduate assistantship for the summer, and whose program does not require summer enrollment, do not need to be registered in the summer. However, there are some specific circumstances that would require the student to register for summer credit hours:

  1. International students must enroll for at least 9 hours in the summer if the summer term will be the first term of enrollment at WVU
  2. If summer is the last term for the student, they must enroll in 9 hours unless they have a reduced course load approved by International Students and Scholars Services. Please note, students should not register for less than 9 credit hours prior to receiving approval to do so

Student health insurance

Student health insurance (whether paid 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.