Full-Time/Part-Time Determination for All Graduate Students

NC State uses a uniform Schedule of Full-Time Status of Graduate Students for Loan Deferment, Financial Aid, Payroll Tax Withholding and Veteran's Benefits Purposes. To maintain consistency throughout the university system, faculty members do not have the authority to submit individual letters verifying the status of a graduate student. This schedule will be the only resource used to determine a student's status for these purposes. Registration and Records in Room 1000, Harris Hall processes all student loan deferments. The Graduate School will not be directly involved in preparing loan deferment letters. 

These definitions apply to all graduate students, U.S. and international, participants and non-participants in the Graduate Student Support Plan. 

Fall and Spring Semesters 

Full Time
Students will be full time if they take at least 9 hours per semester until the semester in which a load between 3 and 8 hours will reach an accumulated total equal to the minimum number of hours required by the program. Full time for that semester will be that load. Full time thereafter will be a minimum of 3 hours per semester. Course number does not matter.

Half Time
Students who are registered for less than that required for full-time but are registered for at least 4.5 hours will be considered half-time.

COP 500 and COP 501
Students registered for COP 500 will be considered full time. Students registered for only COP 501 will be considered half time.

Summer Sessions 

Graduate students are not required by the University to be registered during the summer. However, students who receive a stipend but who are not enrolled in the University during a period of five weeks or more are subject to Social Security tax withholding. In particular, this means that Social Security taxes will be withheld from the paychecks of Graduate Research Assistants (RAs) who do not register in the summer. Specifically, Social Security taxes will be withheld in June for RAs who are not registered in Summer Session I and in July for RAs who are not registered in Summer Session II. The source of funds that pays the stipend must pay the same amount of Social Security tax as is withheld from the student's paycheck during these months. 

Two special registration categories are available for Graduate Research Assistants who would not otherwise take courses in the summer: XYZ 696 (Summer Thesis Research) and XYZ 896 (Summer Dissertation Research), where XYZ represents the course prefix of a specific department or program. Each of these courses is for 1 hour of credit, with registration for 10 weeks, beginning the first day of Summer Session I. Social Security taxes will not be withheld from the June or July paychecks of RAs who register for either 696 or 896. Full time in the summer is a minimum of 1 hour.

Please note that student who are not registered during the summer do not have access to financial aid during that period, nor do they have access to the Student Health Service unless they pay the student health fee for each of the two summer sessions.