Post-Comps Enrollment

Post-Comp Enrollment Policy Requirements

The Doctoral Candidacy policy states that after passing the comprehensive oral examination, doctoral students must be continuously enrolled each fall and spring semester in one or more hours of dissertation or programmatically equivalent coursework (for example, document hours for DMA students, or courses approved by Graduate Studies as dissertation equivalent).

The post-comp enrollment requirement remains in effect as described in the bullets below until the student has completed 18 post-comp hours, or until they complete all degree requirements (including final submission of the dissertation), whichever comes first.

  • Starting the semester following the semester of the oral comp exam, students must enroll in a minimum of 6 hours each Fall and Spring semester.
  • Post-comp enrollment within the Fall & Spring must include within the 6 hours at least one dissertation or dissertation-equivalent hour* every term, with the exception of the semester in which the comp exam is taken.
    • *COGA and the Office of Graduate Studies maintain a list of approved dissertation equivalents. These are approved via a petition process and the list
  • Summer enrollment for post-comp doctoral students is optional, with some exceptions:
    • Students meeting the final July Summer graduation deadline must be enrolled in at least 1 dissertation hour or approved equivalent to be approved for graduation
    • Students who hold a fellowship or scholarship that requires enrollment (such as a Graduate Studies Summer Fellowship)
    • Students who hold a student hourly appointment in the summer may be required to enroll. See the Student Employee Eligibility Requirements policy for more information.
  • Students who do enroll in the summer may count those hours towards the required 18 post comp hours. A dissertation hour is not required for those hours to count; however, the student must have enrolled in at least 6 hours the semester of comps to count those hours towards the 18.
  • Hours completed during the semester in which the student takes his or her comprehensive exam count toward the required 18 hours, as long as enrollment during that semester follows the requirements described above (the minimum 6 formula). Enrollment that semester does not, however, have to include a dissertation or dissertation-equivalent hour within the required 6 hours.
  • A student may, under advisement of the department, enroll in more than 6 hours each semester to achieve the 18 hours more quickly (e.g. 9 hours in the Fall & Spring semesters).
  • During the semester in which the student is due to complete the 18 hours of post-comp enrollment, they may drop down to whatever number of hours is required to complete the 18 (e.g., if the student started the semester with 15 hours of post-comp enrollment completed, only three hours are required).
  • After completing the 18 qualifying hours, the student must then continue to enroll in at least 1 dissertation or dissertation-equivalent hour each term (excluding summers), until they graduate. The student's level of enrollment must, however, accurately reflect demands on faculty time and University facilities. It is imperative that the student consult with his or her department about enrollment needs before reducing hours. As each student’s coursework needs are unique, there may be instances where dropping to fewer hours would be detrimental to the student's progress to degree and/or funding, etc.
  • Dissertation hours and other enrollment completed in semesters prior to taking the comprehensive exam cannot count toward the post-comp enrollment requirement.

GTA/GRA/GA (3Gs) Certification to Enroll in Fewer than 6 Hours

All of the above points also apply to students with a 3G appointments; however because 3Gs must be enrolled full time to meet the terms of their employment, a student with a 3G appointment must be certified as having met 18 prior to reducing below 6 hours. This certification is done via the Doctoral or Master’s Certification to Enroll in Fewer than 6 Hours PTD form.

Additionally, according to federal requirements, 3Gs who are enrolled full time do not pay FICA taxes. So the primary purpose of the PTD form is to notify KU payroll and HR that the student is still “full time” (as defined the full time enrollment policy), despite being enrolled in fewer than 6 hours.

  • The PTD form is only required for 3Gs. This form should not be submitted for students who do not hold a 3G appointment. The form is a payroll form and there is nothing for payroll to note in HRPay for non-3Gs. Non-3Gs may be approved to reduce below 6 hours by the department. Submitting a required only once for any given 3G even if appointment type or teaching department changes.
  • The form must be submitted by the home academic unit. The academic department is the only unit that has the authority to determine when a student has met their post-comp enrollment obligations and is authorized to drop below 6 hours, so the process and form to approve them to drop hours must be initiated by the academic unit. Enrollment requirements post-comp vary from program to program, and in any situation the program can determine for any particular student if additional enrollment beyond 18 hours is needed based on their research or academic development needs. HRM cannot make this determination, nor can the hiring unit (for out of field appointments), Grad Studies or the SSC.
  • Submit the PTD form the semester before they reduce hours. The PTD form must be submitted prior to the 3G appointment/payroll start date. Best practice is to submit the form before the 3G form submission deadline for the term they will reduce hours.
    • Fall reduction <6 – Submit PTD by July 1
    • Spring reduction < 6 – Submit PTD by Nov 1
    • Summer reduction <6 – Submit PTD by April 1
  • Does affect eligibility and cause usage fees at the Watkins Health Center? Yes! Students enrolled in less than 6 hours must pay a one-time per semester fees for using Watkins
    • ~$120 Fall and Spring semesters (or ~$24 per credit hour less than 6 hour)
    • ~$80 Summer session
    • However, the one-time per semester fee is still less than what the student would pay in student fees for 6 hours of enrollment
  • Incorrect submission costs student money!
    • Students who reduce below 6 without the form will be seen by payroll as “less than full time” will be charged FICA taxes.
      Cost to student = between $80-$120 per paycheck
    • Delaying reducing hours (i.e. remaining enrolled in 6 hours longer than is required by policy) also costs student money. Even though their tuition is covered by a GTA appointment, if they enroll in 6 hours they must pay the campus fees not covered by their GTA appointment at about ~$82/credit hour, or ~$250 each semester.
  • Master’s GRA students in final semester may also be approved to reduce below 6 hours, as long as:
    • They have completed all other enrollment requirements, AND
    • They will NOT go on to the PhD program
    • Master’s GTAs or GAs are not eligible under any circumstances.