mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Registration for Astronomy Graduate Students

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Students must register with the University each semester. Anyone failing to register on time will be subjected to annoying paperwork.

The best source of general information on registration is the MyUH website. Information on registration is also available in the printed University Catalog. Each semester the university publishes a newsprint booklet called the "Schedule of Classes" that gives details of how and when to register. This is no longer automatically sent to students. A copy is kept in the Moon Room and in the graduate chair's office. Most of the information in the printed "Schedule of Classes" is also available on the MyUH pages on the Internet.

Class times for astronomy graduate courses are listed in the astronomy class schedule; they do not appear on MyUH or in the official "Schedule of Classes." As a rule, graduate courses are scheduled shortly before the semester starts.

Number of Credits

The number of credits required by University rules depends on your academic status:

  • Students who have attained PhD candidacy need sign up only for one credit of ASTR 800.

  • Students holding graduate assistantships need at least six credits, but no more than nine credits. (The graduate chair can write a memo to the Associate Dean of Graduate Division to get this limit raised if necessary; we regularly do this.)

  • Students not holding graduate assistantships need a minimum of eight credits per semester.

To satisfy these regulations, students in their fifth and sometimes sixth semesters may need to sign up for six credits of ASTR 699 per semester unless they are taking other university courses.

Note that for the minority of students who do not have tuition waivers there is a financial incentive for achieving PhD candidacy as soon as possible, since tuition payments drop by a factor of six.

Credit/No Credit Option

Assuming that you take 9 credits of ASTR 699, you need to make sure that at least 21 credits of your other 600 and 700 level courses are taken for grade, in order to satisfy the university requirements. This means that if you take seven 600-level courses for grade, you can take your three credits of 700-level seminars for CR/NC if you wish. However, if you take only six 600-level courses you must take your three credits of 700-level seminars for grade.

The Astronomy Program has the following policy on taking ASTR 699 for grade or for CR/NC:

  • The 2-credit directed reading course in the first semester should be taken CR/NC.

  • ASTR 699 directed research courses taken to satisfy the MS and PhD research requirements should be taken for a grade.

  • ASTR 699 courses taken during the 5th and 6th semesters (when a student is preparing his/her thesis proposal) should be taken CR/NC.

No grade of any kind is awarded for ASTR 800.

Internet Registration

The university's registration system is accessed through Internet via MyUH; it is sometimes referred to as the "Banner" system. When you register you will need your student ID number and PIN number, but a great deal of information is freely available at this site without an ID.

You can pay your fees with a credit card. To pay using credit card, you will enter the card number, expiration date, and then approve the charge.

During the Fall 2003 registration period tuition waivers were not credited to for 1-2 days after initial registration. Hopefull this anomaly will be resolved in future semesters.

Course Registration Numbers

Whichever way you register you will need to know course registration numbers (CRN) for each course. The numbers for regular courses (e.g 6xx and 7xx ) courses are given in the paper and electronic "Schedule of Classes".

For variable credit courses (ASTR 699, 700, and 800) a different CRN is needed for each instructor each semester. These numbers are now available online. If you need to register for ASTR 800 during the Summer, call the Physics & Astronomy office for your supervisor's CRN.

Deadlines and Registration Periods

Students should adhere to the deadlines as announced on the MyUH web-site and published in the schedule of classes. Continuing students have an initial deadline for registration and payment roughly three weeks before classes start. If they miss this deadline they have only a brief window to re-register just before the start of classes.

Registration for new students begins about 10 days before classes start.

There is a $50 late registration fee for students registering on or after the first day of instruction.

Tuition, Fees and Payments
Most astronomy students have tuition waivers associated with their assistantships. They therefore only need to pay fees, which currently (as of Fall 2011) run about $360 per semester. Payment can be made with MasterCard or Visa when registering online or in person at the Student Services Center. If you want to mail a check make sure that you do so early enough for it to arrive by the appropriate deadline for your registration period.
Registration for Summer Session

Graduate students do not need to register for Summer Session unless they wish to receive the PhD degree at the August commencement exercises; in that case they need to register for one credit of ASTR 800 during one of the two summer terms.

If you hold a graduate assistanship you may use the associated tuition waiver to register for up to six credits of summer school courses (although you can't do so until the late registration period - i.e., after classes start).

To obtain a summer tuition waver, visit the Outreach College web site and download the Graduate Assistant Tuition Waiver form. Complete the form and drop it off at the Graduate Fellowship Office, Spalding 354D. Allow a minimum of 5 working days for processing of this waiver. Graduate assistants using the summer tuition waiver cannot register until the first day of class for each session. If you have registered before the first day of each session you must cancel your registration and re-register on the first day of the class. If you register before the first day of classes and pay out of pocket you will not be reimbursed.