Prior to the start of each semester, you will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office inviting you to register. To remain on the payroll, Research Assistants and Trainees must be registered as full-time students each semester.  For pre-dissertators, a full-time credit load is 8-15 credits during the fall and spring semesters, and 2 credits for the 8-week summer session.  It is recommended that pre-dissertators register for the maximum number of credits, so that they maintain full-time status if they must drop a course after the semester starts.  Dissertators must register each semester for exactly 3 credits of coursework/research related to their dissertation project.  The Graduate School will remove dissertator status if a student is registered for more or less than 3 credits.


(before passing prelim)

(after passing prelim)

Fall 8-15 credits 3 credits
Spring 8-15 credits 3 credits
Summer 2 credits 3 credits

If you do not register on time, you may be subject to a late fee. The Cancer Biology Program is not responsible for any late fees. For important registration deadlines and other enrollment information, visit the Registrar’s website:

Dissertator Status

  • To achieve dissertator status, you must complete all Cancer Biology course requirements and pass the Preliminary Exam.
  • Dissertator status should be achieved within 2 years of starting the program.   
  • Dissertators are required to register for 3 credits directly related to their dissertation research every semester (including summer) until graduation. Students who do not maintain continuous registration will be assessed a degree completion fee equal to 12 times the current per-credit rate.
  • Dissertators will be required to register for the Oncology 675 seminar in the semester in which they present. During this semester, registration will consist of 1 credit of seminar and 2 credits of 990 research.
  • For additional information about dissertator status, see these links: