Printed on: 07/16/2020. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
University of Minnisota  Procedure

Early Doctoral Thesis Credit Registration Option

Administrative Procedure

Graduate programs, with college approval, may offer "research ready" doctoral students in their program the option to register for doctoral thesis credits (xxxx8888) prior to passing the preliminary oral examination. Students are deemed to be “research ready” by their advisers and/or program’s director of graduate studies.

  1. If a graduate program wants to change its existing policy for doctoral thesis credit registration, the program faculty must vote.
  2. If the graduate program faculty vote to allow their “research ready” doctoral students to register for doctoral thesis credits (xxxx-8888) prior to passing the preliminary oral examination, the program must decide the nature of adviser consultation needed prior to their students’ xxxx8888 registration. In addition, the graduate program staff assigned by their program must:
    • use ECAS to enter the relevant changes to their program’s xxxx8888 registration policy, submit the changes to their college for review, and ensure their college’s approval of the xxxx8888 changes; and
    • collaborate with graduate program faculty as needed to ensure that the graduate program’s student handbook reflects the faculty’s decision regarding the change in xxxx8888 registration policy.
  3. The graduate program's college must have its designated ECAS approver review and approve xxxx8888 ECAS changes submitted by the college's graduate programs.
  4. Permission numbers cannot be used to control doctoral thesis credit registrations (xxxx8888).
  5. Unless a graduate program opts to allow all of its doctoral students to register early for doctoral thesis credits (xxxx8888), the program must assign the “Early Thesis Credit Registration” (ETCR) student group to each student in the program who has been deemed to be “research ready” (in consultation with the student’s adviser and/or the program’s DGS) but who has not yet passed the preliminary oral examination. Programs that wish to enable early thesis credit registration using the ETCR student group should update the ECAS consent requirement associated with their 8888 course to indicate “[Ph.D. student in the major and ETCR]” or “[Ph.D. student in the major and DOCT].”(Note: The Doctoral Candidate student group, “DOCT,” is centrally assigned to students once they pass the preliminary oral examination. For questions about the use of the ETCR student group, contact the Graduate Student Services and Progress office at

The Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) staff will continue to collaborate with graduate programs to ensure the accuracy of students' accumulated doctoral thesis credits (xxxx8888), as well as to monitor the Full-Time Equivalent Status (xxxx8444) and "post-auditing" xxxx8444 registrations to assure compliance with Federal requirements. The Graduate School is available for consultation as needed.

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