Thesis Credits & Costs

What are thesis credits, and when do I sign up for them?

F850 is our dissertation or thesis credit. Essentially, this is not a “real” class, in the sense that you do not sit in a classroom and receive a grade at the end of the semester. You will eventually get grades for these courses when you complete your thesis or dissertation. This is the way the university can give you course credit for working on your thesis or dissertation.

If you are an M.A. student, only 6 hours of F850 will count towards your 30 hours for your degree if you are doing an M.A. project or M.A. thesis. (If you are doing the exam instead, none of it will count.) However, you may still take more than 6 hours of F850 as an M.A. student, as it will count towards your Ph.D. hours if you are continuing on to the Ph.D. program. Thirty hours of thesis credit can be counted toward the 90 hours required for your Ph.D. degree.

Once you reach that magical land of Ph.D. candidacy (ABD, or all but dissertation) after you pass your Ph.D. qualifying exams, you must be continuously enrolled every semester, except summer, until you submit your dissertation. Submit, not defend. Once you reach ABD and have 90 hours towards your degree, you qualify to take G901.

G901 is a discounted tuition credit. You receive 6 semesters of G901, available at the cost of only $150 for 6 hours of G901. G901 is always automatically 6 hours. Once you run out of G901s, you must register for 1 credit for F850, either an in-town version (if you reside in Bloomington) or an out-of-town version (if you reside outside of Monroe County.) The out-of-town version does not include the mandatory fees that are associated with courses at Indiana University Bloomington, because students who aren’t in town aren’t using transportation, the health center, and other Indiana University amenities.

When should you take F850?

Take F850 if you have a student academic appointment that comes with a 12 credit hour fee remit. You want to use all 12 hours with a fee remit, until you reach 30 or 90, because if you don’t use it, you lose it! Nothing is worse than passing your qualifying exams and not having 90 hours and then having to take F850 at full price.

However, if you are a student who has already reached the 90 hours but hasn’t yet taken your qualifying exams, sign up for only the required 6 hours for an SAA, not the full 12. You are charged more fees the more credit hours you take. No need to leave graduate school with more hours than you need. Try to hit as close to 90 as possible!

You should also take F850 if you are ABD and have used up all of your G901s.

What happens when you get a message that says, “You’ve taken F850 too many times to count towards your degree?” Ignore it. You can take F850 as many times as you need. While only 30 hours will count towards the 90 hours for Ph.D., you MUST be enrolled to continue, and F850 is the course to take.

An exception to this 1 credit rule: If you are an ABD student who has a Student Academic Appointment (SAA), you must be enrolled in 6 hours according to university policy. Usually your SAA will come with a fee remit, so enrolling in 6 hours of F850 is not much more expensive than enrolling in G901.

Is there ever a situation where I wouldn’t need F850 at all?

If you are the rare student who only wants an M.A. and will be taking the M.A. exam, you will not need any F850 credits. If you are unsure of whether or not you will move on to the Ph.D. and you have a fee remit, it’s always better to take the F850 when it’s being mostly paid for, even if you don’t end up using those credits.

When should I take G901?

Take G901 after you pass your qualifying exams and have 90 hours towards your Ph.D. It is available for 6 semesters.

We realize that this is a lot of information, it can be slightly confusing, and some of it won’t apply to you for awhile. Essentially, just remember to check your situation every semester before you register. Do you have a fee remit? How many hours towards your degree do you have? Do you need to be enrolled in a required number of credit hours? Knowing your status will help you save money.