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.