Students enrolled in the Wharton Doctoral Program must maintain full-time enrollment throughout their time in the program. Full-time enrollment is defined as a minimum of 3 CU’s or Dissertation Status, as appropriate in their doctoral education plan. Students are eligible to enroll in 1 CU per semester upon entering Dissertation Status.

How to Register for Courses

Students register for courses on-line with Penn InTouch. New students register for courses at the beginning of their first term. Current students register in advance during the Advance Registration Period noted on the academic calendar for each semester.

To register, you should:

Review the course roster and the registration instructions available on this site or on the registrar website

  1. Meet with your advisor, or consult your planned program of study to determine which courses you will take;
  2. Obtain from the appropriate division a Permit for those courses designated with a “P” on

Go to  Click on Current Students. Using your PennKey ID and password sign in to Penn Portal.  Click on Penn InTouch.  Then click Registration and follow the directions on the screen to register for courses.

Once the registration process is completed, you are officially registered and are responsible for payment of tuition and fees upon receipt of a bill from the University.

Add/Drop Courses

Students may add/drop courses within the designated Wharton Doctoral Programs add/drop dates. Should a student wish to drop a course after the add/drop date, they must send written approval from the instructor of the course and PhD coordinator of their home department to the Wharton Doctoral Programs Office. A student may only drop a course if it does not drop them below 3 CUs.

Students may not add/drop a course after the first two weeks of a full term.  Quarter semesters have different drop dates.  Please inquire with the Doctoral Office for Quarter Term drop dates.
If a student wishes to drop a course after the drop period, written permission from the instructor and PhD coordinator are required and sent to Gidget Murray, Associate Director of Wharton Doctoral Programs.

Course Load

The maximum course load per term is four course units per term for doctoral students.  A doctoral student may register for a fifth course unit as AUDIT ONLY with permission of the Vice Dean of the Doctoral Programs.  PhD students may AUDIT ONLY ONE COURSE PER TERM

Dissertation Registration

Doctoral students who have completed all coursework register for Dissertation. This registration designates you as an active doctoral student and allows you to meet with your advisor, use University facilities and work on your dissertation. When you register for Dissertation you are considered a full-time student for financial aid purposes. Full-time status converts to part-time status after ten semesters.  You must register for a section number of your DEPT 995.(e.g. MGMT 995.001) Each faculty member has an assigned section number. You register for the section number used by your faculty advisor or dissertation advisor. The section number of your advisor may be obtained from your Department Administrator. Once you have registered for Dissertation , the University automatically re-registers you each fall and spring semester in the same section. If you change advisors, notify the Student Records Office so they can change the section number for you.  Dissertation Status is attained once you complete all coursework and the Qualification Examination. See the section on Dissertation Stage under the Academic Journey Tab for more information.


Students who wish to attend the class sessions for a course without completing the assignments or taking examinations may audit the course. Auditing a course requires permission of the instructor. Auditors are subject to the normal course tuition and fees. To audit a course, you register in the usual way, but indicate audit as the grade type. You will not receive credit for the course, but it will appear on your transcript with “aud” in the grade column.  Ph.D. students may only AUDIT one course in a term and must obtain permission from the instructor of the course and the Vice Dean of the Doctoral Programs prior to registering to audit a course.

Independent Study

Students must complete the Independent Study Course Approval Form to register for an Independent Study.  Check with your Department for any independent study policies or restrictions.

Interschool Courtesy

Students of the Wharton School  are encouraged to take courses in other divisions of the University, and students registered as candidates for degrees in other divisions of the University are encouraged to take courses in the Wharton School.   To qualify for interschool courtesy, you must have the consent of your academic advisor and the instructor of the course in which you wish to enroll.