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 Path@Penn

You can find how-to guides and videos on the SFRS Path@Penn landing page.

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 9950.(e.g. MGMT 9950-001) 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.