In Absentia policy allows students conducting their research or studies away from the University to receive a fee reduction, while maintaining full-time student status.

Students who are approved for In Absentia registration will receive a reduction of 85% of the combined Tuition, Student Service Fee, and Campus Fees. Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and graduate student health insurance fees remain unchanged. For the updated fee schedule, go to the Registrar's Summary of Quarterly Fees and Expenses.

Students using In Absentia registration must adhere to Registrar's quarterly registration and fee payment deadlines. Missing deadlines may result in late fees or lapsed status.

Students traveling away from campus should consult this webpage for useful travel recommendations.





  • Research or coursework must be of a nature that makes it necessary to be completed outside of the local campus region for the entire In Absentia registration period. Counties within the local campus region and not eligible for in absentia registration are: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura
  • Research or coursework must be directly related to the student's degree program as evidenced by faculty approval
  • The research or coursework must involve only indirect supervision appropriate to evaluating the student’s academic progress and performance (e.g., correspondence via e-mail or review of written work) from UC faculty during the In Absentia period
  • Doctoral students must be advanced to candidacy by the time the In Absentia status would begin
  • Students must be enrolled full-time (minimum of 8 units) during the In Absentia period
  • Doctoral students:
    • must be be advanced to candidacy by the time In Absentia registration begins
    • may be granted a maximum of 2 years In Absentia registration (second year requiring exception by the Graduate Dean)
  • Terminal master's and graduate professional students:
    • must have completed at least one year of coursework by the time In Absentia registration begins
    • may be granted a maximum of 1 year In Absentia registration

Exceptions to Policy


  • Exceptions to In Absentia registration policy may be considered by the Graduate Dean in the following instances
    • More than 1 year (3 quarters) In Absentia registration
    • Doctoral students not yet advanced to candidacy
    • Terminal master’s and graduate professional students who have not completed one year of coursework
    • Students who have taken a Filing Leave of Absence
  • A letter of support from the Student’s Research Advisor/Committee Chair must accompany all exception requests.
    The letter must address:

    • the rationale for the exception
    • how the In Absentia period will assist the student’s progression toward degree completion

Terms and Conditions


  • Remain a full-time registered student (registration in a minimum of 8 units required)
  • Tuition, Student Service Fee, and Campus Fees reduced by 85%
  • Remain eligible to receive financial aid
  • Remain eligible to receive funding from central fellowships
  • Remain eligible to hold a graduate student researcher (GSR) appointment
  • Retain graduate student health insurance
  • Ineligible to hold academic appointments other than GSR
  • May affect eligibility for student housing. Contact Housing and Residential Services for details

To apply, submit the Request for In Absentia Registration petition

Returning From In Absentia Registration

In Absentia registration is approved for a set period of time only. Students do not need to notify the Graduate Division when returning from In Absentia registration.

Read information about the impact of a In Absentia on Time-to-Degree standards.

Export Control and Travel to Sanctioned Countries

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers a number of different sanction and embargo programs. The sanction programs can be either comprehensive or selective, using the blocking of assets and trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security objectives.

OFAC administered sanctions not only cover the export of goods, they also cover the export of services. For example, distance learning services may not be provided to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or Ukraine under the current OFAC sanctions without a license. A license application from OFAC can take 3-12 months or longer for processing by the federal government, and approval is not guaranteed.

If you are planning to travel to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or Ukraine, please contact the Export Control Officer at to discuss your plans immediately. The Export Control Officer must approve Leave of Absence and In Absentia petitions involving the countries listed above.

Frequently Asked Questions


No, it is not allowed per the UCOP in Absentia policy.

No, In Absentia registration is only for research or coursework related to your degree program.

No, In Absentia registration is only for research or coursework related to your degree program.

Yes, because students remain full-time registered students while registered In Absentia.

Only if you were on a Medical/Parenting/Family Emergency/Military Leave of Absence and meet the eligibility criteria. Students cannot register in Absentia without an exception after a Filing Leave of Absence.

Yes, since students remain full-time registered students while registered In Absentia.

No, the policy states that there must be no significant studying or in-person collaboration with UC faculty during the In Absentia period.