Poppy Flower Monarch butterfly
Aerial photo of U.C.S.B campus point
Bicycles in bike racks

Leaves of Absence


You may be absent from UCSB for one or more quarters at the conclusion of any quarter without petition, provided you have not paid fees for the following quarter. Remember to apply for readmission well in advance of the quarter you plan to return to UCSB. Petitioning for withdrawal is required only if you:

  1. withdraw during a quarter,
  2. are requesting a refund of fees for the coming quarter, or
  3. have signed a deferred payment agreement with the Billing Office.

Non-UC Sponsored Study Abroad Leave

As an undergraduate participating in a non-UC Study abroad program, you may be able to request leave and retain enrollment priority status.  Refer to the web site for more information.

Graduate students

Continuous registration is required of all graduate students. There are five circumstances under which students may be granted a leave:

  1. medical emergencies,
  2. pregnancy/parenting needs during the first 12 months after the child's birth or placement in the home,
  3. emergencies in the immediate family,
  4. required military service, or
  5. students who intend to file the thesis or dissertation the quarter of the leave request (a Filing Fee Quarter of Leave).

Leave is normally granted for one quarter at a time, up to a maximum of three quarters of leave during a student's graduate career. Research Leave and a Filing Fee Quarter of Leave are counted separately from the first three categories of leave enumerated above.

All leave requests require appropriate documentation such as a doctor's note or a letter from the student's research advisor verifying the student's declaration with regard to research travel or degree completion plans.

Off-campus employment, lack of funds, or taking time off from school for personal reasons are not considered extraordinary circumstances. Students who lapse status must later seek reinstatement if they wish to return to graduate standing.

Graduate students who are granted leave are not eligible for either teaching assistant or graduate student researcher positions or for campus fellowships or financial aid. A leave of absence is no substitute for registered status in the eyes of lending agencies. For additional information, consult the Graduate Division.