UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Leaves of Absence

Under certain circumstances, students may petition for a leave of absence that must be approved by the student’s department and the Graduate Division. There are five categories of leave:

  1. leave for medical emergencies (doctor’s note required);
  2. leave for pregnancy/parenting needs during the first 12 months after the child’s birth or placement in the home (doctor’s note, birth certificate, or verification from placement agency);
  3. leave to deal with emergencies in the immediate family (explanation of circumstances required);
  4. military leave for students required to engage in military service (documentation of call to duty required); and
  5. a filing fee quarter of leave for students who intend to complete their degree the quarter of the leave request (faculty verification required).  Filing fee leaves may not be extended. The above constitute the only grounds for a leave of absence.

Graduate students conducting research outside the state of California for a quarter or more should register in absentia, which entitles them to a reduction of fees and allows them to maintain continuous registration. Students who do not register and who are not on an official leave of absence must seek reinstatement if they wish to return to graduate standing.

Petitions for a leave of absence may be approved on a quarterly basis for up to a career maximum of three quarters. Extensions beyond the three-quarter career maximum will be granted only in the most extreme or unusual circumstances. Students who reach a career maximum of leaves as described below are still eligible to apply for a filing fee quarter of leave.

Graduate students who are granted leave are not eligible to hold a graduate student academic appointment or to receive campus fellowships or financial aid. Lending agencies do not consider a leave of absence a substitute for registered status.

Continuing students who were on approved leave of absence during the spring are not required to file a petition to return to graduate standing for the summer. They should register through Summer Sessions. Students whose status has lapsed and who intend to return to graduate standing must submit a Reinstatement Petition to the Graduate Division.  Fall quarter reinstatement is required for all students in unregistered lapsed status who plan to enroll in Summer Sessions courses to fulfill a degree milestone (i.e. advancing to doctoral candidacy) or complete a degree.  Students must register in a minimum of four units during one six-week summer session.  If the degree is conferred during summer, fall registration will be cancelled.