UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Leaves of Absence

Graduate students are required to maintain continuous registration until all degree requirements are completed, although a leave of absence may be considered for the following reasons:

  • Medical/health difficulties (doctor's note required)
  • Pregnancy and/or parenting needs during the first 12 months after the child's birth or placement in the home (birth certificate or verification from an adoption or similar agency required)
  • Emergencies in the immediate family (explanation of circumstances required)
  • Military duties required by the government of the student's home country (documentation from the government of their home country required)
  • Filing Fee quarter for master's or doctoral students planning to complete their degree. A filing fee leave may be used only once during a graduate student's career and never by a master's degree student continuing for a doctorate at UCSB

A Leave of Absence will not be granted for the following reasons:

  • Financial hardship and the desire to not pay fees
  • Desire to take "time off" from the pressure of studies
  • The necessity to focus primary energies on examination preparation or thesis/dissertation completion
  • Exigencies resulting from outside employment
  • Desire to protect Visa status

Students are only eligible to apply for a leave if they were registered the academic (fall, winter, spring) quarter before the requested leave Leave is normally granted one academic quarter at a time, up to a maximum of three quarters during a student's graduate career A Filing Fee quarter of leave (1 quarter, no extension) is counted separately from the other categories of leave. A leave of absence guarantees a student's place in his/her degree program upon return from the approved leave. Students who are not in good academic standing, with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 or with excessive units of unfinished coursework, may need to correct these deficiencies to be eligible.

Student Privileges
Taking a leave of absence means relinquishing many student privileges. Students must register if making extensive use of University resources or faculty time. While on leave, students may be eligible to:

  • Access the Student Health Service (without UC SHIP), on a fee-for-service basis
  • Purchase UC SHIP for a maximum of 2 quarters of leave
  • Have continued borrowing privileges at the Davidson Library (including doctoral privileges)
  • Negotiate with the Office of Housing and Residential Services to remain in student housing
  • Use the Recreation Center for a fee
  • Use Career Services
  • Place children in the University Children's Center

While on leave, students are not eligible to:

  • Hold student academic appointments or other student appointment titles
  • Receive most forms of University financial support
  • Be exempt from payment of loans (check with loan agency)
  • Have student bus privileges on the MTD (a valid registration card is required)
  • Obtain parking privileges from UCSB Transportation & Parking Services

Returning from Approved Leave of Absence
Students do not need to notify the Graduate Division when returning from a leave of absence. The Office of the Registrar automatically assesses fees and generates a pass time to register in the quarter immediately following an approved leave of absence. Students on an approved leave of absence during spring quarter who wish to register in the summer session may enroll directly with Summer Sessions.