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Options for Non-Registered Students


At any point during graduate education, students may find that they need to take a registration break in their course of study. Some options may include PELP (Planned Educational Leave Program), going on Filing Fee status to write the thesis/dissertation, or even withdrawal from the university.

Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP)

Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP) status is available to graduate students who need to take a leave from their academic program for various reasons, including health-related issues, financial problems, family crises or to clarify educational goals. PELP may be approved for a maximum of three quarters over the entire time a graduate student is at UC Davis. An extension can be requested, and may be granted by the Associate Dean for Graduate Students.

The approval of your graduate advisor on the PELP request guarantees your readmission for the quarter specified. International students must have their PELP status approved by the Services for International Students and Scholars office prior to submission of the PELP application to Graduate Studies.

PELP applications must be submitted to Graduate Studies no later than the first day of the quarter in which the PELP status is to begin. Students who have begun the registration process and then withdraw from registration after the first day of the quarter may be billed for tuition and fees owed or have to repay funding, including federal financial aid. PELP petitions are subject to the Schedule of Refunds available through the Office of the University Registrar.

Students may not hold any student appointment including GSR, TA, Reader or Associate In _ while on PELP. Students may not receive financial support such as fellowships and financial aid while on PELP.

A graduate student who is appealing disqualification from graduate study for any reason, including failure to pass the Qualifying Examination, may request to be placed on PELP status while the appeal is being considered by the Administrative Committee of Graduate Council. Students should contact the appropriate Senior Academic Advisor in Graduate Studies assigned to their program and request to be placed on PELP status pending the outcome of the appeal of the fail decision on their Qualifying Examination.

The approval of a student’s graduate advisor on the PELP advising form guarantees the student readmission for the quarter specified. By approving the leave, the advisor is certifying that space will be available for the student when he/she returns. For more information on PELP, contact your graduate program coordinator who will help initiate the application process. PELP time extension forms are available through our Forms page.

Filing Fee

Filing Fee is a non-registered status available to graduate students who have advanced to candidacy for their degree. Filing Fee status maintains a student’s eligibility to complete the degree while not registered, and within the approved time limitations.  All coursework and research need to have been completed, the thesis or dissertation should be in final draft form, and the student should no longer need to use campus facilities. Filing Fee is a terminal status and means a student will graduate from the university at the end of the filing fee period. A student cannot go on filing fee for one degree objective and then continue in another degree objective.  A student is eligible to go on Filing Fee the quarter they advance to candidacy as long as they were registered in the prior quarter.  The Filing Fee form is available on our Forms page.

Students on Filing Fee status may hold an academic appointment for one quarter only. Students are not eligible for financial support such as fellowships or financial aid while on Filing Fee status.

Graduate Studies will approve filing fee status for one quarter only. If a student does not complete the degree by the filing fee deadline, he/she must apply for readmission for the quarter they will graduate and pay full tuition and fees. Requests for a one-quarter extension will be considered by the Associate Dean for Graduate Students on a case-by-case basis and will only be approved in exceptional circumstances.


Leaving the university during a quarter entails obtaining a withdrawal petition from the Office of the University Registrar, having it approved as directed, and filing it with the Office of the University Registrar. Failure to follow this procedure may result in an “F” grade for each course in which a student is enrolled. Details can be found through the Office of the University Registrar.


If a student has withdrawn from their graduate program and would like to return to the same program and degree objective, they must submit an Application for Readmission to their program. Readmission is not automatic – the application will be considered along with those of first-time and other readmission applicants. Students approved for readmission must register for that academic term (they cannot readmit to a filing fee status).  Students who have been disqualified from a graduate program/degree objective may not readmit to the same program/objective.

The following steps are required to be considered for readmission:

  1. Provide the completed application form, along with any supporting materials required by the graduate program (e.g., new transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, etc.) to the graduate program.
  2. The graduate program will review the application. If it is approved, the graduate advisor will sign the Application for Readmission and return it.
  3. Take the approved application form to the Cashier’s Office and pay a $70 processing fee. The Cashier’s Office will validate the form as proof of payment.
  4. Bring the approved, validated form to Graduate Studies for final review. The form must be filed with Graduate Studies by the tenth day of instruction of the requested term of admission.  Late filing may result in delayed registration and the assessment of a late fee by the Registrar's Office.

If the request for readmission is denied, the graduate advisor should include a statement of the reason for denial.  The form and statement should be submitted to Graduate Studies and the Dean of Graduate Studies will make the final decision.