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In Absentia

In Absentia

In absentia is a reduced-fee registration status for full-time, regularly enrolled students who have an academic need to conduct research or study outside of the state of California for a period of one academic year. The policy recognizes that students may need to perform work away from the university but seeks to minimize the number of students who allow their registration status to lapse.

All students pursuing doctoral or master’s degrees in academic disciplines as well as those pursuing professional master’s or doctoral degrees are eligible for the tuition and fee reduction. Students in self-supporting graduate programs are not covered by this policy.

In order to apply, doctoral students must have advanced to candidacy and master’s and graduate professional students must have completed at least one year of coursework by the time the in absentia status would begin. 

The in absentia policy can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ refers to in absentia as it relates to academic graduate students. Students in professional degree programs, such as M.D., D.V.M., J.D., M.B.A., please contact your professional school dean's office. The Fee Policy for Graduate Student In Absentia Registration promotes continuous enrollment of academic graduate students by providing an appropriate enrollment incentive. The policy recognizes that these students may need to perform work away from the University, but seeks to minimize the number of students who allow their registration status to lapse.

  • Who is eligible for in absentia registration?
  • All students pursuing doctoral or master's degrees in academic disciplines are eligible for the fee reduction. Students in self-supporting graduate programs are not covered by this policy. Academic doctoral students must have advanced to candidacy by the time the in absentia status would begin. Master's students must have completed at least one year of coursework by the time in absentia status would begin.
  • What is in absentia registration?
  • You are a full-time, regularly enrolled and registered student who has an academic need to conduct research or study outside of California for a period of up to one academic year.
  • Is there a fee reduction?
  • Yes.  A student will pay 15% of Tuition and 15% of the Student Services Fee, health insurance, and nonresident supplemental tuition, if applicable. Professional school fees may still apply.
  • Does this status include a reduction on the non-resident tuition?
  • No.
  • I am in a professional degree program – Law/M.B.A./M.D., etc. Will I get a reduction on the professional degree fee?
  • No. Contact your professional school dean's office for more details.
  • I will be 500 miles away, but still in California. Can I use in absentia registration?
  • You will probably not be eligible for in absentia registration. In absentia policy is for graduate students conducting research outside of the state of California. However, exceptions may be considered if the in-state research, such as an internship, is required by the program.
  • I will be gone for two months, not the entire quarter. Can I use in absentia?
  • No. The policy is for those students who will be outside the state the entire quarter.
  • I am enrolled in an independent study course this summer. I will be in Armenia for the entire six-week session. Can I use in absentia registration?
  • No. In absentia is for the academic year – fall, winter or spring quarter only.
  • Will I still get my fellowship stipend?
  • Yes. Students who register in absentia are eligible to receive a UC fellowship.
  • I am not yet advanced to candidacy for my doctoral degree, but I need to go to Borneo to do field research. Can I use in absentia registration?
  • No. Doctoral students must be advanced to candidacy. Master's students must have completed at least one year of course work. Master's students in self-supporting programs are not eligible for in absentia registration.
  • How many quarters can I use in absentia registration?
  • Up to two years (six quarters) for academic doctoral students (including Ed.D. and D.Engr.) with the second year requiring approval by the Graduate Dean. Up to one year (three quarters) for master's students.
  • How do I sign up for in absentia?
  • Please download the In Absentia Registration form.
  • What type of courses can I get credit for while on in absentia status?
  • While on this status you are doing independent research or enrolled at another university. The only campus class you can receive credit for is an independent study or independent research course. If you are enrolling in an online course, you may not use in absentia.
  • Can I hold an academic appointment (TA, GSR, AI, Reader, or Tutor) while holding in absentia status?
  • If you are a GSR, yes. If you are a TA, AI, Reader or Tutor, no.
  • I will be enrolled at an institution in Russia. I still want to be enrolled at UC. Can I use in absentia status?
  • Yes, if you are a second year master's student or advanced to candidacy in an academic doctoral program.
  • Can I take my Qualifying Examination while in absentia?
  • No, in absentia means that you are away from campus for the entire term.
  • I want to conduct research off campus but I don't want to use in absentia. Can I go on Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP)?
  • No, research leaves are no longer allowed on PELP.
  • My dissertation chair and I will both be in Europe conducting research at CERN. Can I use in absentia registration?
  • No, the policy states that there must be no significant studying or in-person collaboration with UC faculty during the in absentia period.
  • I am an international student. Can I use this status?
  • Yes. While registered in absentia, you are a registered student. However, you would need to get the Services for International Students and Scholars Office approval before submitting the form.
  • Will I lose my California residency status?
  • No, absences from California are considered temporary when the student has, and can prove that they have, maintained all of their residential ties to California for the duration of their absence.
  • Can I use filing fee the quarter after being on in absentia status?
  • Yes, in absentia is a registered status; therefore, you would be eligible for filing fee the quarter following in absentia, provided you meet all other criteria for filing fee status.
  • Can I receive my degree while on in absentia status?
  • Yes, in absentia is a registered status; therefore, you would be eligible to complete your degree the quarter you are in absentia, provided you meet all other criteria for degree completion.