Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP)

Planned Educational Leave (PELP) Topics

Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP)

The Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP) allows students to take a temporary pause in enrollment and academic work, while guaranteeing return to their program to resume their studies. The purpose of PELP is to increase a student’s potential for successfully completing their academic program by allowing time to pursue other activities that will assist with: clarifying educational goals; job opportunities away from campus (not related to academic research); and time to resolve personal, financial or medical concerns.

PELP Application Due Dates

  • Students who have enrolled, in any number of units, for the quarter PELP will begin - Students are charged fees when they enroll for a quarter.  In order to receive a full fee refund, graduate students must send the PELP email template to their Graduate Coordinator by the first day of quarter instruction.  Enrolled students who apply for PELP after the first day of instruction will owe a percentage of fees based on the Schedule of Refunds.
  • Students who have not enrolled for the quarter PELP will begin - The PELP Application email should be sent to the Graduate Coordinator by the 10th day of quarter instruction.
  • International graduate students must send the PELP application email to their Graduate Coordinator by the 10th day of quarter instruction.  International students typically may not remain in the US while on PELP unless approved by SISS in certain circumstances (e.g., students receiving medical or mental health treatment from a provider in the US).

PELP Eligibility

  • Continuing graduate students are eligible to participate in PELP for up to three quarters, with approval of a program Graduate Advisor and Graduate Studies.
  • New graduate students are not eligible to PELP during their first term of instruction.
    • New students who have not enrolled may be considered for deferred admission – contact your Graduate Program Coordinator prior to the first day of instruction.
    • New students who have enrolled in any units may withdraw from the quarter, and submit a Readmission Application when ready to enroll and begin their program. Students may owe fees, based on the Schedule of Refunds, if withdrawing after the first day of instruction.
  • International Students in F-1 or J-1 status must contact the Services for International Students & Scholars (SISS) office through iGlobal prior to or within 24 hours of submitting a PELP request.
  • PELP is a leave from all academic studies at UC Davis.  Students are not permitted to use PELP for a research leave or to complete the thesis/dissertation.
    • Students taking a research leave outside California state may apply for In Absentia, a reduced fee status.
  • Approval for PELP is based, in part, on the expectation that the student will return to an enrolled status and continue in their graduate program after PELP. Students who do not plan to return to their studies or who require more than three quarters of leave should withdraw by submitting the OUR Cancellation/Withdrawal webform and submit a Readmission Application to their graduate program when they're ready to return.  

Restrictions While on PELP Status

  • Academic employment - Students on PELP may not be employed in a student academic appointment (Teaching Assistant (TA), Graduate Student Researcher (GSR), etc.).
  • Fellowship funds - Students on PELP are not eligible to receive fellowship funds, and may need to repay any fellowship funds already received for the quarter they begin PELP.
  • Financial aid and grants will be discontinued for the duration of your leave, and you may need to repay any financial aid funds already received for the quarter. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.
  • UC SHIP Health Insurance - Students on PELP may voluntarily self-pay for UC SHIP student health benefits for one quarter. If a student intends to continue their UC SHIP benefits, they must notify Student Health and Counseling Services before the first day of the quarter in which PELP status begins.  
  • Coursework, examinations, & research - PELP status is a leave from academics and not intended for students to take coursework, exams, or continue their research. While on PELP, students are not eligible to enroll in concurrent courses or earn any academic credit on the UC Davis campus.  Students on PELP may not take the QE, advance to candidacy, or petition for a change of major/objective.
  • Students on PELP may not utilize faculty time, with the exception of contacting a program Graduate Advisor for status updates and return to enrollment planning.
  • Filing Fee status - Students on PELP are not eligible to continue immediately to Filing Fee status. The student must first return to a registered status for at least one quarter before becoming eligible for Filing Fee status.
  • Summer Quarter (for students on PELP in Spring) - Spring PELP status extends through the end of Summer, by default.  Students may apply for Summer Session to take coursework but are not eligible to receive fellowship funds until they return to a full-time enrolled status.  

University Services

Students are inactive during PELP, and are not eligible for university services, with the following exceptions:

  • Student Employment Services – They may consult Student Employment Services while on leave.
  • Advising and Counseling - Limited advising and counseling services at the Counseling Center are available to assist with the transition of leaving and returning to the university.
  • Library - A library card from Shields Library can be purchased for $12.50 per quarter. Borrowing privileges and online access are limited.
  • Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) - During PELP, students are eligible to purchase an ARC membership.
  • Housing - Students may remain in Graduate & Family Housing for one quarter while on PELP. When students return from PELP they are considered continuing students in regards to housing priority.

Applying for PELP

Prior to applying for PELP, students should discuss a plan for return with a faculty Graduate Advisor (e.g. what degree requirements remain? What courses will be taken after return? If on academic probation, what is the plan to return to good standing after PELP?) Contact information for faculty Graduate Program Advisors and Graduate Coordinators is available on each Program page.

  • Graduate students apply for PELP status by emailing the completed template below to their Graduate Coordinator. The Coordinator will forward the PELP email to a Graduate Advisor for approval and then to to your SAA who will coordinate processing with the Office of the University Registrar (OUR).  
    • International students must also notify SISS of their intention to apply for PELP status.
  • There is a $70 non-refundable fee for PELP, which is charged directly to the student’s account.

UC SHIP Health Insurance for Grad Students on PELP

  • Voluntary UC SHIP Health Insurance coverage (students who did not enroll in the quarter) - you can sign up for Voluntary SHIP by completing the webform linked on the Voluntary SHIP webpage and attaching this confirmation of your Filing Fee status.  You are responsible for paying the associated fees for the quarter.  

  • The UC SHIP Health Insurance charge is not automatically refunded when enrolled students are placed on Filing Fee status after the first day of the quarter. You have two options if you were already charged for UC SHIP coverage due to enrollment:
    • Retain your SHIP coverage but you are responsible for paying the $1750 fee for the quarter.  You do not need to enroll in Voluntary SHIP in this case, and can take no action beyond paying the fee by the 8th week of the quarter grad fee payment deadline.
    • Request Cancel/Refund of your SHIP coverage (if you do not need coverage for the quarter) by submitting the UC SHIP Cancel/Refund Request form to

PELP Email Template

  • Student Name
  • Student ID number
  • Graduate Program name.
  • Quarter/Year PELP will begin
  • Quarter/Year you will return and enroll
  • Major professor's name (if available)
  • Have you registered for the quarter? 
  • Are you an international student?
    • If you are an international student, have you notified SISS of your leave?
  • Briefly explain the reason you are going on PELP.  

PELP Time Extension/Reduction

Students may enroll in PELP for up to three quarters at a time.  Students who would like to extend their PELP may submit a PELP Time Extension Request. requests for more than three quarters of PELP must include a statement of justification from a program Graduate Advisor.  PELP beyond three quarters is 

Students who wish to return in an earlier quarter than planned, should notify their Graduate Program Coordinator.