Graduate Division

Academic Policies


Graduate Education is subject to the oversight of the Graduate Council, a standing committee of the Academic Senate, Irvine Division, charged with reviewing and regulating graduate education. The Graduate Council sets policies and standards for admission to graduate student status; defines eligibility for fellowships and assistantships; establishes policies relating to graduate degrees; approves changes in degree requirements; establishes procedural rules for graduate study; sets policy for satisfactory academic progress, graduate student course loads, transfers of academic credit, part-time study, and leaves of absence.

Academic requirements and standards for students, time to degree policies, eligibility for funding and other campus resources, and all other academic aspects of graduate education are the purview of the Graduate Council. Please refer to the new document Graduate Policies and Procedures, which replaces the Graduate Advisor's Handbook. 

Policies on Student Enrollment Status


Please note that students enrolled in self-supporting graduate professional degree programs (SSGPDPs) are not eligible for filing fee or in absentia status. SSGPDP students should consult with their program staff to see if part-time status is an approved option for their respective program. Students in self-supporting graduate professional degree programs are permitted to take a leave of absence.

Current SSGPDPs include:

  • Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law and Society
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Master of Conservation and Restoration Science
  • Master of Embedded Cyber-Physical Systems
  • Master of Finance
  • Master of Human Computer Interaction and Design
  • Master of Laws
  • Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology
  • Master of Professional Accountancy
  • Master of Science, Business Analytics
  • Master of Science, Pharmacology
  • Executive MBA Program
  • Fully Employed MBA Program
  • Health Care MBA Program


Students who have completed all requirements for a state-supported graduate degree and are ready for the formal submission of their thesis or dissertation, or the final, formal examination, may petition for a filing fee quarter. The Filing Fee may be paid in lieu of registration for one academic quarter or summer during the student's entire graduate career, irrespective of how many graduate programs students enroll in. Students applying for Filing Fee status must be registered in the preceding academic session. For more information on filing fee status, please review the Filing Fee Petition and Summer Filing Fee Petition.


In absentia status is a form of registration available to academic and professional degree graduate students undertaking necessary coursework or research related to their degree programs outside of California or in some cases by exception, within California but outside the Southern California area e.g. not residing/working in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside or San Diego County. For more information on in absentia status, please review the In Absentia FAQ.


A Leave of Absence (LOA) may be granted for up to one academic year (3 quarters) if, following review of the student's academic record, it is deemed consistent with the student's academic objectives and progress toward degree. For more information on leaves of absence, please review the Leave of Absence Petition.


In most instances completion of an advanced degree at UCI requires full-time study. However, UCI recognizes that a legitimate need may exist for part-time study, and it may be allowable under certain circumstances, if academically feasible. Requests for part-time status must be submitted in writing to the Graduate Dean and signed by the Departmental Faculty Graduate Advisor (some schools require, in addition, the signature of the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the academic unit). UCI policy defines part-time enrollment at the graduate level during the academic year as enrollment in one to eight units. For more information on part-time status, please review the Reduced Fee Part-Time Study Program Application.