Leave of Absence Request

Use this form to request a leave of absence from graduate study at UCLA.

Leave of Absence Policy


LOA Policy*


Outside employment, Medical, Parental obligations, Other family obligations, Military, Emergency, Financial hardship.


A student must have completed at least one quarter of academic residence and be in good academic standing (GPA >= 3.0) to be granted a leave.


Leaves are approved for a maximum of 3 quarters.

If you return before the end of the planned leave period, you must email the Graduate Division at academicservices@grad.ucla.edu at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the term in which you plan to register. Failure to give at least six weeks’ notice will result in liability for any and all late registration/late enrollment fees assessed by the Registrar’s Office.


By exception, requests for additional quarters beyond the 3-quarter limit may be approved; such approval is at the discretion of an Associate Dean or the Dean of the Graduate Division. The LOA cannot exceed 6 quarters total.


  • A student may not use more than 12 hours of university time (faculty and facilities) during the quarter in which (s)he is on approved LOA.
  • A student may not be actively working towards completion of degree requirements, including completing coursework, conducting research, preparing for or taking a comprehensive or oral qualifying exam, or working on a capstone project, thesis or dissertation.
  • Retroactive leaves can only be approved for medical reasons. Documentation must be provided.


The LOA petition must be submitted no later than the end of the 2nd week of class in the academic term for which leave is requested. Please refer to the “Fees/Refunds” section for information on registration fee deadlines and refunds.


The student completes the form and then obtains signatures from the chair/authorized faculty advisor and Graduate Division Financial Services staff. The student then submits the completed form to Graduate Division Academic Services.

Visa Req’s

International students who do not have permanent residency must obtain approval from DCISS prior to submission of the form.

Health Insurance

Voluntary UC SHIP is available to nonregistered students who are on official LOA. Students must complete an enrollment application with Wells Fargo Insurance Services. For information on coverage requirements please see non-registered UCSHIP.


Refunds of registration fees are calculated based on calendar days, beginning with first day of instruction. The effective date for determining a refund of fees is the date the completed form is submitted to the Graduate Division.

Please Note: There is a $10 administrative service fee applied to all 100% refunds for Leave of Absence, withdrawal, and cancellations.

While on an approved leave of absence there is no automatic refund of the UC SHIP fee. Students who purchased UC SHIP, withdraw, and/or receive a 100% refund for tuition, only the UC SHIP fee is not automatically refunded and UC SHIP coverage remains for that term. Refunds are calculated on the remainder of registration fees minus the cost of UC SHIP. To request a full refund of the UC SHIP fee, only when it is a 100% tuition refund, the student must contact the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center’s insurance office directly by e-mail to insurshs@ashe.ucla.edu before the end of the current term. The e-mail message must include the student’s full name, UID number, date of birth, and reason for the refund request. The UC SHIP office must verify that the student has not accessed the benefits or used any aspect of plan services before any refund can be considered. This process may take up to 30 business days to complete. No refund of the UC SHIP fee is granted if any claim(s) have been paid. Refunds are processed by Bruin-Bill approximately three (3) to five (5) working days after the notice is received and processed by the Registrar’s Office.

Please note: departments typically rescind ALL department funding. Based on the refund percentage applied, this may leave you responsible for a balance of the fee assessment. Please check your BruinBill account via MyUCLA to address any fee balance.

More information on the schedule of refunds is available on the Registrar’s website.

Suspended Services/ Privileges

Students on LOA are not eligible for financial support such as fellowships, scholarships, federal student loans, teaching assistantships or research assistantships. They are also not eligible for university employment, metro bus passes or campus parking privileges.

Continued Services

Students on LOA may use the University library and maintain access to digital services by paying the public user fee.


Residents of university housing can maintain their residency while taking up to one quarter LOA. If the leave is longer, the student must leave housing and then re-apply upon return. Exceptions may be made for students on approved medical leave.

* Excerpted from Standards and Procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What status does a graduate student have at UCLA if that student does not enroll and is not on an approved leave of absence (LOA)?

The graduate student has a “lapsed status.” This happens when a graduate student is not enrolled for classes, registered in absentia, on an approved leave of absence, or for the final quarter, on filing fee status. Please contact your department on how to restore your graduate student status either by applying for readmission or retroactively enrolling.

Can a graduate student get an application fee waiver if s/he needs to apply for readmission?

No. Fee waivers are only available for new applicants to graduate studies at UCLA.

Does a graduate student need to pay non-resident tuition and professional fees in addition to registration fees if they apply for readmission?

Fees continue to be based on where the graduate students are in the program. If a student has advanced to candidacy, s/he has 9 quarters of eligibility to not pay non-resident tuition.

A graduate student forgot to submit the leave of absence petition last quarter. Can a graduate student submit a retroactive leave of absence petition?

No. The Graduate Division only accepts retroactive leave of absence petitions for medical emergencies. The petition must include a doctor’s note.

Does a graduate student need to start repaying loans while on leave of absence?

Loan repayment can be deferred for 6 months after a graduate student graduates or drops below part time enrollment. For students whose leave of absence extends beyond six months, loans will enter repayment. There are forbearance options that students may avail themselves of at that point (ex: forbearance based on unemployment) but this is not an automated process and the graduate student would be required to contact the servicer of his or her loan to find out what options are available.

Are graduate students eligible for departmental funding while on leave of absence?

No, departmental funding is dependent upon graduate students maintaining student status.

Can graduate students pay a filing fee in the quarter following their leave?

No, graduate students must register upon returning from an official leave of absence.

Will a graduate student maintain health insurance while on leave?

Graduate students can request voluntary UC Ship while they are on leave.

Can a graduate student work closely with a professor while on leave?

As a graduate student, if you are using more than 12 hours of university time, including working with a professor, you are not allowed to be on an official leave. Instead, work with your faculty advisor or committee chair to enroll in an independent study or another appropriate course.

Can a graduate student go on LOA to write their dissertation?

Graduate students actively working on their dissertation must be either registered or registered in absentia. Graduate students can also withdraw from the university and apply for readmission when they are ready to resume theirstudy at UCLA.

Can a graduate student apply to go on leave if they already took 3 quarters on LOA?

Exceptional cases that require an extension beyond the 3 quarter limit may be approved; such approval is at the discretion of an Associate Dean or the Dean of the Graduate Division.

Can an international graduate student take leave and go on Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

No. F-1 students requesting CPT must be registered. For more information please visit internationalcenter.ucla.edu/f-1-students/documents-forms

Can an international graduate student go on leave and go on Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Yes. International graduate students on OPT can take a leave for outside employment for up to the maximum 3 quarters allowed. If they are not on OPT, but wish to take a leave for outside employment, they must leave the United States or change their immigration status to a different category in order to remain in the U.S. legally. Please consult with the DCISS before taking any leave from the university.

Can an international graduate student go on leave and go on Academic Training?

Please contact DCISS and ask to speak with a J-1 counselor to discuss options.

Does an international graduate student need a new I-20 or DS-2019 when returning to UCLA from a leave of absence in their home country?

F-1 or J-1 status holders may not maintain continuous immigration status while on LOA. International graduate students may be required to obtain a new I-20 or a new DS-2019 from DCISS for their return. Please note that this may also affect their employment/internship eligibility in the future. Please contact DCISS for more information.