Part-Time Enrollment

Use this form to request part-time status for a current academic quarter or future quarters, or to extend part-time status.

Faculty Advisor Memo Template

Faculty Advisors can use this template (Word Doc) for the memo of support required for part-time status applications.

Part-Time Enrollment Policy


Part-Time Enrollment Policy*


In most cases, completion of master’s and doctoral degrees requires full-time graduate study. However, in some circumstances, there may be legitimate reasons for graduate students to reduce their course load.

The “Policy and Procedures Concerning Part-Time Study in the University of California” allows qualified graduate students, who are unable to attend full-time, to petition to enroll part-time for reasons of occupation, family responsibility, or health. Students who are approved for part-time status are eligible for reduced tuition and fees (see below).

Part-time graduate enrollment is defined as one half or less of a regular full-time course load (12 units of graduate or upper division coursework).


  • Students must be enrolled full-time and in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 and making normative degree progress).
  • Applications for part-time enrollment for graduate students are limited to the reasons of employment, health condition or accommodation for disability or primary care giving responsibilities.
  • Doctoral students who have passed the qualifying examination or advanced to candidacy are not eligible for part-time status.
  • Part-time enrollment is not available to students enrolled in full-time or special part-time professional degree programs covered by the Policy on Self Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs.


  • Part-time graduate enrollment may be requested as early as the first quarter of graduate studies.
  • No more than one year (3 quarters) of part-time enrollment are permissible for graduate students during the course of their enrollment at UCLA.
  • By exception, requests for additional quarters beyond the 3-quarter limit may be approved; such approval is at the discretion of Dean of the Graduate Division.
  • Part-time status cannot exceed 6 quarters total.


  • The deadline to request part-time enrollment is Friday of the 2nd week of term based on the Registrar’s Office calendar.
  • The Graduate Division will not review late or retroactive requests except under extraordinary circumstances.
  • Students approved for part-time status must be enrolled in no more than 6 units by Friday of the 3rd week of classes.
  • If enrollment exceeds 6 units after this date, part-time status will be revoked and the student will be billed for full tuition.


  • The student submits the Reduced Fee application form on the Registrar’s Office website.
  • Completed forms must a memo of support from the student’s Faculty Advisor. The memo must provide sufficient detail to allow the Graduate Dean to evaluate independently the need for, and feasibility of, part-time status for the graduate student.
  • The minimum elements to include in the support memo are:
    • a brief explanation of the need for the part-time status request a statement of how part-time status might impact the student’s progress toward degree, and steps to be taken to minimize any negative impact;
    • an indication of when part-time status would, if approved, begin and end (e.g. Fall 20XX Spring 20XX); and
    • Signatures from the Chair of the Department and, if applicable, the student’s Dashew Center counsellor.

Visa Regulations

U.S. Federal regulations prohibit graduate students with F-1 and J-1 visas from enrolling on a part-time basis (defined as less than 8 units per quarter). With the approval of the Dashew Center, a Reduced Course Load (RCL) authorization may be granted for the following reasons:

  • Academic Difficulty: When students are experiencing academic difficulty on a specific quarter due to improper course placement, initial difficulty with reading requirements, or unfamiliarity with UCLA teaching methods. This reason can be used for only one quarter during their course of study at UCLA.
  • Personal Medical Illness: When students present a written medical reason to reduce or interrupt a full-time course load due to a personal illness or medical condition. This should be recommended and documented by a U.S. medical doctor or licensed psychologist/psychiatrist. This exception should not exceed an aggregate of 12 months while the student is pursuing a course of study at UCLA. Exceptions may be authorized on quarterly basis.
  • Final Quarter: On their final quarter/semester, if students need less than a full-time course load to complete their academic requirements to graduate; they may enroll in a part-time course load. This request must be submitted to the Dashew Center for review by the end of week 2 of that specific quarter.

Please note: F-1 and J-1 graduate students requesting RCL authorization for reasons of Academic Difficulty and Final Quarter will not be eligible for reduced tuition and fees. As stated in the Criteria section above, requests for part-time enrollment and accompanying fee reductions will only be granted for reasons of employment, health condition or accommodation for disability, or primary care giving responsibilities. Students requesting RCL authorization for reasons of personal medical illness, must be enrolled in 6 six units or less to qualify for reduced tuition and fees.


  • Part-time graduate students who are approved to enroll for one-half (6 units) or less of the regular course load shall pay:
    • 100% of the Student Services Fee
    • 50% of Tuition
  • and, if applicable,
    • 50% of the Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (NRST) and/or
    • 50% Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST)

Fellowships & Financial Aid

  • Eligibility for financial aid and fellowship support may be adversely affected by part-time enrollment status.
  • All university fellowships require full-time enrollment in graduate-level courses.
  • For extramural fellowships, students must refer and adhere to the individual agency guidelines established by the sponsor.
  • In most cases, part-time enrollment affects eligibility for deferment of the repayment of student loans.


  • Part-time graduate students will be eligible for appointment to salary titles requiring regular registration in graduate status, such as Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant.
  • The total of any and all appointments during a term will be limited to no more than one-half (25%) the maximum appointment available to full-time students.
  • Part-time graduate students will not be eligible for 50% appointment to Academic Student Employee and Graduate Student Research titles.


Residents of university housing can maintain their residency while approved for part-time status.

General Provisions

  • Students with part-time enrollment status have access to university resources, including full library privileges and access to faculty. They also maintain their eligibility for UC SHIP coverage.
  • Part-time graduate students will acquire time to degree under the Normative Time to Degree Policy at one-half the rate of full-time students for those quarters during which they are approved for part-time study.

* Excerpted from Standards and Procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can graduate students apply for part-time enrollment?

Students enrolled in full-time degree programs can request part-time status as early as their first quarter of graduate study.

Will graduate students enrolling in 6 units or fewer be automatically eligible for reduced tuition and fees?

No, students wishing to access reduce tuition and fees must submit a Reduced Fee request form on the Registrar’s website. If the Graduate Division approves the request, the student’s records will be updated to ensure their tuition and fees are assessed appropriately, based on the formula set out in the Policy Overview Section above.

Can graduate students hold academic appointments (TA, GSR, Reader, or Tutor) while registered part-time?
As noted above, part-time graduate students will be eligible for appointments to salary titles requiring regular registration in graduate status, such as Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant. The total of any and all appointments during a term will be limited to no more than one-half (25%) the maximum appointment available to full-time students. If approved for part-time status, students who hold 50% appointments should contact their department to request a reduction in time.

I am a graduate student who was not registered last quarter and was not on an official Leave of Absence. May I apply for part-time enrollment when I return?

Given your lapsed status, you must first apply for readmission. Please coordinate with your department to initiate the application. We will accept part-time status requests during the quarter you are readmitted as a graduate student.

How do I cancel my part-time status as a graduate student?

Please submit a letter stating you are cancelling part-time status because you are planning to enroll in six units or more during the approval period. You may email Following the cancellation, you will be re-assessed for full-tuition and fees.