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In Absentia

  • Effective Spring 2022, used if research is conducted outside the designated local campus region* or outside the state of California during a given quarter.
    • the research location must be outside of California or outside the following counties in CA: *Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, Imperial County, and San Bernardino County.
  • Student to remain enrolled in full-time study with the University while paying 15 percent of the combined Educational and Registration Fees, and paying all the campus based fees.
  • The fee for UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UCSHIP) is included as a campus based fee; however, students may waive UCSHIP with qualifying coverage. 
  • A student who holds a fellowship, traineeship, or a research assistantship and desires to study off campus may do so under the following circumstances:
    • Master’s and graduate professional students must have completed at least one year of coursework by the time the In Absentia status would begin.
    • Academic doctoral students must have advanced to candidacy by the time the In Absentia status would begin.
    • Enrolled in only 12 units of research.
    • Agree to comply with the rules and regulations governing the In Absentia Guidelines.
  • Fill out and submit online form listing where the student will be studying (Be as specific as possible. For example: City, County, State/Country; or Name of Institution/archive and City, County, State/Country. If the location is in California, county must be outside the local campus region and must be listed on the form. Please note that with this broader definition for In Absentia eligibility (to now include locations outside of the local campus region), the Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs will not consider exception requests.
  • Must be signed by department chair and student's faculty advisor
  • Student or department must submit a separate request for each quarter. 
    Eligibility is the following:
    • Up to 3 quarters for master's and graduate professional students.
    • Up to 6 quarters for academic doctoral students. 


The following FAQs were issued by the UC Office of the President:

1. Are students who register in absentia assessed 15 percent of Tuition and the Student Services Fee, or are they assessed the full amounts and then issued a waiver for 85 percent of Tuition and the Student Services Fee? Students registered in absentia are assessed 15 percent of Tuition and 15 percent of the Student Services Fee. The lower charges should be treated as reductions and not as waivers. Waivers are funded and there is no funding associated with this Policy. The lower in absentia charges assume a reduction in campus services, much like the reduced charges charged to part-time students. (The reduction in charges is a special provision and therefore should not be reported on the Corporate Student System financial aid input file.)

2. Which campus-based fees are assessed to students who are registered in absentia? Each campus decides which of its campus-based fees to assess, if any, and how much. In making their decisions, campuses may want to consider how they treat other students who are off-site, such as those participating in EAP and UCDC.

3. What is the definition of academic doctoral, graduate professional, and master’s, as referenced in the section of the policy titled: Eligibility Criteria for the Reduced In Absentia Fee? Academic doctoral students are those working towards a doctoral degree that includes advancement to candidacy as part of the progression to the degree. All other students working towards a doctoral degree are graduate professional (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., Pharm.D., D.V.M., O.D., J.D.) All students whose degree objective is any master’s degree (e.g., M.A., M.S., M.B.A.) are master’s students.

4. Who determines the local campus region? The local Campus Region refers to an area defined by the graduate dean, in consultation with campus constituents, beyond which students have access to substantially fewer campus resources, including instructional, laboratory and library resources, advising and student services.

5. What is meant by “special cases” in which the appropriate dean may approve an exception to the eligibility criteria for the reduced in absentia charges? In rare instances, deans are permitted to grant exceptions for academic doctoral students not advanced to candidacy and for master’s and graduate professional students who have completed less than one year of coursework. Deans are expected to be very judicious in granting exceptions, since granting exceptions has fiscal ramifications: students who normally would pay full tuition and fees will bring in less revenue for the University when they pay only 15 percent of Tuition and Student Services Fee.

6. Can students be registered in absentia during the summer? Generally, no. Students can register in absentia only during a term when Tuition and the Student Services Fee are assessed. Most graduate students are not assessed Tuition and the Student Services Fee during the summer and hence cannot be registered in absentia during that term. However, the relatively few students who are assessed Tuition and the Student Services Fee in the summer (typically in certain professional degree programs) are eligible for in absentia registration.

7. Can students registered in absentia participate in campus approved exchange programs with other institutions? No. UC graduate students who participate in exchange programs normally pay full UC tuition and fees and receive UC credit.

8. Can students enroll in a UC online course and still be eligible to register in absentia? No. The in absentia status is reserved for coursework or research that meets the criteria described in the policy, including but not limited to the requirement that the coursework or research “[m]ust be of a nature that makes it necessary to be completed outside of the designated local campus region for at least one full academic term.” Since online courses offered by UC campuses do not meet this requirement, they are not available to students who are registered in absentia. A student may, however, enroll in, and pay for, an online course offered elsewhere while registered in absentia. In general, students are not permitted to enroll in any UC campus course other than the one required for in absentia registration.

9. How will financial need be calculated for students registered in absentia? Financial need will be calculated assuming an off-campus student budget and fulltime enrollment at the reduced fee level.

10.Can students who are registered in absentia apply for and receive readerships or tutorships?  No. According to the policy, students registered in absentia “…are eligible to apply for and receive University fellowships and research assistantships, but not teaching assistantships...” Readers and tutors perform some of the same kinds of tasks required of teaching assistants. Furthermore, the nature of their work often requires them to be on campus.


View the full UCOP document here

In Absentia

A full time registered student who has an academic need to conduct research outside of our local campus region or outside California for the entire quarter. Student pays 15 percent of the combined Educational and Registration Fees, and paying all the campus based fees. Student or department must submit a separate request for each quarter.

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