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 Graduate Policies and Procedures for all policies relating to graduate education.

Policies on Enrollment Status

Filing Fee

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. Please note that students enrolled in self-supporting graduate professional degree programs (SSGPDPs) are not eligible for filing fee status.

In Absentia

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. Please note that students enrolled in self-supporting graduate professional degree programs (SSGPDPs) are not eligible for in absentia status.

Leave of Absence

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. Students in self-supporting graduate professional degree programs (SSGPDPs) are permitted to take a leave of absence.



Part-Time Status

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. Students enrolled in self-supporting graduate professional degree programs (SSGPDPs) should consult with their program staff to see if part-time status is an approved option for their respective program.

Policies on Satisfactory Progress

Satisfactory Progress

Graduate students must meet all of the following criteria to maintain satisfactory progress:

  • Maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Advance to candidacy and complete the degree within limitations established by UCI’s Graduate Council.
  • Receive grades of B or better.
  • Enroll in at least 12 graduate or upper-division units of credit each quarter, including credit for supervised teaching and research, unless part-time status or an academic leave of absence has been approved in advance by the Graduate Dean. In cases of approved part-time status, enrollment in eight 8 or fewer units of credit toward the degree is expected each quarter. 
  • Satisfactory progress towards the degree as determined by the student's faculty advisor, committee, or academic unit.

Note: The professional judgment of the faculty, upon review of all graduate work undertaken by the student, is paramount, and the faculty of a particular academic unit may establish more restrictive criteria for satisfactory academic progress. Graduate students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to be eligible for any academic appointment/employment, fellowship support, or other awards. 

Events Triggering Automatic Placement on Academic Conditional Status

  • A graduate student’s grade point average for any term is less than 3.0, calculated on all of the letter graded upper division and graduate courses completed while registered as a graduate student at the University of California.
  • A graduate student’s cumulative grade point average is less than 3.0, calculated on all of the letter graded upper division and graduate courses completed while registered as a graduate student at the University of California.
  • A graduate student earns a grade of B- or lower in a course.
  • A graduate student accumulates a combination of more than eight units of “I,” “U,” and/or “F” grades in total.

Events That May Lead to Placement on Academic Conditional Status at the Discretion of the Associate Dean

  • Failure to make satisfactory progress in research or coursework (e.g. failing a comprehensive/prelim exam, not advancing to candidacy, not passing a language requirement, or other program requirements).
  • Failure to complete the degree within the approved maximum time.
  • Unsatisfactory progress towards the degree as determined by the student's faculty advisor, committee, or academic unit.

Notice of Placement on Academic Conditional Status

At the time of placement on Academic Conditional Status, graduate programs must provide students with written notification. This letter must provide specific information on areas that require improvement, provide an outline and a timeline for future expectations of academic progress, and set meeting dates to maintain continuity in advisement. The purpose of the notice of potential unsatisfactory progress is to provide the student with a period of time (usually at least one academic quarter) in which to make necessary improvements in their academic status and successfully complete their graduate study. A copy of Academic Conditional Status letters should be sent to the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs, Kate Brigman, in the Graduate Division.