VI. Fees and Registration

Registration Fees and Financial Planning

The Registrar's website has the current fee schedule. A detailed assessment of the costs of UCSC education for the current academic year may be found at the Office of Financial Aid website.


Graduate students may pay their fees in a variety of manners. Students who receive fellowship support normally have all fees paid by the fellowship in addition to receiving a living stipend. Students who are employed as a Graduate Student Researcher at 25% or greater for the academic term will have 100% of all fees and applicable tuition paid by the hiring grant. Students employed as a Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow, or Associate In for 25% or greater for the academic term will have most of their fees paid by virtue of the appointment. It is important to note that these positions (Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow, or Associate In) do not provide for payment of non-resident tuition. TAs may apply to the Graduate Division to sign up for a payroll fee deferment to pay the balance of their quarterly fees. Students who receive loans may receive a sufficient loan amount to cover fees in addition to providing a living stipend. Students who are personally responsible for payment of their fees must pay the required fees by the quarterly deadline or arrange with Student Business Services for a Tuition Deferred Payment Plan.

Some or all instruction for all or part of the Academic Year may be delivered remotely. Tuition and fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Figures for tuition and fees represent currently approved or proposed amounts and may not be final.  Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California as determined to be necessary or appropriate. Final approved tuition and fee levels may differ from the amounts presented.

  • Reduced Non-Resident Tuition for Doctoral Candidates

Effective Fall 2006, the quarterly nonresident tuition fee is reduced by 100% for graduate doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy. Eligibility for the reduced nonresident tuition is measured in calendar years, and begins with the first academic quarter following advancement to candidacy. Leave of absence and unregistered quarters will not extend a student's eligibility. A student who continues to be enrolled or who re-enrolls three calendar years after advancing to candidacy will be charged the full nonresident rate in effect at the time.

Full-Time Status

UCSC receives instructional and fellowship funding based on the number of students enrolled as of the 15th day of instruction. Hence, it is critical that students enroll on time and register for courses during each term of study.

Senate Regulations state that the regular course load for a full-time graduate student is 15 units of graduate and/or upper-division undergraduate course work, including any 297 or 299 units for which the student may enroll. The minimum load for a full-time student is 10 units of graduate and/or upper-division undergraduate course work. Part-time students can enroll for 5-8 units of graduate and/or upper-division undergraduate course work. No graduate student is permitted to enroll for more than 19 units without prior approval from the Graduate Representative or Graduate Program Director of her or his department.

There are different minimum units requirements based on your academic standing.

All students (certificate, masters, and doctoral) not advanced to candidacy for the PhD must enroll in a minimum of at least two upper division or graduate level courses (five credits each) each quarter. Departments may adopt a higher enrollment requirement.

Doctoral students advanced to candidacy may enroll for just one upper division or graduate level five-credit course (usually Thesis Research 299) and be considered full time. Departments may adopt a higher enrollment requirement.

It is particularly crucial for International Students to enroll on time and in a full academic load in order to maintain their visa status. Domestic students who have loans from previous years should determine if their lending agency will continue repayment deferments if they are not enrolled full time.

Part-Time Status

In 1982 Graduate Council adopted the policy stated below on Part-Time students with revisions made in 1995.

  • A. A part-time graduate student is one who has approval to enroll in a minimum of two units and a maximum of eight units of coursework.
  • B. Graduate degree programs will permit part-time study when, in the opinion of the faculty, there is clear justification for part-time status based upon considerations of academic progress, career employment, family responsibilities, or health conditions. The same admissions standards that apply to full-time students will apply to part-time students. Each department will determine whether or not it can accommodate part-time students.
  • C. Part-time graduate students will accrue 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.  Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy accrue time-to-degree at the regular rate.
  • D. A part-time student will pay the full Registration Fee, one-half the Educational Fee paid by full-time students. Nonresident students approved for part-time status will pay one-half the nonresident tuition charge. Campus fees will be assessed when applicable.
  • E. Part-time students will be eligible for fellowship support at their department's discretion; but University employment in student titles, such as Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student Researcher, cannot exceed .25 FTE. F. A student approved for part-time status will remain in that status until
    • (a) he/she no longer meets the criteria for part-time status, or
    • (b) he/she petitions for full-time status, or
    • (c) his/her department withdraws its general approval of part-time study.
  • G. All petitions for part-time status must be approved by the Graduate Dean.


  • A. Any student who desires to enroll on a part-time basis will be required to submit an Application for Part Time Status (available at the Graduate Division web page) and provide a detailed written justification. Financial considerations or the desire to enroll in one class only will not, in themselves, be considered sufficient justification for part-time status.
  • B. The department, if it has determined that it can accommodate part-time students, will evaluate the application and forward its recommendation to the Graduate Dean for final action.

Registration In-Absentia

All students pursuing doctoral or masters degrees in academic disciplines as well as those pursuing professional masters or doctoral degrees are eligible for the fee reduction. Students in self-supporting graduate programs are not covered by this policy.

Students may apply for in absentia registration status under the following circumstances:

• Academic doctoral students must have advanced to candidacy by the time the in absentia status would begin.
• Masters students must have completed at least one year of coursework by the time the in absentia status would begin.
• Special cases within the above two categories can be approved only by exception at the discretion of the graduate dean.
• Students who seek in absentia registration beyond the initial term of in absentia status must re-apply for each subsequent period.

Students must be enrolled full-time in regular UC units to be eligible for the reduced in absentia fee. The graduate dean is responsible for determining that the proposed in absentia units meet the following criteria. The research or coursework:

• Must be directly related to the student’s degree program as evidenced by UC faculty approval.
• Must 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. UCSC has determined that our local campus region will include the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. All other counties fall outside the local campus region and can be considered for In Absentia applications. 
• Must involve only indirect supervision appropriate to evaluating the student’s academic progress and performance (e.g., correspondence via e-mail or review of written work) from UC faculty during the in absentia period.
• Must involve no significant studying or in-person collaboration with UC faculty during the in absentia period to ensure that units do not entail direct access to UC resources or learning environment.

The graduate dean may grant In Absentia registration status for up to two years for academic doctoral students or up to one year for masters and graduate professional students.

Students shall observe the following requirements while enrolled in absentia:

• Be enrolled full-time at their UC campus of origin for the duration of their in absentia registration.
• Be enrolled in a UC academic doctoral, masters or graduate professional program (except self-supporting) for the duration of their in absentia registration.

Students are eligible to apply for and receive University fellowships and research assistantships, but not teaching assistantships during the in absentia period.

Fees for In-Absentia Students

Students whose research or study requires that they remain outside the designated local campus region for an entire quarter may qualify for a reduction of the University Registration and Education Fees and exemption from all local campus fees. In-absentia students pay 15% of the Registration Fee and Educational Fee. Non-residents of California must pay full non-resident tuition when applicable. Students who wish to opt out of the mandatory health insurance should complete the on line waiver or contact Cowell Health Center for more information. 

Application for In-Absentia Status

To apply for this program, complete the In-Absentia form, obtain the signatures of your faculty advisor and your Department’s Graduate Represen¬tative or Graduate Coordinator, and return the form to The Division of Graduate Studies. An application to register in this status must be submitted at least one month prior to the first day of the quar¬ter for which you are requesting this status.

Registering for Classes

Students register for classes online using the campus’ Academic Information system (AIS) and should consult with their advisor and department Graduate Staff for advising and assistance with AIS.

Intercampus Exchange

The purpose of the Intercampus Exchange Program for Graduate Students is to provide access during fall, winter, or spring quarter to courses at another University of California campus not ordinarily available at UCSC. Approvals are required from the Department Chairs and the Graduate Deans on both campuses—there is no guarantee that the host campus will approve the student’s request. Additionally, you may take courses on more than one campus of the University during the same quarter.

To participate in the program you must first obtain approval from your faculty adviser, the Dean of the Graduate Division at Santa Cruz, the department chairperson of the host campus, and the Dean of the Graduate Division on the host campus. Application forms are available at the Graduate Division web page and should be submitted six weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter for which exchange is requested. As the exchange is valid for only one quarter at a time, a new application form must be submitted for each term you wish to participate.

If you enroll the Spring Semester at UC Berkeley, you must file an application and pay registration fees both Winter and Spring quarters at UCSC.

Ideal candidates for Intercampus Exchange are highly qualified master’s or doctoral students who wish to work on a third or fourth field, enroll in specialized language courses, or conduct specialized research at another UC campus. Applications should be carefully reviewed to ensure that only students who excel at UCSC are visiting other UC campuses. Students who do not perform well as an Intercampus visitor may diminish the chances of other UCSC students in subsequent years. Intercampus Exchange is not to be used as a back door for admission to another UC school; students who have previously been denied admission to another UC may have difficulty securing approval for an Intercampus application to visit that campus. If students are interested in changing UC campuses, they need to submit an application for admission to that campus.

Departments should screen Intercampus Exchange applications from their own students and potential visitors from other campuses carefully:

The proposed course of study at the host UC campus should constitute an important supplement to the student’s UCSC courses and be directly related to the student’s core program.

  • The UCSC student should normally have completed at least one year of successful graduate study at UCSC.
  • The applicant should be in good academic standing.
  • The courses to be completed through Intercampus Exchange should be ones that are not available on the student’s home campus.
  • The course instructor(s) should be willing to allow this student into the course(s) based on the credentials presented and if space permits.

Intercampus Exchange Application Process

Intercampus applications may be downloaded from the Graduate Division forms page online. Separate applications are required for each quarter.

  • Prior to submitting the Intercampus application, and well in advance of application deadlines, students should contact the professor or department at the host campus to express interest in visiting.
  • Due to the number of approvals (4) required for an Intercampus application, students must submit the completed application to the Graduate Division by the deadline published in the Schedule of Classes: approximately 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter.
  • If approved, the student pays fees at UCSC and must register at both campuses. The student must enroll for a minimum combined total of 10 units during the quarter of the exchange, at least 5 of which is normally at UCSC (registering in 5 units of independent study or thesis research—is recommended). This procedure maintains academic residence at UCSC even though the student is not physically present and facilitates disbursement of financial aid.
  • Students who are petitioning to visit another UC campus using Intercampus Exchange are responsible for registering at UCSC for the upcoming quarter and any subsequent quarters in accordance with the deadlines set in the quarterly Schedule of Classes.

Classes taken on the other campus appear on the UCSC transcript, including a notation that the student attended another UC using intercampus exchange. In addition, Incomplete grades recorded at the host campus will be reflected on the student’s UCSC transcript until such time as they are removed.

Establishing Legal Residency

Every entering student is classified as a resident or nonresident of California for tuition purposes. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have come to UCSC from outside the state of California should take steps to establish California residency as soon as possible through the Residence Deputy in the Office of the Registrar. Domestic nonresident students must establish California residency by the beginning of their second year.  The requirements are located in the UC Residence Policy and Guidelines.  

Information on requirements and procedures for establishing legal residency can be found in the Residency section of the Office of the Registrar web page, or contact the Campus Residency Deputy, Office of the Registrar at