Withdrawal and Leave of Absence

If you have been admitted for the upcoming quarter as a new frosh or transfer student but have not yet attended UCSC, please do not use this process. Instead, submit a request to withdraw your SIR using the Admissions Service Request

There are two ways to take a break from UCSC:

"Withdrawal" is the act of discontinuing enrollment either before or during a quarter. Withdrawal without a leave of absence means that a student will leave UC Santa Cruz without a plan to return and will need to file an application for readmission if or when they wish to re-enroll. It is presumed that no university services are provided after a withdrawal, with the exception of leave of absence benefits.

"Leave of Absence" (LOA) is a plan to leave UCSC while arranging for a specific pre-approved return date, within one to six quarters. If your pre-approved return is scheduled for a fall quarter, you will be able to enroll for the summer leading up to that quarter, as well.

There are many things to consider when filing for a withdrawal or leave of absence. Please read the following carefully.

Leaving UCSC

Before the quarter begins:  If you are making the decision to withdraw or take a leave of absence from a given quarter, before that quarter begins, you must file the online petition below before the first day of classes. Once your withdrawal is processed, you will be dropped from all courses for the upcoming term, and will not be responsible for registration fees for that term.

During the quarter: If you need to withdraw from UCSC while a term is in session, file the online petition below and plan to follow up with your college advisor or preceptor. The amount of fees owed for the quarter will depend on the effective date of withdrawal (see the Refund Schedule and Financial Implications of Withdrawal in The Navigator).

Students can withdraw without documentation through the withdrawal deadline (see the Academic Calendar); after the deadline they must have documented medical or emergency reasons for a withdrawal. If you need to withdraw after the deadline, contact your college advisor. If you withdraw after the deadline for medical reasons, you will not be eligible for a leave of absence, and must file an application for readmission and readiness to return form to return to UCSC.

Returning to UCSC

Leave of Absence (LOA):

Leave of absence is a withdrawal with a pre-approved readmission -- it is advance approval to enroll at UCSC in a future quarter. Some University services are available to students in LOA status. In general, students who are making satisfactory academic progress and who have completed at least one quarter at UCSC are eligible for a Leave of Absence. The filing fee is $70, and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. 

If you have applied to graduate, then your graduation application will automatically be cancelled upon LOA approval. You are responsible for reapplying to graduate for a future term, after your return.

If you wish to change your specified return term (return early, or extend your LOA up to a total of six quarters), you must contact your college advisor or preceptor before the first day of instruction in the term you were scheduled to return.

Students participating in an independent study abroad program must complete an online LOA process with the college as well as an online study abroad profile, registration, and waiver of liability through UCSC Global Learning.


Students returning from a withdrawal must complete a readmission form to resume studies at UCSC. Readmission decisions are made by the student’s college. The readmission fee is $70. Information about returning for summer is here.

If you withdrew for medical reasons after the sixth week of the quarter, you must also verify your medical readiness to return to UCSC. To verify medical readiness to return, the readiness to return form must be completed by your health care provider and received by the UCSC Medical Director by the deadline listed on the form for the readmission term.

Financial implications of withdrawal

Any refund of fall, winter, or spring registration fees paid will follow the refund schedule and be based on the effective date of the withdrawal. Financial aid recipients may be required to return funds, with proration of the aid based on the number of days you attended (Financial Aid Withdrawals).  Please consult with the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for more details. Please continue to check MyUCSC on a monthly basis as charges/credits may be processed after you have left the University. UCSC does not mail paper bills.

Other Considerations

International Students: If you are an F-1 or J-1 visa holder, a Withdrawal or Leave of Absence will impact your legal status in the U.S. Please review the International Student and Scholar Services' Withdrawal/Cancellation Dismissal information before submitting this petition.

University Housing: If you contracted for university housing and you will not be attending UCSC, you must return to the Housing Portal (studenthousing.ucsc.edu) and cancel your application/contract. After taking residence, requests for housing contract cancellation must be initiated through the Housing Portal, pending review by the housing office at your residential community. Moving out or turning in keys without official approval will not release you from your contractual obligation, and you will continue to be billed accordingly.

Moving: If you are moving, please be sure to update your Mailing Address and other contact information on MyUCSC.

Health Insurance and Health Services (UC SHIP): If you are enrolled in UC SHIP in the current quarter or the quarter immediately preceding your withdrawal, you may be eligible to purchase voluntary insurance coverage for a limited period of time. For deadlines and other information, visit the Student Health Insurance website or call (831) 459-2389.

Parking Permits: If you have an on-campus parking permit, you should notify Transportation and Parking Services of your withdrawal from UCSC.

Student employment: If you are withdrawing or taking a leave and have a job at UCSC, your employment may be affected if it is based on your enrollment status. Please check with your supervisor and/or Career Success about this.

Taking classes during your time away: If you plan to enroll at a different institution while away and then return to UC Santa Cruz, talk with an advisor about your plans before you leave. Academic policies may limit the number of transfer credits that can be applied to UC Santa Cruz degree requirements, and your number of quarters of enrollment eligibility can be affected by transfer credit. You may want to use ASSIST.org as a reference for finding transferable community college courses.

Additional Information: Additional information about Withdrawal and leave of absence may be found in The Navigator, UCSC’s policy guide.

If you are a new student withdrawing prior to the first day of classes in your first term, do not use this process. Instead, submit an Admissions Services Request.

** I have read the above information. I would like to begin the withdrawal process.