Updated: May 11th, 2012
If instruction has already begun and a student wishes to discontinue study, a withdrawal must be formally requested and processed by the student’s department. Withdrawing results in dropping enrollment in all classes and the student will no longer be able to attend for that semester or any future semester unless readmitted by the department. Any student considering withdrawing should first consult with his or her department since readmission is not guaranteed. A department is not obligated to readmit any student who has withdrawn.
How students who are citizens and permanent residents of the United States withdraw from the University. Students must approach their departments to process their withdrawal requests, which is done through OLADS (Online Add/Drop System). Students may withdraw up to and including the last day of a given semester. The withdrawal covers the entire semester. However, students who withdraw may still be responsible for some or all of their registration fees. The amount of fees that a student may still owe is prorated according to the effective date of the withdrawal. See the Registrar’s website (http://registrar.berkeley.edu/current_students/registration_enrollment/canwd.html) for further information as well as to determine the exact percentage of fees owed for any given withdrawal date.
How international students (F and J status) withdraw from the University. International students should remain registered at all times. However, continuing students may withdraw for extremely limited reasons and remain in compliance with the federal Students and Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS) requirements. Before applying for withdrawal through his or her department, the international student must meet with an adviser at the Berkeley International Office (BIO, located in International House, 2299 Piedmont Avenue; 642-8189). If an international student fails to register or withdraw without consulting with BIO, his or her visa will be in jeopardy, which could result in deportation and denial of re-entry to the United States.
Retroactive withdrawal. Students who want to withdraw after the semester has ended must complete a “Notice of Withdrawal” form available from the Registrar’s website (http://registrar.berkeley.edu/elecforms/RetroWDPet.pdf). Retroactive withdrawals cannot be processed online. Submit the form to Graduate Services Degrees (318 Sproul Hall) and a memo of explanation and support from the Head Graduate Adviser to the cognizant Associate Dean. If the request is approved, the Withdrawal form will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
Conditions of withdrawal status. Graduate students who withdraw may not use any University facilities except those available to the general public, nor may they make demands on faculty time.
To register for subsequent semesters, students must apply for readmission and obtain the approval of the Head Graduate Adviser in their department. A student who chooses to withdraw is not guaranteed readmission. See Section D1.9, “Readmissions,” below.
Health insurance for students on withdrawal status. Graduate students who withdraw to perform field research or to work on their dissertations in California are eligible to apply to purchase SHIP. However, they may only enroll in SHIP for a maximum of two semesters in a non-registered status. For example, if a student purchases SHIP for two semesters during which he or she is withdrawn, the student is ineligible to purchase SHIP while on filing fee status. See the University Health Services website (http://uhs.berkeley.edu/students/insurance/FilingFee.shtml) for enrollment procedures and costs.
Students doing dissertation research outside of California should register in absentia which provides SHIP coverage at a greatly reduced cost.