Graduate Division Requirements & Information

Graduate Division Requirements & Information

Consult the Graduate Division's website for regulations governing a student's career from admissions through dissertation formatting requirements.

The following lists situations you might encounter:


To withdraw from the University or discontinue studies for any period of time, please contact the Graduate Student Affairs Officer. 

Before Withdrawing
Review the Graduate Division policies and consult with the Graduate Adviser, Graduate Student Affairs Officer, and if applicable, the Financial Aid Office, and Berkeley International Office (BIO) before withdrawing. If you are considering a medical withdrawal, please also read the university health services information on medical withdrawals.

Withdrawal may affect such things as:

  • reduced non-resident tuition
  • visa status
  • residency status
  • student loan repayments
  • Normative Time status
  • and the ability to use filing fee when filing your dissertation.

Please also see the Office of the Registrar's information on withdrawals, and their information on refunds after withdrawal. (The timing of a student's withdrawal can be critical if there are concerns about fees being due back or loss of health insurance.)

If you move out of the state of California while withdrawn, your residency status may be affected at the time that you file your dissertation, particularly if it takes you more than a year to file from the time that you left. If you lose your residency you will be charged out of state tuition in order to file, unless you are eligible to use Filing Fee.

After Withdrawing
You will need to submit a readmission form along with a fee to the Graduate Division in order to re-enroll after you have been withdrawn. Please see the Graduate Division policies on readmission and re-enrollment.

Full-time Status (Minimum Units)

12 Units of 200-Level Course Work
To be considered a full-time student you are required to enroll in 12 units of 200-level course work, or the equivalent in combination with 100-level courses.

If you are on a fellowship or training grant, or some other non-employment type of support, you are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 units.

Graduate Division policy states that the minimum enrollment requirement for all graduate students who are not yet advanced to candidacy will be 12 units per semester regardless of their employment status. This means all GSR/GSIs are required to enroll in at least 12 units.

Changing Committee Members

Changing Membership of Dissertation Committee
Committee member changes require the approval of the Head Graduate Advisor and submission of a petition to the Graduate Division. Once approved by the IB Head Graduate Advisor, submit a "Change of Higher Degrees Committee" eForm through CalCentral. 

Changing Dissertation or Thesis Titles
Dissertation or Thesis titles may be changed without notifying the Graduate Division before submission.


Upper Level GPA 3.0
To remain in good standing, students must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 on the basis of all upper division and graduate courses (100 and 200 level) taken in graduate standing. Students can drop classes or change grading options all the way up to the last day of instruction each semester (does not include RRR week). After the drop deadlines, please submit a Graduate Petition to Change Class Schedule Form to the IB GSAO.

It is important for first-year students to take courses on a letter-graded basis in order to establish a grade point average for future fellowship and academic appointment consideration. Too many courses graded S/U make such decisions more difficult.

S/U Grades
Credit for courses taken on an S/U basis is limited to one-third of the total units (excluding courses numbered 299 or those in the 300, 400, or 600 series) that students have taken and passed at Berkeley at the time their degrees are awarded. This is an Academic Senate regulation that is enforced by both Graduate Division and the Office of the Registrar for both graduates and undergraduates.

Students can have no more than two "incompletes" in their Berkeley academic course record by the time they graduate.

You should check your balance each time you get ready to schedule classes for the next semester. The Graduate Student Affairs Officer receives unofficial transcripts for each term so you can easily check your balance. 

Application for Use of Filing Fee

Filing Fee Status
When you are reaching the final stages of writing your dissertation, or have completed it and are preparing to file, you may go on Filing Fee status. On Filing Fee status you are not considered a registered student for any purpose, including the deferment of student loans, except for the final reading and filing of your dissertation. You also cannot hold any academic appointments (GSI/GSR) while on filing fee.

The deadline to submit your filing fee petition is the last day of the first week of instruction of the semester in which you intend on filing. You must either be fully registered or on Filing Fee status to file your dissertation.

You may use Filing Fee only once.

If you do not file by the end of the filing fee period (see Graduate Division Deadlines) you will have to enroll in an upcoming semester to file your dissertation.

Health Insurance
You will not be covered by the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) while on Filing Fee, but you may purchase the plan separately. For more information, contact the University Health Services.