Part-Time Status

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Academic Senate Policy C561 details Part-Time status is available only to students who are unable to pursue their studies full-time under the following circumstances:

  • Employment.
  • Health conditions.
  • Accommodation for disability.
  • Primary care responsibilities.
  • Graduating senior (undergraduate level and one-quarter only).

Part-Time status allows for a fee discount based on a reduced course load. It also waives the minimum progress requirements.

To apply for Part-Time status supporting documentation for the current term must be provided as part of this process; documentation is not required for senior standing.

Undergraduate Students must submit the petition and supporting document for each term they wish to receive the discount. Supporting documentation includes:

  • Employment. A letter from your employer(s) stating that you work 30+ hours per week. Multiple jobs may be combined to reach the 30+ hours, but each needs an employer verification letter. The letter(s) must be on company letterhead and signed by your supervisor and include contact information for the supervisor. Employment may include student assistants and unpaid internships; however, a support letter is still required for these situations. If you are self-employed, you must provide either a copy of your business license or the first two pages of your business tax return.
  • Health Conditions. A letter signed by your medical professional stating that they recommend your Part-Time status as it relates to your medical condition. It does not need to give specifics of your medical condition.  
  • Accommodation for Disability. A letter from Student Disability Services is also acceptable. It is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations as soon as possible, within a period of time that allows the university a reasonable opportunity to evaluate the request and offer necessary adjustments. The accommodation is subject to extension and modification, and it is the student’s responsibility to submit subsequent request as the need arises. Students may petition for approval of Part-Time status for a minimum of one and a maximum of three consecutive regular terms (Fall, Winter, Spring). Successive petitions are permitted.

    The student will initiate the request at the Student Disability Center. Upon approval by the Student Disability Center Specialist, the supporting document is forwarded to the office of the University Registrar. A new form is required regardless of the number of terms approved on the support document. However, the same support document may be submitted. The deadline for submitting a Part-Time petition to the Office of the University Registrar is the 10th day of instruction. Deadlines are strictly enforced.  

    If the recommendation is for multiple terms, please make a copy. You will need to submit it each term with a new Part-Time Petition.
  • Primary Care Responsibility. A signed letter from you stating your Primary Care responsibility. This is limited to care of dependent children or spouse or a medical care giver for another family member. Medical verification of your medical responsibilities must be included.
  • Graduating Senior. If you are a graduating senior having completed 135 units and have senior standing, you can apply for Part-Time standing for one-quarter only.

International Students. International students in F-1 or J-1 status should not drop below full-time status  (12 units) without having received authorization from SISS that is noted on the I-20 or DS-2019.  Failure to register for and maintain full-time enrollment may jeopardize your legal nonimmigrant status in the United States.  For assistance, email

Graduate Students. Graduate students may only use one of the first four options. Graduate students submit the Part-Time Petition once and the reduced fee status will continue until there is a break in service or until the student enrolls full-time.

Doctoral students who have either passed the Qualifying Examination or Advance to Candidacy are not eligible for part-time status. Petitions for graduate students seeking to enroll in Part-Time Status must be approved by their graduate program Academic Adviser.  To find the name and email address of your Adviser, go to the Graduate Programs website, select the name of your graduate program, then select the “People” tab. Your Academic Adviser will be listed there. If you have any additional questions, you may also contact your Graduate Program Coordinator for additional information.

Fee Information. Fees during academic terms are assessed as a flat rate, regardless of the number of units enrolled. There are no per unit charges. Part-Time students pay the same fees as the full-time students but pay only one-half of the Tuition. Nonresident part-time students pay one-half the Nonresident Supplemental Tuition. Full-time and part-time students use the same facilities and are eligible for the same services, including the Student Health Center. There is no automatic fee reduction for enrolling in less than full-time units.

Part-Time status means that a student:

  • Can enroll in no more than 10 units for undergraduates and 6 units for graduate students.
  • Pays lower academic fees reflecting Part-Time status.
  • Is not exempt from meeting Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.  

The part-time program regulations require that registration reflects no more than 10 units (including workload units) for undergraduates, and no more than 6 units for graduates, by the 10th day of instruction. After the 10th day, if you are enrolled over the limit, your Part-Time option will be removed and you will be billed for full fees for current and future quarters.

If you are a Career Staff employee admitted to a degree seeking program, there is a different fee reduction option for you. The two fee reductions cannot be used simultaneously.

Financial Aid. If you are receiving Financial Aid, you must be enrolled in a minimum of six units for Financial Aid to disburse. We recommended that you consult with the Financial Aid Office, since part-time registration may affect your aid package.

Readmission Information. Applicants for admission or readmission to the university as new or readmitted students must apply through normal channels and meet the same application deadlines as continuing students. Graduate students returning from a separation, such as PELP, must resubmit the petition and supporting documentation.