PhD - Domestic Tuition Fees Guidelines


PhD candidates who are paying domestic fees at the University.


This document provides further assistance on the application of PhD – Domestic Tuition Fees Policy and Procedures.


The 12 month rule (for candidates who are not NZ citizens)

  • PhD candidates paying domestic tuition fees will normally be enrolled as full-time students
  • If an international candidate is permitted to enrol part-time, the 12 month rule still applies; the time the candidate is allowed to be overseas for the purposes of doctoral research does not double to 24 months
  • A candidate may spend up to 4 weeks per year on annual leave; that leave may be taken overseas and does not count in the application of the 12 month rule
  • Candidates may be overseas during suspensions approved by the Board of Graduate Studies without impacting on their eligibility for domestic tuition fees

US Financial Aid (where applicable)

  • A student who is granted an approved leave of absence is considered to remain in an in-school status for loan repayment purposes
  • A failure to return from an approved leave of absence may affect loan repayment terms, including the expiration of the grace period

After submission

  • A candidate may leave New Zealand after submitting their thesis, but is expected to be available to attend their oral examination in person
  • A candidate who has enrolled in ‘Thesis under Submission’ and paid the required insurance fee may apply for a new student visa


The following definitions apply to these guidelines:

Domestic fees are the tuition fees payable by New Zealand citizens for study at the University

PhD candidates are students who are enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University

Suspensions are periods of time during which a candidate’s registration is put on hold (suspended) when they are unable to continue with their research programme because of circumstances beyond their control (see PhD Statute Regulation 7g and Guideline 38). A DOC6 must be completed and approved

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies

Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies

Approver: Board of Graduate Studies

Date approved: March 2018 

Review date: March 2021