Staff Tuition for Education Program (STEP)

UC Davis Health is proud to be an organization that provides tuition reimbursement to its dedicated employees. 

As outlined in the STEP Guidelines, funds are subject to change and may be impacted by budgetary or other considerations.  Please note that only submissions complying with the STEP Guidelines will be considered.  Click here to review the STEP Guidelines.

What is STEP?

The UC Davis Health Staff Tuition for Education Program (STEP) is an educational reimbursement program available to eligible employees in support of their career development at UC Davis Health.  The primary focus of STEP is to encourage eligible employees in their efforts to pursue accredited matriculated degree programs (e.g. Associates, Bachelors, Masters, PhD, etc.) as well as certain accredited vocational and specialized certificate programs that prepare candidates for skilled allied health positions which are significantly utilized at UC Davis Health.

Employees may be reimbursed up to $4,000 per calendar year (January – December) for tuition and materials/books for matriculated (degree-seeking), vocational and specialized certificate programs with a $16,000 maximum lifetime benefit cap. Reimbursements are subject to be taxed in accordance with IRS guidelines and/or UC policy. Approved non-taxable tuition reimbursement requests will be paid via check. Approved taxable tuition reimbursement requests will be manually added to employee's paycheck as imputed income. Review the STEP Guidelines for more information.

Preauthorization of course of study is not required. For questions regarding the eligibility of a specific program, contact Learning & Development prior to enrollment. No reimbursements will be provided for ineligible programs. For more information, you may contact Learning & Development at

STEP is administered by the Human Resources Learning & Development unit. Guidelines and reimbursements are subject to change at any time without notice. Reimbursements may also be impacted by budgetary and other considerations. For more information, you may contact Learning & Development at

Who is Eligible to Participate in STEP?

If you are an employee of UC Davis Health and meet all four points of the following criteria you are eligible to participate in STEP:

  1. UC Davis Health Career employee
  2. Completed probation
  3. Satisfactory or better rating on most recent employee performance appraisal
  4. No disciplinary action within the two years immediately preceding the application

What Type of Programs Qualify for STEP?

If you are unsure if a program qualifies, please contact Learning & Development.  Both online and instructor-led courses of accredited programs qualify if they are one of the following types:

  • Prerequisite Courses (to qualify for reimbursement, proof of prerequisite requirement must be submitted)
  • Specific Skilled Allied Health Vocational Certificate Programs
  • Associate's Degree
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
  • Doctoral Degree

Which Expenses Are Eligible for Reimbursement?

Qualifying Expenses

  • Tuition
  • Books and Supplies
  • Fees that are required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible education institution (excludes health fees)

Non-Qualifying Expenses

  • Expenses paid with gift cards, grants, scholarships
  • Expenses paid by another person on your behalf
  • Room and board, similar personal, living or family expenses
  • Insurance and medical expenses (including student health fees)
  • Transportation
  • Sports, games, hobbies, or non-credit courses
  • Computers, laptops, tablets, etc.

For more information, please refer to the IRS guide to Qualified Education Expenses.

When to Submit your Request for Reimbursement?

You have 60 days after the completion of your coursework for that academic period (term, quarter, or semester) to submit your STEP request and expenses for reimbursement consideration. STEP requests received on day 61 or after will not be eligible for reimbursement.