Leave of Absence from a Graduate Program

Students who are temporarily unable to continue in their programs may request a Leave of Absence. A Leave of Absence is typically granted for one term, but may be granted for up to one academic year. Students on a leave of absence will have their time-to-completion of their program extended by the length of the approved leave of absence.  Reasons for requiring a leave of absence may include: bereavement, illness, injury, caregiving, military service, maternity and paternity, and job disruptions. Students must be in good academic, disciplinary and financial standing at the time of their request.

A leave of absence should be requested in advance, prior to the start of a term, and will not be approved retroactively (i.e., for previous terms). Notice to one’s advisor or program director is not sufficient for requesting a leave of absence. Students must submit the Request for Leave of Absence form found on the Registrar’s website. The form is completed by the student, and signed by both the student and their adviser or supervising faculty member. The form is submitted to the chairperson/director for review and signature, who will forward it to the Office of Graduate Studies for consideration on a case-by-case basis. Students may be required to provide documentation to support their request.

Students will be contacted by the Registrar’s Office prior to the return date indicated on the Leave of Absence Form, and do not need to follow the Readmission process unless they do not enroll in the term indicated on the Leave of Absence form.
Students requesting a leave of absence and who are on student loan programs are responsible for understanding the consequences a leave of absence may have on their repayment status prior to applying for a leave. The salary and stipend of graduate student assistants granted a leave of absence is suspended during the period of their withdrawal.

For additional information on the Leave of Absence Policy and the appropriate form, please visit the Withdrawal and Leave of Absence page on the Student Enrollment and Financial Services website.