Leave of Absence

An official leave of absence is an approved, limited suspension of participation in a graduate program during the fall and/or spring semester. A leave allows students in good academic standing to take time off and return to the university without applying for readmission. However, a leave does not constitute grounds for an extension of the time limit for degree completion. Under ordinary circumstances, leaves will be granted for up to one calendar year. Students who fail to return (or obtain permission to extend their leave at the end of the approved term) and who later wish to return to the program, will be required to reapply for admission under the admission and program requirements in effect at the later date. Generally a leave will not be granted to students who are approaching the limitation of time for program completion; to doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy; or to master’s students who have completed all coursework and are working on a thesis. Students on academic probation are not eligible for a leave.

Because students are not registered during a leave, they may not be eligible for the campus privileges for which a current ID card is necessary. Financial aid and international student visas are typically suspended for students on leave of absence. In addition, the leave may trigger the beginning of the loan repayment period for students with loan deferments. Students should petition for a leave prior to the requested leave period. Students who find it necessary to discontinue enrollment during a term may also petition for a leave. In addition, however, they must officially withdraw from their courses by submitting a Notice of Withdrawal form in the One Stop Student Center within the approved deadline and must be in good standing.

The Petition for Leave of Absence form is available from the One Stop Student Center or on the Graduate Records website. It must be approved by the student’s advisor and program director or coordinator prior to submission for final processing. International students who find it necessary to file a leave before the current semester ends must complete a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal form and have it signed by an authorized representative of the Office of International Students and Scholars, Serra Hall, Room 315. The Leave of Absence form must be approved by the student's program advisor and director or dean of the college or school before the student departs the university.