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Graduate Studies

Leave of Absence (LOA)

A student requesting leave must complete the Leave of Absence Request form and obtain the approval of his or her Graduate Advisor who will forward the request to the Office of the Registrar for final review and approval. Requests may be delivered to ORR before or during any semester in which the student is not registered for courses. Requests must be received by the ORR no later than Census Date in the semester in which the leave is to begin. Leave of Absence will not be granted retroactively for a semester after the census day has passed. Students who miss the deadline must withdraw from the from the university and apply for readmission when they wish to return to their studies. Students suspended for academic or disciplinary reasons may not apply for a Leave of Absence. Students who are suspended for academic or disciplinary reasons prior to the start of a previously approved leave will become ineligible for that leave and all rules pertaining to enrollment requirements and readmission procedures for students absent without leave will apply.

A graduate student may apply for a Leave of Absence in order to respond to exceptional circumstances that will prevent him or her from meeting the continuous enrollment requirement. A Leave of Absence will be granted only for good cause, such as health-related issues, major financial or employment issues, pregnancy, childbirth, child care, elder care or other significant family concerns, and other major personal circumstances that interfere with a student’s ability to undertake graduate study. Leaves are granted for up to two long semesters (spring or fall semesters). The student must have been enrolled in the previous long semester and be in Good Standing (at least 3.0 cumulative gpa) in order to utilize the Leave of Absence policy. Summer semesters do not count as part of a student’s approved leave. Students returning from leave as scheduled will be automatically readmitted and will not be required to submit an application or pay any application fees. Students who do not return at the end of their approved Leave of Absence must reapply for admission by published application deadlines, pay all relevant evaluation fees, and are not assured of readmission to the University. Students may not submit another Leave of Absence request to extend the leave beyond two semesters. The student must return to continue his or her studies or reapply for admission. During the time of the leave of absence, the student may not use university facilities or resources, receive an assistanship or fellowship, continue academic work with faculty, take a diagnostic or comprehensive examination, or defend a thesis or dessertation. Time taken on approved Leave of Absence will not count against degree completion time limits.

An approved Leave of Absence does not exempt students from the enrollment requirements of other programs, offices and agencies such as the Veterans Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and federal financial aid and certain loan programs. It is the student’s responsibility to determine what effect a Leave of Absence will have on his or her status with such entities. For example, International students approved for a Leave of Absence must inform the Office of International Education so that requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization Service can be addressed prior to withdrawing from classes.

Click here to complete and print Leave of Absence (LOA) form.

*If you are enrolled in classes for the semester you are requesting leave for, you must drop your classes before submitting your LOA. Your classes will not be automatically dropped.