Interruption of Degree Work

A leave of absence (LOA) is an approved interruption of a degree program that is subject to a fixed duration and/or specific requirements for return. In certain circumstances, a student with a medical condition that is documented by a licensed caregiver may submit a petition for a medical leave of absence (MLOA).

A withdrawal is a complete departure from the Conservatory and its degree programs and can only be reversed through the mechanisms of re-audition and petition of the relevant academic committee.

Leave of Absence

A student must submit a request for a leave. If the leave is granted, the leave will be made for a fixed duration of either one semester or one year. During that time, the student may not be enrolled as a full-time student at another institution. Any credits earned at another institution during the leave must be approved for transfer by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in consultation with department chairs.

The Peabody Conservatory is not obliged to grant a leave of absence, and students should present compelling personal or professional reasons for requesting an interruption of their regular progress toward the degree.  A leave is not granted retroactively, and students must request the leave of absence before postponing their studies.  Moreover, a leave is subject to the following conditions:

  • The student must be a current student with remaining requirements to complete in a degree or diploma program.
  • If the leave is approved before the start of a semester, the student’s enrollments will be dropped.
  • If the leave is approved after the start of the semester, the student will be withdrawn from enrollments.
  • The student must be given clearance for all financial obligations, including but not limited to tuition, instrument loans, library fines, and residence fees.  Any refund of tuition will follow the Conservatory refund schedule.
  • A student who receives financial aid must make the appropriate arrangements with the Financial Aid office.
  • An international student must make visa arrangements with the University’s Office of International Students.
  • A student requesting a leave is not guaranteed a space in a teacher’s studio upon requesting to return to school.

Return from LOA and MLOA

In order to re-enroll, a student on leave must submit an academic petition to return. Study at the Conservatory may only resume at the scheduled start of a semester.

  • Students should notify Academic Affairs by November 15 for spring re-enrollment.
  • Students should notify Academic Affairs by April 15 for fall re-enrollment.

A student on MLOA must provide an assessment by a licensed healthcare professional, submitted to Student Affairs as a condition of returning.

Extended Leave

Students on a leaves of absence must report their status to the Conservatory by the stated dates in order to make arrangements to return or to extend the leave for an additional semester. Students who are granted an extension to a leave beyond the originally stipulated year may be required to re-audition. The maximum duration of a leave with an extension is three semesters.

Students who do not report their status by the above dates will be considered to have abandoned their degree programs and will be withdrawn from the Conservatory.

The Peabody Conservatory has no obligation to former students who abandon degree programs.

Special Circumstances for Leave of Absence

Doctoral students may only take an LOA while completing their residency. On completion of the required coursework, a doctoral student may no longer exercise the leave of absence option but must continue to enroll for Consultation (PY.610.813–814) in order to maintain standing in the program. If a student interrupts a program by failing to register for Consultation or failing to pay the Degree-in-Progress (DIP) fee for more than one year, the student must petition the DMA Committee for readmission. If a petition is approved, all retroactive fees must be paid in order for the reinstatement of status to become effective. Any DMA candidate who fails to register for Consultation will be dismissed from the program.

Double degree students may request a leave from the double degree program. A leave for double degree students is subject to the guidelines of the advising office for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences or the Whiting School of Engineering.

International students who request a leave should be aware that federal law governing the visa status of F-1 students requires them to vacate the United States for the duration of their leave of absence, unless the leave is granted for reasons of illness or other medical conditions.