Academic Leave of Absence Policy

June 24, 2019

Academic leave of absence refers and is limited to students in a degree program requiring continuous enrollment and have completed a minimum of one academic term of program coursework, and who,  while in good academic standing, are forced to withdraw temporarily from graduate work due to reasons beyond their control, such as illness, military service, financial exigency, or pressing personal reasons justifying an interruption of the degree program. No academic activities may be conducted during leave and this leave may not be used to avoid payment of tuition. Students may be given a leave of absence for other reasons (e.g., medical leave) as noted elsewhere in this Guidebook. Students who have had federal financial aid may be subject to additional restrictions and should check with the Financial Aid Office. Academic leaves of absence are typically limited to one year except for military service. Students requiring additional terms of leave beyond the one year must complete a new Leave of Absence Application. No more than two years of leave may be granted. The period is regarded as an approved break in study. This does not mean, however, that a student working on a thesis who has completed all other degree requirements is entitled to a leave of absence.

Students planning to request a leave of absence must file an application, which is signed by the departmental chairman, the student’s adviser, appropriate staff members in the area of Student Services, and the Office of Records and Registration. The form can be obtained from the departmental academic coordinator. An active file fee of $50 per term is assessed for each term within the leave of absence period. Prior to resuming the degree program, students on leave of absence must notify the department chair, the academic coordinator within their department and the associate director of Records and Registration. Upon return from leave of absence, students must register for a minimum of two successive terms before completion of their degree programs.

Post-doctoral fellows requiring an academic leave of absence should consult with their department academic coordinator to see if this is an appropriate option.

The failure of a student to register without obtaining an approved leave of absence status will be considered a withdrawal. The student considered to be withdrawn must be formally readmitted before resuming a program of study. Upon readmission, a student must be registered for a minimum of two consecutive terms prior to completion of their degree program.

Time Limitations
To maintain degree candidacy:

  • Students enrolled in master’s degree programs must fulfill all requirements within the time limits prescribed for the program
  • Full-time doctoral students must fulfill all requirements within seven calendar years after matriculation. Part-time doctoral students must fulfill all requirements within nine calendar years after matriculation. The academic clock is stopped for periods in which the student is approved for leave of absence