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Graduate School

Graduate Student Leave of Absence

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Under special circumstances (illness, family hardship, military service etc.) a student may request a leave of absence from his/her graduate program. A leave of absence will be granted for one semester or longer as circumstances warrant. Requests for a leave of absence should be submitted via the Leave of Absence Request Form to the school director. The director should forward the Leave of Absence Form to the Graduate School indicating the department’s recommendation regarding leave.

Upon final review by the Dean of the Graduate School, the student and director will be notified of the final decision. 

Graduate assistants requesting a leave of absence due to pregnancy should review the policy on Maternity Leave for GAs.


Before completing the Leave of Absence Request Form, be sure to

  • confer with your graduate coordinator, advisor(s), and relevant offices (e.g., ISSS and Financial Aid) regarding the impact a Leave will have on your financial, academic, and work-related (assistantship) circumstances; and
  • confer with your graduate coordinator, advisor(s) and the Graduate School about what, if any, conditions may be placed on your reinstatement after the Leave.

If, after review and consultation, you choose to request a Leave of Absence

  • complete the Leave of Absence Request Form including supporting documentation, if requested by your graduate program and/or college;
  • obtain all appropriate signatures; and
  • submit the signed form to your graduate program department for final review and forwarding to the Graduate School for approval. 

Returning from an Approved Leave

When you are preparing to return from an approved leave, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Apply for readmission to same graduate degree program.
  2. Contact iTech to have your SOAR password reset.
  3. Contact your program for advisement.

Please be aware that you will only be eligible for reinstatement if you apply for readmission to degree program, term, and year as stipulated in the Leave agreement.

Frequently Ask Questions

All requests should be submitted at least one semester before the requested leave term, except in the case of emergencies. In emergencies, please make the request as soon as possible.
No, submitting a request for a leave of absence does not guarantee that it will be granted. You should confirm with the Graduate School that your leave has been approved and verify the approved dates.
No. If you've already enrolled in classes for the semester from which you are requesting an official leave of absence, you will need to withdraw from your courses through the add/drop process in SOAR. Failing to withdraw through SOAR will result in billing and grades for the term(s). Refer to the academic calendars on the Office of the Registrar's webpage.

Be sure to contact your school, Financial Aid, and International Students and Scholars (if you're an international student). Additionally, if you receive funding from a source outside the University, you should contact that agency to learn about any effects a leave of absence might have.

Before submitting the leave request, you should be sure to talk with your employing unit regarding your position. If leave is granted, assistantship funds and health insurance will be terminated effective on the date of the final leave approval from the Graduate School. You will be held responsible for any remaining tuition charges if applicable.
You should request a leave absence through both programs. When you return, you will need to complete the readmission process though both programs, as well.