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Leave of Absence, Graduate Studies


To articulate guidelines for Graduate Students' Leave of Absence. 

Applies to: 

Graduate Students 

Policy Statement: 

A Leave of Absence may be granted upon request to the graduate program in advance of leave. A leave of absence may be granted in extraordinary circumstances (e.g., cases of illness, disability, emergency, financial hardship, military leave) to pursue family responsibilities or to pursue full-time activities related to long-range professional goals.

Appropriate documentation related to these extraordinary circumstances may be requested from the student directly. Evidence of progress toward degree will also be a determining factor in the decision to grant an exception.

The time taken for a leave of absence does not count against the student’s time to degree. However, if the total time for the leave extends more than five (5) years, the student will lose their place in the program and must reapply for admission.

To request a leave of absence, the program must complete a Progress to Degree form. 


Graduate Studies

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Effective on: 
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

Disability - In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102): Disability means, with respect to an individual: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one (1) or more of the major life activities of such an individual; a record of having such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. Such impairments could include but are not limited to; amputation, schizophrenia, anxiety, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Intellectual/ Developmental Disorders, blindness, or hearing loss.

Physical Impairment - physiological condition, anatomic loss, etc. that affects one (1) or more of our body systems (i.e., musculoskeletal, neurological, digestive).  

Mental Impairment - mental or psychological condition (i.e., intellectual disability/development disability, learning disabilities, emotional and mental health).

Illness - an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves: inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or continuing treatment by a health care provider. Reasons for leave may include mental health related treatment, symptoms, or diagnoses.

leave, leave of absence, graduate students, graduate studies, disability, impairment, mental health, mental illness
Change History: 

07/25/2023: Fixed broken links.
03/20/2023: Removed broken link.
04/30/2021: Updated policy to include mental health terminology. 
11/27/2017: Updated Related Procedures.
07/20/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
02/08/2013: Graduate Studies updated this policy.

Academic Categories: 
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