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Graduate Degree - Leave of Absence

By University Policy S15-3, a formal leave of absence for graduate students in the first or subsequent semesters for medical, care-giving, military service, personal hardship, or educational reasons may be requested by submission of the fully signed and documented Leave of Absence Petition. For detailed information on the process and restrictions see Leaves of Absence and Withdrawal.

Graduate students are eligible for all leaves of absence except when finished with all degree requirements other than their culminating experience (thesis, project, and/or comprehensive exam plus any other components required of the major). At that point, neither stopping out (voluntary absence for a semester) nor financial leaves are permissible and students must register for 1 unit of University Studies (UNVS) 1290R or a Departmental 1290R (Thesis/Project Supervision) through special session every semester until graduation (See Thesis and Project Work - RP Status - Graduate). During this stage of a graduate student's career, leaves of absence for any reason beyond medical or military shall be precluded except under rare circumstances.

Note: International students may not take a leave of absence and must remain in the United States except for documented medical reasons. International students must be enrolled in a full course of study (9 units) for two semesters annually. Winter and Summer registration are not required. If you have further questions please contact the International Programs and Services Office.

It is important to note that the 7-year limit on course expiration (See Graduate Degree - Time Limits) remain in effect even for students who have taken leaves of absence, so it is important to plan carefully when applying for a leave of absence. Upon a student's return, the student's catalog rights shall pertain to his or her most recent admission date.