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Leave of Absence Policy

Continuous Enrollment Expectations and Requirements

Once you have been admitted to and begun your graduate program, you are expected to enroll each long semester (fall and spring term; summer is optional) in order to make progress toward your degree. At the doctoral level, once you advance to candidacy, that expectation becomes a requirement, and you must enroll in at least one graduate credit each long semester. However, you may need to interrupt your progress toward your degree by not enrolling, or "stopping out", for a short period of time due to personal or family exigency. Stopping out policies vary for different categories of degree programs. Please see below for information specific to your situation.

If you are a doctoral candidate:

If you have achieved candidacy in your doctoral program, you are required to be continually enrolled during long (fall and spring) semesters. However, you may take an approved Leave of Absence during graduate study under certain conditions (personal or family exigency) and for certain periods of time (no less than a semester and no more than three long semesters). A leave of absence must be approved by both your graduate advisor and the dean of The Graduate College. A leave of absence cannot be approved retroactively or for a semester that has already begun. You can review the additional details of the Doctoral Candidates Leave of Absence Policy, and download the Leave of Absence Form for Doctoral Degree Candidates in the Graduate Catalog. Please note if you have exceeded the ten-year time limit to complete a doctoral degreecontact your Doctoral Program Director to request a time extension.

If you are a master’s degree student, specialist degree student, or pre-candidacy doctoral degree student:

While there is an expectation of enrollment each semester in order to make progress toward your degree, there is no specific continuous enrollment requirement. For that reason, The Graduate College does not require notification if you decide not to enroll in a given semester. However, you may want to inform your program that you are stopping out for a period of time, and programs may find that information useful in tracking student progress. In those cases, you may complete the Leave of Absence Form for Master’s Degree, Specialist Degree, and Pre-Candidacy Doctoral Degree Students form and provide it to your program. The program should then provide the form to The Graduate College to expedite your readmission. Please note if you have exceeded the six-year time limit to complete a master's degreecontact your graduate advisor to request a time extension.

Returning to the University after Stopping Out

Please review the reapplication process for returning to the university after stopping out.