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Leaves, Withdrawals, and Reinstatement


Leave of Absence requests are available only for students enrolled in full-time coursework. Students on affiliated status/doctoral completion may not request a leave of absence from affiliated status. 

Prior to the start of a term, a student may request a voluntary leave of absence with the intent to return. The leave policy for the Graduate School is located in the Graduate Record here

The student should provide a request via e-mail to their Director of Graduate Studies indicating the reason for the request and the proposed period of the leave. The DGS will forward this request to the Associate Director of Graduate Student Enrollment and Engagement with the department’s recommendation. Once the request is approved by the Graduate School, the GSAS Registrar will place the student on leave through the e-form in SIS.  If the student submits the e-form, the Graduate School will first confirm with the department that the leave has been approved. Leaves may be up to two years cumulatively. Please see below for reinstatement/readmission information. 


Leaves of absence involving medical circumstances may be approved at any point before or during a particular term by student request to the Director of Graduate Studies.  Students whose leaves involve medical circumstances may be required to meet with an associate dean of students as part of the approval process. Students withdrawing during a term will be assigned a "W" in each course.   If a student withdraws during the term, tuition is charged according to the portion of the term elapsed before the effective date of the leave, and financial support allocated to the student for the remainder of that term is forfeited.


A student who wishes to withdraw voluntarily with no intent to return must discuss the circumstances with their Director of Graduate Studies. The e-form in SIS should be used for this purpose. If the e-form is unavailable, please contact the GSAS Registrar.  Students withdrawing during an academic term must do so at least one week prior to the examination period in order to receive notations of “W” on the transcript.

REINSTATEMENT/READMISSION - This process is only required if returning to full-time enrollment 

A student who voluntarily withdraws from the Graduate School, undertakes a leave of absence or otherwise ceases to enroll while completing a degree program for a period of one semester up to two years must petition for reinstatement by submitting the requisite form by November 1 to return in the spring term and by April 1 to return in the fall term. A student who has been absent for longer than two years must reapply through the standard process to his or her program of study. (Preview Form)

A student returning from medical leave must obtain clearance from the Department of Student Health in order to resume enrollment. Please allow at least three weeks for a medical clearance to be completed.  

Reinstatement is only required for a student returning from an approved leave of absence or who needs to complete credit and residency requirements for the degree. If returning to graduate, please request Degree Conferral in Absentia.