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Effective Date: July 18, 2011


This publication is to identify whether or not a formal Leave of Absence (LOA) is permissible, the conditions for which a student may be granted a LOA, and directs students, faculty, and staff who are seeking information about requesting formal University recognition of LOA’s.

General Provisions

All students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment in degree seeking programs.

Authorized University instructional activity “elsewhere” which contributes to the students’ academic program at the University, such as Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, Burch Fellows Program and Honors Study Abroad Research Seminars, constitutes continuous enrollment and does not require a LOA approval.

LOA’s are not the same as Official Withdrawals or Registration Cancellations, and follow different policies and procedures for readmission to the University. Students, faculty, and staff should refer to current catalogs relevant to the students school/college and classification (undergraduate, graduate, professional) for policies related to Official Withdrawals and Registration Cancellations.

Undergraduates Procedures

No academic policies or administrative procedures are in place to grant or monitor a formally recognized LOA.

Graduates Procedures

Within the five- or eight-year limit, a graduate student in good academic standing may request a LOA from graduate study for a definite, stated period of time (up to one year) during which the student does not plan to make academic progress.

Note:  During the leave no formal academic progress can be made.

To be eligible for a LOA, a student must not have received an extension of the time limit for the degree, and must not have temporary grades IN or AB on course work taken. In advance of the leave period, the graduate student shall complete and submit to the Graduate School a Request for Leave of Absence form (forms available in departmental offices and online ). This form requires departmental approval and approval of the Graduate School.

If the Graduate School approves the leave of absence, the time of that leave shall not count against the total time allowed for the degree. Readmission to the Graduate School after an approved leave of absence is generally a formality, and ordinarily, a leave of absence may not be renewed.

Professional Schools Procedures

Students enrolled in the Law School, Dental School, School of Medicine, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, School of Education, Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and the School of Government should contact their School Registrars’ for policies or procedures governing requests for LOAs.