Leave of Absence

A Leave of Absence may be awarded for a period of up to one year. Students must request a leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester in which the leave will take effect. The leave suspends the 5 year time limit for master’s and certificate of graduate study students for the duration of the leave. It does not suspend the time limit for the completion of individual courses.

The time limits for degree completion are

  • micro-Certificate of Graduate Study: 3 years
  • Certificate of Graduate Study and Master's degrees: 5 years
  • Doctoral (professional): 7 years
  • Doctoral (PhD): 9 years

All credit used for the degree, including transfer credit and credit by examination, and irrespective of a Leave of Absence, must be earned within 3 (micro-certificate of graduate study); 5 (certificate of graduate study); 7 (master’s or professional doctorate); or 9 (PhD) years of graduation.


Students request a Leave of Absence from their graduate program coordinator or chair prior to the start of classes in the semester during which the leave is being taken. If the program approves the request, the student and chair or program faculty complete the Leave of Absence form available on the Faculty and Current Students Resources page of the Graduate College website and forward it to the Graduate College for approval. A Leave of Absence does not take effect until after approval has been received from both the graduate program coordinator or chair and the Dean of the Graduate College.

Any student who does not enroll following termination of a Leave of Absence will be deactivated from the Graduate College.