Leave of Absence (LOA)

Graduate students in good standing may request a leave of absence from their program. A leave of absence maintains the students standing in their program so that they can return once the reason for the leave has resolved. During a leave, students do not pay tuition and may not undertake any academic or research work, nor use any of the University’s facilities.  If you are submitting a late Leave of Absence Request Form (after the start of a semester) and have enrolled in courses an add/drop form must be completed and signed off by your supervisor and chair of your program.  This form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar with a copy attached to the submitted leave form.  Completed forms can be emailed or delivered in person to the Office of Graduate Programs.

Leaves of Absence may be requested under the following categories:

  • Medical
  • Compassionate
  • Parental
  • External Employment (closely related to program of study)

Important Considerations

A leave of absence request must be submitted two weeks prior to the start of the semester for which a leave is requested. A request will not be considered if a student’s time limit has expired or if the student is on a Continuance Review.  If you are submitting a late Leave of Absence Request Form (after the start of a semester) and have enrolled in courses an add/drop form must be completed and signed off by your supervisor and chair of your program.  This form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar with a copy attached to the submitted leave form.

A leave of absence may be approved for no more than one year (three semesters) in a graduate degree program except under exceptional circumstances.

Medical leave requests must include documentation from a medical professional.

Compassionate leave requests are reviewed based on the individual circumstance and supplementary documentation may be required. Students seeking a compassionate leave should arrange to meet with the Manager of Graduate Programs for assistance.

Students are required to register in the semester of their return by the registration deadline. Failure to register following a leave will result in a withdrawal.

Late requests may be considered on an exceptional basis. Please be aware that any request received after the semester deadline to register or revise registration will be subject to financial penalty (see the Semester Dates in the Academic Calendar for full details).  If you are submitting a late Leave of Absence Request Form (after the start of a semester) and have enrolled in courses an add/drop form must be completed and signed off by your supervisor and chair of your program.  This form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar with a copy attached to the submitted leave form.

Time spent on a leave of absence will not count towards the time limit to complete your degree. A leave of absence request will not be considered if the time limit to complete your degree has expired. Time limits are outlined in the Graduate Academic Calendar (regulations 4.2.2/4.2.4 (Master Degree) and 7.7 (PhD)).

Students must be in good standing in order to be eligible to request a leave of absence, including:

  • In compliance with academic performance requirements and must not be on a continuance review (calendar regulation 4.3).  A student will NOT be considered for a Leave of Absence if they are on a Continuance Review.
  • No deferred coursework on record unless the deferral date is amended to the semester of return from the leave.  A copy of the deferral paperwork must accompany the Leave of Absence Request Form.
  • Continuously registered in their degree program from the date of admission up to and including the current semester.
  • No outstanding fees.

International students should connect with the International office to ensure they understand how a leave of absence impacts their immigration status.

Please ensure you are liaising with the Graduate Enrolment and Scholarship Advisor if you have any current internal or external awards.


Student Services