Undergraduate Education at Penn State Printer friendly version of the Undergraduate Education at Penn State mark.
Topical Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



  1. Only students who are baccalaureate, associate, or medical doctorate degree candidates may file for a leave of absence. A student desiring to take a leave of absence must obtain on a Leave of Absence form. The Office of the University Registrar will obtain the approval of the student's college dean, campus chief academic officer, the Director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies, or designee, whichever is appropriate.
  2. If the leave is approved by the dean/academic officer/director/designee the Office of the University Registrar is notified, and the leave is entered and the form retained in that office.The deadline for filing is the last working day prior to the first day of classes for the semester/session that the leave will begin. Leaves are not required for summer session only.
  3. Normally, leaves for undergraduate students are not approved for a period longer than one year. Under special circumstances (e.g. military deployment in a branch of the U.S. armed services), a leave of absence may be approved to a maximum of five years. Leaves for medical students may be approved for a maximum of two years.
  4. A student who has withdrawn as a degree candidate is not eligible for a leave of absence. A student who has been dropped or dismissed from the University is not eligible for leave of absence.
  5. A student who fulfills the conditions of an approved leave of absence may register upon return without applying for re-enrollment. The student registers for the returning semester according to the schedule established for that semester.
  6. A student who desires to return earlier or later than the semester indicated agreed upon on as the "returning semester" on the leave of absence form must make application for re-enrollment as a degree candidate. Students on military leave of absence* can receive an exception to this requirement and should contact the campus Registrar's Office when they are ready to return.
  7. A student who plans to enroll for course work at another accredited institution during a leave of absence should review program plans with the student's academic adviser and the Undergraduate Admissions Office to verify the eligibility for receiving credit.
  8. Before commencing a leave of absence, a student is responsible for notifying other appropriate offices, such as the Office of Student Aid.

*NOTE: Military leave of absence is available only to students who are deployed in a branch of the U.S. armed services, as well as their spouses or same-sex domestic partners. Students and/or spouses or same-sex domestic partners should contact the campus Registrar's Office and present a copy of the military orders with formal correspondence on unit letterhead signed by the commander requesting military leave of absence from Penn State due to orders. The formal correspondence must include the following:

  1. Unit commander contact information, and
  2. Verification of duration and location of pending assignment.

If the student is a spouse or same-sex domestic partner of an active-duty member or activated reserve-component member, then proof of current dependency must accompany the formal correspondence.

Senate Policy:  56-70, Leave of Absence

Approved: ACUI (4-29-76)
Revised: ACUI (4-8-82)
Revised: ACAS (4-8-88)
Revised: ACUE (6-6-96)
Revised: Editorial (9-5-08)
Revised: ACUE (5-7-09)
Revised: Editorial (1-20-10)
Revised: Administrative (5-25-11)
Revised: ACUE (1-9-14)
Revised: ACUE (4-1-21)