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

J-2: LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Procedure:

  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 complete  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 in the Student Information System 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., serving mandatory military deployment in a student's home country*), a leave of absence may be approved to a maximum of two 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 A student who has withdrawn as a degree candidate is not eligible for a leave of absence.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 suspended or dismissed from the University is not eligible for leave of absence.
  5. At the end of an approved leave of absence , a student may register for their return semester 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  than the semester agreed upon on as the "returning semester" on the Leave of Absence form (without applying for re-enrollment) must notify the Office of the University Registrar no later than two weeks prior to the start of classes in which the student wants to enroll.  Exceptions after this deadline are at the discretion of the unit of enrollment. 
  7. A student who desires to extend a leave of absence beyond the semester agreed upon on as the "returning semester" on the Leave of Absence form must submit a new Leave of Absence form on or before the last working day prior to the first day of classes for the semester/session that the leave will begin, which will be reviewed by the same officials as the original request; in no case can the leave of absence be approved to extend beyond two years in total. 
  8. A student who plans to enroll for course work at another accredited institution during a leave of absence should review program plans with their academic adviser and the Undergraduate Admissions Office to verify that the course work will be eligible for Penn State transfer credit.
  9. 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 for U.S. Armed Forces active-duty service members or activated reserve-component service members (Guard or Reserve), and/or those who are dependent spouses or dependent domestic partners of the active-duty service member or activated reserve-component service member is covered under J-3 U.S. Military Leave of Absence, Withdrawal, and Late Drop.

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)
Revised: ACUE (1-6-22)