Leave of Absence (LOA)
A Leave of Absence (LOA) may be granted to a student who applies for a temporary break from studies for up to two years or four semesters. A student on a processed LOA retains their admitted status; however, they do not have the rights and privileges of registered students as they are currently not attending classes. A student on a LOA may complete course work for which the grade of Incomplete was submitted in the prior term and must comply with the policies, including all deadlines, concerning a grade of Incomplete.
A Withdrawal (WD) from the University is the permanent termination of the academic program, course of study, and the rights and privileges offered to currently registered students. A student who wishes to return to the University must reapply to the appropriate Admissions Office. A student who withdraws is responsible for outstanding financial obligations with the University. A student who used deferred payment plans to secure student loans during their attendance at the University must clear their financial obligations with the Financial Aid and Student Financial Services Offices. A student who has unpaid bills or other unsettled financial obligations with the University and is not current with payments will not receive academic transcripts.
Choosing to Withdraw or Take a Leave of Absensce
A student has four options when considering a LOA or WD from the university:
- For a LOA or WD in a semester which has not yet begun or before the end of the first week of the term, the student must drop all courses via PROWL. Under these circumstances, no courses will appear on the student’s transcript. The student must then fill out the LOA/Withdrawal form available on the Office of the Registrar website.
- For a LOA or WD in a semester for which final grades have been posted and for a student who has registered for a subsequent semester, see #1 above. For a student who has had no subsequent registration(s), the student must complete the LOA/Withdrawal form indicating the LOA or WD is effective at the end of the term that has just finished. The LOA/Withdrawal form is available on the Office of the Registrar website.
- For a LOA or WD in a semester which has already begun but it is not past the last day to withdraw as published in the Academic Calendar, the student must withdraw from all courses via PROWL prior to the deadline. Under these circumstances, each course will remain on the student’s transcript and receive a grade of W. In addition, the student must fill out the LOA/Withdrawal form available on the Office of the Registrar website.
- For a LOA or WD after the last day to withdraw from all courses within a semester as published in the Academic Calendar, due to an illness or emergency, a student may petition for a LOA or WD through the Dean of Student’s Office. Prior to petitioning for a LOA or WD, the student must:
- Consult with their Dean’s Office, Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, and Student Housing (for residential students).
- An international student must consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars to ensure that visa requirements will be satisfied.
- In regards to a petition due to an illness, appropriate documentation is required to support the student’s petition to take a LOA or WD. The medical and or mental health documentation must be current and provide information as to the health-related concern that prevents the student from completing the semester. Documentation must be from a licensed professional, such as a medical doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker. All documentation should be sent to the Dean of Student’s Office and include the following information:
- For an emergency petition, the student must make an appointment to meet with the Dean of Students (or designee). A petition for an emergency LOA could include, but is not limited to, instances such as family illness or death, natural disaster, and military deployment. Leave of Absences for emergency purposes, other than military deployment, are granted at the discretion of the Dean of Students.
- To process this information in a timely manner, the student should submit a Release of Information (ROI) to the Dean of Students (or designee) allowing the Dean of Students (or designee) and the Student Health Services and/or Student Psychological Services, hereafter referred to as the Appropriate Health Service, to review the documentation.
- The Dean of Students (or designee) may confer with the directors of the Student Health Service and/or Student Psychological Service to request a diagnostic explanation(s) and or to confirm the appropriateness of the medical or mental health information.
- The Dean of Student’s Office is responsible for granting and communicating in writing to the student regarding the petition for LOA or WD after the last day in the semester, as published in the Academic Calendar, and developing individualized recommendations for the student to guide them while on leave and to better prepare them to return to university life. Upon receiving a recommendation for LOA or WD, the student must complete and submit the LOA/WD form available on the Office of the Registrar website.
- If the petition is approved for a LOA after the last day in the semester, ALL courses will remain on the student’s transcript and receive a grade of W.
- If the petition is not approved, the student may request an appeal within five business days of the written decision to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students may request additional information from the student. The decision of the Dean of Students is final.
- If the petition is not approved and the student does not appeal or complete all coursework, the grade earned in the class will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
- A student granted a LOA or WD after the last day in the semester to withdraw, as published in the Academic Calendar, should check with their Dean’s Office, Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, and Student Housing regarding financial obligations.
- A Dean of Student’s hold will be placed on the student’s record once the petition is granted.
- The extension of University-sponsored student health insurance may be available during a leave of absence. Consult Tuition Refund Insurance for more information.