Leaves of Absence

Students who are obliged to interrupt their studies may apply to the Program Director for a leave of absence from the program. The application must specify the semester when the student intends to return to the program and must include a complete study plan for the student's doctoral work after s/he returns. If the leave is granted, the student is allowed to register for "matriculation continued". This category of registration is available only to students who are not active in the program. A student working on his or her dissertation and in contact with his or her adviser or committee must register for one or more credits of dissertation research.

A student is not required to update his or her Individual Study Plan if he or she is on leave and will continue to be on leave the following semester. Students must do so, however, during the advising period preceding their return. (In other words, they must submit an update on May 1 in order to return for the fall semester, or on December 1 in order to return for the spring semester.)

Leaves of absence are granted at the discretion of the director. The director will consider an application for a leave of absence only when the student has a definite date for returning to the program and a clear study plan approved by the faculty adviser, for his or her work after returning.

A full-time student who leaves the program to take a job will not normally be considered for a leave of absence unless they plan to leave the job at the end of the leave period. A part-time student will not normally be considered for a leave of absence because of changes in her or her employment situation.

A student who cannot meet the program's conditions for a leave of absence but wants to leave the program and return should withdraw and apply for readmission when the opportunity arises. We are generally inclined to readmit a student in whom our faculty has already invested time and energy, provided the student is in a situation where he or she can progress in the program.  We are unwilling, however, to use leaves of absence to encourage delusions about the possibility of progressing in the program while engaged in other employment.