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Policy

GSAD-906 Graduate Student Leave of Absence

FAQs


Can a student request an extension to an Extended Absence with Course Drops or Leave of Absence after the original request is submitted?

Yes. The graduate program and/or the Graduate School may require additional information or documentation that supports the extenuating circumstances.

Requests will be limited when the student reaches a maximum of three consecutive semesters (including summer semester). Those with exceptional circumstances, may petition the Dean of the Graduate School through Graduate Enrollment Services to extend the Leave of Absence by one additional semester.

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If students are not normally enrolled for the summer, is the summer semester still included in the 3 consecutive semesters limit?

Yes. The intent is that Leaves are normally up to one year in length, regardless of semesters normally attended.

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Can a student make a second request for an Extended Absence with Course Drops or Leave of Absence?

After a student returns from their first Absence or Leave and is enrolled in at least one semester without a semester withdraw, if the need arises for an additional Absence or Leave a request can be made. Documentation supporting the students extenuating circumstances must be submitted with the request.

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Is there a limit on the number of leaves a student can take during their time in the program?

The Graduate School intends this policy to support students through challenging life events and allow them to complete their degree. While there is no formal limit to the number of leaves a student may take, as noted in the policy, a leave may be denied under a number of circumstances:

6.c. A request for a Leave of Absence may be denied by the Graduate Program Head or the Graduate School for several reasons, including but not limited to inadequate documentation, repeated requests for Short-Term or Extended Absences or Leaves of Absence, or documented unsatisfactory scholarly performance. [Emphasis added]

The phrase "may be denied” is intended to prevent abuse, not prevent support in difficult situations that require multiple leaves.

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Would the leave clock reset each time the student makes it through a semester?

With an approved Leave of Absence, the clock would reset each time.

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This page was generated on August 17, 2022 at 1:16 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.