Leave of Absence

Personal, medical, or professional circumstances may force students to interrupt their studies temporarily.  On the recommendation of a student’s director of graduate studies and other departmental adviser(s), the Graduate School may grant a leave for a term or for a year to a student in good standing. 

Leaves are not normally granted to students who

  • Have completed less than one full term of enrollment in residence;
  • Are scheduled to take their general examination in the term for which the leave is being requested;
  • Will be working essentially full time on their Princeton degree requirements, away from Princeton (in absentia is the correct status for such students);
  • Are about to enter or are currently in DCE status, which requires continuous enrollment.

The full leave of absence policy should be consulted. 

Extensions of Leave

A student may request an extension of a leave, which would require the support of both the department and the Graduate School.  The duration of a leave, including any extensions, may not exceed four consecutive semesters. 

If a student fails to return from leave without requesting an extension or does not return after four consecutive semesters of leave, degree candidacy is terminated.  Students on leave are urged to keep in touch with the Graduate School and their department about their plans.

Leave of Absence Status Procedure

  • Discuss the terms of a leave of absence with your adviser and/or DGS as well as the associate or assistant dean for academic affairs at the Graduate School;
  • Discuss visa support and terms with the Davis International Center (international students only);
  • Submit a leave of absence request via the online status system accessed through TigerHub
  • Attach the completed Checklist for Students Departing the University form to leave of absence request

Returning from Leave Procedure

Approval to return from leave of absence is given by Academic Affairs in the Graduate School, and is contingent upon completing any person, medical, or academic conditions placed when the leave commenced. Returns from leave coincide with the start of terms: for the fall term reenrollment is effective September 1; for the spring term, reenrollment is effective February 1. Summer returns may be considered in consultation with the department when a student must conduct laboratory research or needs to fulfill degree requirements on campus. Summer returns require a separate health plan fee.

Approval to return from leave of absence is given when the following conditions are met:

  • Confirmation by the department of the student’s continued professional suitability;
  • Submission of a request to return from leave of absence submitted via the online status system accessed through TigerHub
  • Completion by the student of requirements, if any, stipulated by the department and/or the Graduate School as conditions for reenrollment.