Leave of Absence

These instructions are intended for students who wish to take a leave of absence from the university.

Undergraduate Students

  • Undergraduate students should reach out to their academic advisor in their department/college to discuss taking a leave and not registering for upcoming semesters in addition to contacting ISSS.

Graduate Students

  • Graduate students should reach out to their program coordinator/department to discuss taking a leave and not registering for upcoming semesters.
  • Graduate students may also need to fill out an additional form from the Graduate College - please check with your department about whether this form is needed.

Leave of Absence Definition

In some cases, students in F-1 or J-1 status may need to take a leave or "stop out" of their program due to personal circumstances. As F-1 or J-1 status is tied to registration, not continuing to register will directly impact your immigration status as it would lead to a termination of status.

  • Students who wish to take a leave during the current semester without completing their program should reach out to ISSS directly for advising. Please do not drop classes in a current semester until ISSS approves in addition to your department/college.
  • Students who wish to complete the current semester and then take a leave will also need to reach out to ISSS. Typically, students must confirm their plans before the upcoming semester begins and make sure they have exited the US before the first day of classes if they wish to not register in the upcoming semester.
  • Immigration status is terminated and student must depart the U.S.

If you have already registered for courses, your department may ask you to complete a Withdrawal/Cancellation form to withdraw you from courses. The form usually requires three signatures, and ISSS can only sign the form after it has been signed by your department/college (signature #1).

Additional considerations:

  • Taking a leave of absence may impact future work authorization eligibility such as CPT or OPT
  • Typically, students may have a short grace period to depart the US after their immigration status is terminated; however this is not guaranteed and is based on the termination reason
  • Termination of status may impact future immigration applications
  • Academic status is separate from immigration status - students who have questions about their academic status should reach out to their department/college

Resuming Studies in a future semester

Please visit the Resuming Studies page for more information about returning to the university in a future semester.