Leaves of Absence

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Help, Advise, Support

Who to call or where to go when you need a bit of help navigating Graduate School? Please read the Help, Advise, Support page for advice.

Vacation Time

Note that midterm break (aka reading week) in fall and winter terms is a break from undergraduate courses, but it is not vacation time for graduate students. Graduate courses may still be held, and research and other duties in the lab do not stop. A full-time graduate position is a full-time job; graduate students get 2 weeks vacation per year, in addition to statutory holidays and the longer December break. Please read vacations section 2.5.9 in the Graduate Calendar (2018-2019). Talk to your supervisor about the length and scheduling of your vacation.

Will you be off-campus for 2 weeks or more? Then the off-campus form and risk assessment form needs to be filled out. If you are going away for less than 2 weeks, you need permission from your supervisor; if you are going away for more than 2 weeks you also need permission from the graduate chair. These forms will not be rejected, that is, students will not be prevented from travel, but the School of Graduate Studies needs to know where students are. The Graduate Calendar has details on this policy. Please see the Full-time Off Campus notes below.

Leaves of Absence (and other special petitions)

For detailed information about taking a leave of absence, students should read section 2.5.7 Leaves of Absence or section 2.5.8 Parenting Leave in the Graduate Calendar (links are to the 2018-2019 calendar).

  • The graduate calendar is updated each year, so the direct link above might take you to last year's calendar, if we have not managed to update this page in time. To find the current year's graduate calendar, go to the Registrar's Office calendar page and select the current year's calendar from the drop-down box in the upper right corner. Be sure to select the Graduate (not the Undergraduate) Calendar.

The following flowchart may help to understand the timelines and constraints for different types of leaves of absence:

  • LOA-flowchart.jpg

The Petition form to request a leave of absence can be found on the SGS Resources page (this is the same form that is used for other kinds of requests from SGS):

  • Direct link to the petition form.
  • If the direct link doesn't work: SGS Resources - click on the “Student Forms & Guides” tab and look for the link to the form “Petitions for Special Consideration to the Committee on Graduate Admissions and Study".
  • The form to request a parental leave is here.

Withdraw in Good Standing

Occasionally a student may need to withdraw in good standing. The student must then then apply for re-admission at a later date to continue their studies. The form to request a change in your standing must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Chair (through the Graduate Administrative Assistant, Nancy Riddell). Refer to section 2.5.7 of the Graduate Calendar (2018-2019).

Full-time Off Campus

See Full-time off Campus for additional details about expectations for students to be full-time ON campus, and forms required if you need to be full-time OFF campus.