Academic Leave

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For Current Graduate Students

See the Graduate and Professional Catalog for full academic leave policy.

An academic leave for up to two semesters (excluding summer term) may be requested by master's or doctoral students who need to pause their studies for illness or injury; to provide care or assistance for immediate family and/or dependents; to meet military service obligations; or for other personal reasons.

Financial and Immigration Implications

It is the student’s responsibility to consult the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and, if applicable, the International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) before applying for an academic leave.

Conditions of Academic Leave

A student on leave does not receive the benefits, services, and eligibility associated with registered student status.

While on academic leave, the student is considered “inactive” and shall make no academic progress toward their degree. This means:

  1. No registration for any credit hours, comprehensive/qualifying exams or final exams may not be scheduled, and thesis or dissertations may not be filed during the period covered by the academic leave.
  2. Students are not eligible for graduate assistantships or fellowships while on academic leave.
  3. Students may not receive academic credit for work done at another institution during the leave.
  4. The time limit for completing the doctoral or master’s degree is extended only by the number of semesters that have been approved for leave.
  5. For doctoral students in candidacy, an approved leave satisfies the continuous enrollment requirement.

Timing and Returning from Academic Leave

Academic leave can be granted for future semesters and up through the first Friday of classes during a current semester. No leave will be granted retroactively.

Students returning from an approved leave do not need to reapply or be readmitted. The Office of Graduate Studies will automatically change the student’s record to “active” status at the end of the academic leave.

Requesting a Leave

Requests for an Academic Leave will be reviewed by the Dean for Graduate Studies. If approved, an email notification will be sent to the student, graduate chair, faculty advisor, and department office.

Requesting an Extension of an Approved Leave

Only under special circumstances will an extension of an approved leave be considered. To request an extension, students must submit an email to the Director of Student Support at graduate@unl.edu prior to the end of the semester in which the leave terminates.