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Leave of Absence Information

The university allows students in certain circumstances to apply for a leave of absence of up to two semesters or up to three 12-week terms during which time they do not intend to make academic progress toward the completion of their degree. The time taken on an approved leave of absence is not included in the time limitations for degree completion and advancement to candidacy. To be eligible for a leave of absence, the student must have completed at least one full semester.  Complete information about the Leave of Absence policy is found on the Graduate School website in the “Registration Policies” section of the Graduate Catalog.  

Students can be reluctant to take a leave of absence for various reasons. If you have concerns about how a leave of absence may affect health insurance, academic progress, or visa status, please see more information on this Leave of Absence document.  

To request a leave of absence, the student and their department/program must complete the Request for Leave of Absence Form found on the Forms page of the Graduate School website.

The Graduate School’s Academic Counselor, Ms. Simone Warrick Bell, works with all graduate students who elect to go on a leave of absence.  Please contact Simone at for more information.

Graduate Assistants: Important Health Insurance Information about taking a Leave of Absence
When taking a Leave of Absence, students will not be enrolled which means that students will not be able to hold a Graduate Assistantship. If the student's health insurance plan is through a graduate assistantship, then their health benefits will end as soon as the assistantship ends. 

When students lose health insurance coverage because of job loss (like taking a leave of absence), students will be eligible to purchase another health plan using the Qualifying Life Event enrollment process. The Qualifiying Life Event process to purchase a health plan from a variety of sources, including the University’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). To enroll in SHIP using the Qualifying Event process, go to the AHP website at and scroll to the middle of the page.


Contact Information

The Graduate School, University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742