Students may request a leave of absence from a program through written appeals to their program directors. The program director will forward the request to the appropriate school dean/dean designee who, following departmental governance procedures, will forward their recommendations and any supporting documentation for final approval as necessary.

Students who are out of compliance with continuous enrollment policies (see Graduate registration policies) and who have not been granted approved leaves of absence by the appropriate dean must reapply for admission to VCU and to their degree programs.

Graduate students with approved leaves of absence are exempted from continuous enrollment requirements for the LOA period. Students should note that while leaves of absence temporarily suspend continuous enrollment requirements, they do not extend time limits for completion of degrees. (See policy on Exceptions.)

Leaves of absence must be requested and approved before or within a current semester. Requests for retroactive leaves of absence will not be approved.

The leave of absence prevents registration for the approved leave of absence period. If the student wishes to return to academic study before the end of the approved leave of absence period, the appropriate school must be notified so that the leave of absence is cancelled and the registration hold removed.

Note: This policy applies only to graduate and first-professional students; it does not apply to undergraduate students.