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Student Services

Taking Time Away from the College

Undergraduates may take time away from their studies at the University of Chicago for a variety of reasons.

Whatever the reason for taking time away, the College will be here to welcome students back once they are ready to resume studies and looks forward to assisting students with every step along the way.

Quick Links

Helpful Resources & Support

The College is here to assist students during the leave-taking process, from helping them thrive while they’re away to supporting their success upon returning to campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

    From time to time, students may find it necessary to leave the College for a period of time and then return at a later date. These breaks in enrollment are formally recognized as leaves of absence (LOA). 

    Students may talk to their Academic Adviser or a staff member in the Office of College Community Standards (OCCS) if they are thinking about taking a leave of absence. Students can schedule an appointment with their adviser via the College Scheduling site or schedule a meeting with OCCS staff by emailing collegestandards@uchicago.edu.

    Students wishing to take a leave of absence in the current quarter must make arrangements by 5 p.m. on the Friday before finals week, or before the final work for all courses are due, whichever is earlier.

    Ordinarily, students who take a leave of absence after the end of fifth week are not eligible to return for a minimum of one full quarter. 

    The “W” (Withdrawn) grade means that the student has decided after Week 3 of the quarter to not complete the work of the course. Students who wish to exercise this option must request a W from their adviser by 5 p.m. on the Friday of the week before finals or before the final project/exam is due, whichever is earlier. When made before the deadline, a request for a withdrawal cannot be denied except in cases of academic dishonesty. A withdrawal may not be granted after completion of the course. 

    Students should review the Office of the University Bursar's "Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Tuition Proration Schedule" to determine if they are eligible for a tuition refund. 

     

    It is possible that a leave of absence will have an impact on a student’s expected graduation date. As such, students are encouraged to discuss their academic plans with their Academic Advisers prior to taking a leave of absence, as well as upon resumption of study.  

    There are no fees associated with a leave of absence. 

    The University of Chicago transcript does not note a leave of absence.  

    If a leave of absence is requested after the 3rd week for the current quarter, W’s will appear as the grades for the enrolled courses of that quarter.  

    Students wishing to take a leave of absence in the current quarter must make arrangements by 5 p.m. on the Friday before finals week, or before the final work for all courses are due, whichever is earlier.

    Ordinarily, students who take a leave of absence after the end of fifth week are not eligible to return for a minimum of one full quarter. 

    Students who take a leave after the quarter has begun should review the Office of the University Bursar's "Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Tuition Proration Schedule" to determine if they are eligible for a tuition refund. 

    Students who would like to maintain access to the library should indicate their interest on the leave of absence form. Once their leave begins, they can request a temporary access card from the ID and Privileges Office located in Regenstein Library. Students wishing to use gym facilities while on leave should contact membership services at Ratner Athletic Center to learn more about their membership options.

    Students receiving financial aid and considering a leave of absence should contact the Office of Financial Aid for current information and guidance regarding financial aid program policies and practices, and how those relate to students on leave of absence. 

    Walker 309 
    773.702.8666 
    college-aid@uchicago.edu
    financialaid.uchicago.edu 

    Students remain on a leave until they submit a form expressing their intent to resume studies.  

    It is the College’s expectation that students will not exceed eight cumulative quarters of leave over the course of their undergraduate career, unless otherwise provided for in this policy. Normally, students who have exceeded eight quarters of approved leave will be administratively withdrawn from the College. 

    Students may submit a form expressing their intent to resume at any time by completing a Request to Resume Study.  

    The deadline for students on a leave of absence to submit the form is at least four weeks prior to the start of the quarter in which the student intends to return. Other offices may require earlier deadlines to initiate their respective processes.   

    Students may defer (delay) their return after applying to resume their studies by contacting OCCS staff at collegestandards@uchicago.edu; however, students who have exceeded eight quarters of approved leave are required to submit a completed Request to Resume Study form, along with supporting materials, no later than eight weeks prior to the start of the quarter of intended return. 

    Students may choose to take leaves for any reason. Recent examples include (but are not limited to) internship opportunities during the academic year, attending to personal or family health concerns, compulsory military service, religious missions, once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities, or simply needing a break from study. 

    It is the College’s expectation that students will not exceed eight cumulative quarters of leave (including Summer Quarters) over the course of their undergraduate career, unless otherwise provided for in this policy. Normally, students who have exceeded eight quarters of approved leave will be administratively withdrawn from the College. 

    Students considering enrollment at another institution while on leave of absence should discuss their academic plans while on leave with their Academic Adviser. The Transfer Credit page on this site provides guidelines for transferring credit back to the University. 

    Students who receive financial aid from the College are eligible to request federal financial aid via a consortium agreement, when they register for classes at least half-time at another institution. Summer study and less-than-half-time study are not eligible for federal aid via a consortium agreement. See the Office of Financial Aid for more information 

    Note: Students cannot resume studies in the College if they have received a bachelor’s or an advanced degree elsewhere. 

    Students participating in U-SHIP who take a leave of absence for medical reasons (MLOA) may maintain coverage in U-SHIP for four (4) quarters maximum while on a MLOA. 

    Students who take a non-medical leave of absence may be eligible for Continuation Coverage. Upon termination of U-SHIP coverage, if a student was enrolled in U-SHIP for at least six (6) consecutive months prior to termination, that student is eligible to enroll in "continuation coverage" for up to three (3) months. Application and payment must be made within 31 days from the termination of prior U-SHIP coverage. 

    To enroll in Continuation Coverage visit MyAccount in the UnitedHealthcare StudentResources portal. For assistance or more detailed information, students may contact the Student Insurance Office at 773-834-4543 (press option 2) or email uchicagoadvocates@uhcsr.com. For additional information, students may visit https://wellness.uchicago.edu/student-insurance/u-ship

For more information, view the Student Manual.