Skip to main content

303.1 - Leave of Absence from Graduate Study

University Group Policy #303.1

I.  Policy Statement

This policy is to identify whether or not a formal leave of absence for graduate students is permissible, the conditions for which a student may be granted a leave of absence, and directs students who are seeking information about requesting formal University recognition of a leave of absence from graduate study.

II.    Guidelines

Graduate students may request a leave of absence from Winston-Salem State University one semester in a calendar year (fall, spring, or summer) and maintain continuous status. The request must not exceed two consecutive academic semesters. The maximum amount of leave permitted per graduate program is four semesters. Leaves of absence may be granted for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, extracurricular educational activities, illness, study-abroad opportunities, and other personal circumstances. Students should submit requests for a leave of absence in writing to their Graduate Program Coordinator, who will forward the request to The Graduate School along with the department’s recommendation. All requests for leaves of absence will be considered on an individual basis by The Graduate School. Time devoted to a leave of absence will typically count toward the authorized time limit for completion of degree requirements at Winston-Salem State University. Students with special circumstances should consult with the Graduate Program Coordinator to discuss options available for revising the time frame needed to complete their plan of study. Maternity, paternity or military obligations do not count towards the six-year time limit for degree completion.

Students who are absent for one or more semesters or required summer session(s) without an approved leave of absence must apply for readmission through The Graduate School, after receiving the recommendation of the Graduate Program Coordinator and the Admissions Committee. Students in planned summer-only programs of study should maintain annual summer session patterns of enrollment and course completion throughout the program of study for the degree. A leave of absence does not extend the maximum time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, and a leave cannot be taken while students are on extension of the six-year time limit.

III.     Applicability

This policy is applicable to graduate students at Winston-Salem State University.

Responsible Division: Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • Adopted September 18, 2009