Leave of Absence Policy

The leave of absence is intended to provide a short-term leave, not to exceed two calendar years, for students who plan to return to the University of Puget Sound.

An undergraduate student who has completed one full term at Puget Sound and is enrolled or eligible to enroll may apply for a leave of absence during a term or within eight weeks after the end of the last term attended. If the request for leave takes place during a term, the normal procedures for withdrawal from the university must be followed. Leaves are not granted to first-semester freshmen or to students who have been suspended or dismissed from the university.

Students usually request leaves for medical reasons, financial difficulties, uncertainty about academic or career goals, personal considerations such as illnesses within families, or special educational opportunities not available at this university. A student going on a university partner or approved study abroad program remains registered on campus as a study abroad student and completes a form issued by the Director of International Programs (Howarth Hall, Room 215; 253.879.3578). International students are not allowed to take a formal leave of absence unless they will be out of the country and have obtained prior approval from the International Student Coordinator.

The student initiates the process by obtaining an application from the Office of Academic Advising (Howarth Hall, Room 114; 253.879.3250). The student completes the application, including a statement of reasons for requesting the leave of absence, and returns it to the Office of Academic Advising.The student then discusses the leave with the Director of Academic Advising or another staff member to clarify concerns, to confirm that the student understands re-entry procedures, and to ensure appropriate contacts with other offices of the university. The student is notified by letter of the final decision by the Office of Academic Advising; copies of the letter are sent to other offices or faculty as appropriate. A student who obtains a leave of absence during the first five weeks of a term and immediately withdraws from Puget Sound will receive a tuition refund in accordance with provisions stated in the Bulletin, providing there are no outstanding account balances or loans that are due and payable. The granting of the leave of absence status may fulfill the administrative requirements for the applicable tuition refund.The refund may be returned to the student in cash or the percentage of the refund due may be credited toward a future tuition bill. If the student elects this second option, the percentage allocation will be used to compute the tuition billing at the time of re-enrollment. The student who does not re-enroll within two calendar years forfeits this option.

The student must keep the Office of Academic Advising apprised of his or her mailing address and must meet all regular university deadlines for registration, housing reservations, financial aid applications, and similar matters. Financial aid/scholarship awards and university housing reservations do not automatically carry over. Students on leave are responsible for all arrangements with offices (Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Residence Life) serving them in these matters. They are also responsible for giving at least one month’s notice of intent to re-enroll to the Office of Academic Advising in order that a registration appointment may be provided. If a student has not attended another college, the on-leave status will be changed to active student status.

If the student attends another college while on leave, official transcripts must be sent to the Office of the Registrar for the purpose of evaluating academic standing and credits according to regular transfer policy.

A student wishing to return to the university after his or her leave of absence has expired must contact the Office of Academic Advising to initiate the re-enrollment process.