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Leave of Absence

Undergraduate Leave of Absence Policy - Engineering


A leave of absence may be granted to undergraduate students for reasons related to:

  • maternity or parenting
  • personal or family health
  • required military service

Such a leave must be requested on a term-by-term basis and may be granted for a period of up to 52 weeks. A leave of absence request must be submitted via the login form above to the McGill Engineering Student Centre (MESC) along with appropriate documentation; you may also be required to meet with a Faculty Advisor upon request.


The following reasons are not grounds for a Leave of Absence:

  • personal objectives (travel, time off, volunteering, etc)
  • financial matters (need to work more hours to pay for school, etc)
    • If you're in this situation, we encourage you to schedule a Budget & Debt Management appointment with one of the Scholarships and Student Aid Office's Financial Aid Counsellors, who will try to work with you to see what can be arranged so you can remain at McGill with reduced financial barriers.
  • Immigration reasons (issues with renewal, documents not received, etc)
  • Professional development (student internships or undergraduate research is not permitted)

If you are not eligible for Leave of Absence, you may withdraw from the University. Students in satisfactory standing are eligible to request Readmission to the Faculty of Engineering with no penalty.

Conditions for a Leave of Absence in the Faculty of Engineering:

No tuition fees will be charged for the duration of the authorized leave. During a leave of absence, you maintain an active student ID card and have access to McGill mail and use of the libraries. You may be required to submit documentation that you are ready to continue your studies; the Faculty of Engineering will apply "withdrawn" status after one year of approved leave of absence if a student has not returned to the University.

  • No tuition fees will be charged for the duration of the authorized leave.
  • During a Leave of Absence, you maintain an active student ID card and have access to McGill mail and use of the libraries.
  • A newly admitted student cannot request a leave of absence in their first term.
  • Students who have not received any credits for courses cannot apply for a Leave of Absence.
  • Students are not permitted to register for courses at another University while on a Leave of Absence.
  • A Leave of Absence may be granted to undergraduate students in Satisfactory academic standing.
  • The request for a leave of absence must be made before the end of the withdrawal with refund deadline of the term where requesting the leave.
  • A Leave of Absence cannot be granted retro-actively, please see deadline above.
  • Students who are granted a "Leave of Absence" will have the notation recorded on their transcript.
  • Students who have a hold on their record should clear the hold before applying for a Leave of Absence.
  • Students who are granted a Leave of Absence will have access to course registration in the subsequent term and will not be required to apply for readmission. However, if they do not return in the subsequent term, they will need to apply for readmission to return to their studies.
  • If after one year of an approved Leave of Absence a student has not returned to the University, students will be considered withdrawn.
  • International students are advised to contact International Student Services about how the Leave of Absence may impact their student status.
  • Students who take a break in their enrollment should refer to the following websites for information on tuition:
  • For questions, please email studentrecords.engineering [at] mcgill.ca (Engineering Student Records).
  • To submit a request for an undergraduate Leave of Absence complete the webform by logging into this webpage; please attach all necessary supporting documentation.

Returning from a Leave of Absence

  • Students should register for courses according to the normal McGill deadlines (see Important Dates) for the term immediately following their Leave of Absence.
  • If after your approved leave you did not return to the University in the term immediately following the LOA, you are eligible to return but are required to apply for Readmission.
  • If your leave was granted for personal/health reasons, you are required to re-submit updated medical documentation supporting your return.

Access to Services During a Leave of Absence

  • Access to Student Services:   (Counselling Services, Mental Health, Career Services, Office for Students with Disabilities, etc)  Because students on a LOA pay no fees, Student Services are not available.  
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid:   Once a Leave of Absence is granted, you must consult Scholarships and Student Aid in order to assess the impact of the leave on student aid (e.g., government loans and bursaries, etc.).  Students who are eligible for scholarship renewal will not have scholarship money transferred to their account while they are on Leave, but will maintain eligibility for renewal upon registration in subsequent terms. Terms and conditions vary among loan and bursary providers; contact an advisor in Scholarships and Student Aid to discuss your individual situation and to assess the impact of the leave on student aid (e.g., government loans and bursaries, etc.).
  • In-Course Scholarships:   Scholarship funds will not be transferred to a student's fee account while they are on Leave.  The scholarship will not be deferred to the next term or academic year.   Please review the scholarship criterion at Scholarships and Student Aid.
  • International Students:  Contact International Student Services (ISS) to discuss your individual circumstances and the possible interaction with your immigration status and health insurance status.

Note:  When on a leave of absence, if you wish to be covered by the undergraduate supplemental health insurance and/or international health insurance, you must contact your respective campus-wide student association (e.g., Students' Society of McGill University, Macdonald Campus Students' Society) and International Student Services to make arrangements. Note that there will be additional student society fees to be paid in order to be considered a member eligible for the insurance plans. For information about the student societies' supplemental health and dental coverage, click here. For information about international health insurance, click here.


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