Undergraduate Leave of Absence Policy

Undergraduate Leave of Absence Policy

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

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

Such 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 should be submitted to your faculty Advising or Student Affairs Office along with appropriate documentation. Refer to specific instructions on your faculty website.

Students who are granted such a leave will have "leave of absence" recorded on their transcript.

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 are not permitted to register for courses or to participate in student internships or undergraduate research. You may not normally attend another academic institution; exceptions may be requested for professional development. Faculties may request documentation of a student's readiness to resume studies; they will apply "withdrawn" status after one year of approved leave of absence if the student has not returned to the University.

  • Personal objectives, such as travel or time off, and financial matters are not grounds for a leave of absence.
  • Normally, a student shall be in Satisfactory Standing when requesting a leave of absence; exceptions may apply and will be determined by the faculty and, if applicable, the professional program.
  • Services are only available to students currently enrolled in a program of study. Services for students who are not currently enrolled, including students on authorized leaves of absence, are limited to certain services mandated by government regulation and services that help a student transition back into or out of their studies (examples include connecting a student with services off-campus and government financial aid or immigration advising for students leaving or preparing for re-entry).
  • A Leave of Absence may have an impact on a student's fee status once they re-enrol after their approved leave. For more information, refer to the Break in Enrolment section on the Student Accounts webpage.
  • Students who are eligible for scholarship renewal will not have scholarship monies transferred to their account while they are on leave of absence but will maintain eligibility for renewal upon registration in subsequent terms.
  • Terms and conditions vary among loan and bursary providers; student consultation with an advisor in Scholarships and Student Aid is recommended.
  • Professional programs may impose constraints on the application of the undergraduate leave of absence policy due to accreditation requirements or placement limitations.
  • International students are advised to contact International Student Services (ISS) regarding individual circumstances.
Note: The Leave of Absence Policy is applicable only to currently registered students who have not withdrawn from all their courses. If a student is considering a University Withdrawal due to personal or family health, they should consult their faculty's Student Affairs officer about the possibility of taking a leave of absence.
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.
Note: 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.).
Note for M.D.,C.M. students: Refer to the Absences & Leaves Policy of the M.D.,C.M. Program.
Note for School of Continuing Studies Students: Undergraduate leaves of absence are not possible. Students enrolled in a program at the School of Continuing Studies are allowed to miss two consecutive terms during their studies, provided their legal status in Canada allows them to do so. Students who remain inactive for a year or more must reapply to the program of their choice.

If you need to take a leave of absence because of pregnancy or because you need to care for dependants, please consult Academic Accommodation of Pregnant Students and Students Caring for Dependants.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Apr. 3, 2024) (disclaimer)
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Apr. 3, 2024) (disclaimer)
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