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Continuous Enrollment and Leave of Absence (LOA)

Continuous Enrollment

Continuous enrollment is maintained by registering for a minimum of graduate credit hour per semester (excluding summer). The minimum enrollment for international students may be different, and international students always need to check with the Center for International Education (CIE) in order to determine what minimum enrollment they need to maintain in order to satisfy all enrollment requirements attached to their specific visa.

Leave of Absence (LOA) and Reinstatement Following an LOA

If extenuating circumstances arise that make it necessary for students to interrupt their studies temporarily, a Request for a Leave of Absence (LOA) for a maximum of 2 years may be granted by the Graduate School upon approval by the School of Information Sciences. All Graduate Student Leave of Absence Requests are reviewed and granted on a case by case basis. There are many situations for which a leave can be requested, such as the birth or adoption of a child, dependent care, a serious medical condition, military service, or other personal reasons. A Leave of Absence (LOA) will not be granted with the sole reason of financial hardship.

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisor and the School director in order to determine whether a Leave of Absence (LOA) is the most appropriate course of action, and international students must also consult with the Center for the International Education in order to ensure compliance with Federal immigration policy. Prior to requesting a Leave of Absence (LOA), graduate students should always explore alternatives which would allow them to remain registered and make progress toward the degree, even if at a slower pace. The Leave of Absence Request form can be found on Forms.

Students who are granted an LOA by the Graduate School in accordance with this policy are eligible for Reinstatement provided they enroll no later than the term immediately following the expiration of the approved LOA, excluding summer. The term(s) and/or year(s) of an approved LOA will not be counted toward time to degree, and milestone deadlines such as Admission to Candidacy will be adjusted accordingly. Having a Leave of Absence (LOA) granted does, however, no imply a guaranteed continuation of funding options upon return.

Graduate students who are on an LOA suspend their active study for one term or more (up to 2 years), and while on an LOA they are not able to make any formal progress toward their degree. In addition, they may not use faculty services and/or university facilities for the period of time that they are on a Leave of Absence (LOA).

Students are expected to return from a Leave of Absence (LOA). If they do not return to active student status by the end of the period of time stipulated in the approved LOA, they will be considered non-enrolled once their LOA has expired and lose eligibility for Reinstatement. Graduate Students who have lost their eligibility for Reinstatement need to seek Readmission prior to being able to continue to work in their graduate degree program.


In order to return to an active student status, graduate students on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) need to establish Reinstatement into their graduate degree program by the end of the leave period stipulated on their approved LOA. Reinstatement Requests need to be initiated by the student, processed by the School director, and submitted to the Graduate School no later than on the last day of classes of the semester prior to the semester for which they seek to be reinstated.

If a student would like to return to active study earlier than originally anticipated and approved on his or her Leave of Absence (LOA) Request, the student will need to contact the School director and discuss available options.

International Students must note that all published deadline dates for new international graduate applications also apply for applications for reinstatement.

Consequences of Non-Enrollment without Leave of Absence

Graduate students who do not maintain continuous enrollment as stipulated in the “Continuous Enrollment” policy will lose their active student status. A student who has lost his or her active status without having been granted a Leave of Absence for the period of non-enrollment ahead of time will not be allowed to continue in the Information Sciences program until readmitted. (See policy on “Readmission” for more details.)

Non-enrollment other than during an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) does not alter or affect any of the milestone deadlines, such as admission to candidacy, time to degree, etc.

Upon approval for readmission to complete the interrupted degree program, students will be retroactively enrolled in every semester of missed enrollment for one graduate credit hour of course 502. Students will be responsible for paying the past tuition charges and fees as well as the current university per semester late registration penalty. All past due charges will need to be paid before the Graduate School will approve the student for any future enrollment.