Oklahoma State University (OSU) graduate students are expected to maintain active status through continuous enrollment from the time they matriculate until they graduate. Students who are not able to maintain active status are strongly encouraged to consult with their program, advisor, and Graduate College to determine whether requesting a leave of absence (LOA) is the most appropriate course of action. International students must consult with the International Students and Scholars (ISS) office to ensure compliance with Federal immigration policy. Example situations that may lead a student to explore a leave of absence request are medical, personal, employment and military service. Students who do not have an approved leave of absence and are not continuously enrolled may experience negative consequences related to academic, visa, financial aid, and other student issues – see University policies and guidelines for additional information. A student status of “good standing” (academic and conduct) is generally required for a leave of absence.
1. Students who experience circumstances that prevent them from maintaining active student status may be granted approval from the Graduate College for a leave of absence upon request. Students must complete a Leave of Absence form that specifies the length of the leave requested.
2. An approved leave of absence may not exceed one academic year, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
3. Students who do not obtain an approved leave of absence prior to interrupting their enrollment (excluding summer) may be terminated from their graduate program and/or held to new requirements if they are subsequently readmitted.
4. Students granted a leave of absence may not use University facilities or services available only to enrolled students.
5. The approved leave of absence time will not be counted toward time-to-degree limits.
6. Students who obtain an approved leave of absence in accordance with this policy are eligible for reinstatement provided they re-enroll no later than the term immediately following the expiration of the leave (excluding summer). Programs may specify reasonable conditions for reinstatement to active status, whether the student returns early or at the expiration of the leave. Programs may deny reinstatement to active status based on crimes or other serious misconduct occurring during the leave that would have been grounds for suspension or expulsion had the student engaged in the conduct while enrolled. Students are obligated and agree to disclose such material information. See OSU Student Code of Conduct.
7. Students whose leave of absence has expired and who have not yet registered for the following term (excluding summer) will be placed on inactive status. Students who are placed on inactive status must reapply for readmission.
8. Given the diverse disciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of graduate degree programs, programs may develop additional rules governing leaves of absence, as long as they are consistent with Graduate College and University policies.
Each program must establish and publicize its process for implementing this policy and must inform all entering students about it.