Guide to Filing a Request for a Leave of Absence
You can find the LOA request form here, on the Registrar’s Forms page.
If you are a graduate student at Northeastern and you know you will need to be away from your academic work for longer than three consecutive terms (including summer), then you need to file a Leave of Absence (LOA) request to avoid being inactivated. Please read this page carefully to make sure that we can process your request and you will be able to successfully return to your program.
The support of your program is critical to successfully returning from a leave of absence to complete your program. Therefore, as soon as you know you will need to leave, meet with your program advisor to assess your current status in the program and to develop a plan for your return. This plan must take into account the 6 year rule, a policy which states that you cannot count coursework more than 6 years old towards your degree. The clock does not stop during your LOA. You can read about the 6 year rule, and other graduate academic policies, here.
Your advisor will need to write a memo of support for your leave, explaining how you will complete your program successfully upon your return. Without the explicit, written support of your program, your LOA will not be approved.
If you are an international student here on an F-1 Visa, as soon as you know you will need to take a LOA you must meet with International Programs to determine whether your immigration status will be jeopardized by your LOA. Having this information before your decide to take a LOA won't necessarily change the circumstances of your situation, but it must inform your decision.
It’s important to keep in mind that your academic standing will remain fixed while you are on LOA. For example, if you are on probation, then the semester you return, you will still be on probation and will need to earn a 3.0 term GPA or higher to avoid dismissal. You can read about probation and dismissal, and other graduate academic policies, here.
It’s also important to remember that if you fail to return in the term you listed on your request, your student status will be moved to inactive, and you will have to apply for re-admission to the university.
If you have any questions, please contact the dean’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.