Leaves of Absence

Graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin may apply for a leave of absence of no more than two semesters. 

A student on leave may not use any University facilities nor is the student entitled to receive advice from any member of the faculty.  A leave of absence does not alter the time limits for degrees or course work.

Requesting a Leave of Absence

Master’s students and students not yet admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree must submit an Authorization for Leave of Absence form for approval by the graduate adviser. The decision of whether to grant a leave of absence for a student not in candidacy is left to the discretion of the graduate adviser and Graduate Studies Committee. The only rule is that the decision be made “in the best interests of the academic progress of the student” and the form must be returned to the Graduate School in advance of the semester for which a leave is granted.

If the student has been admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the application for leave must be petitioned in advance by the graduate adviser to the graduate dean and will be approved only in rare and unusual circumstances. Use the Petition for Leave of Absence form, which must be accompanied by a letter from the graduate adviser to the dean of the Graduate School specifying the reason(s) for the leave.


A student on approved leave must apply for readmission in order to return to the University, but readmission during the approved period is automatic and the application fee is waived. Failure to secure a leave of absence in advance of the semester for which a student will be on leave means the student will not be guaranteed readmission and will be assessed an application fee for readmission.