A leave of absence may be granted for

  • Bereavement

  • Care-giving responsibilities

  • Maternity

  • Medical requirements

  • Military service

  • Parental responsibilities

  • Political service

How to apply

Read the policy

Make sure that you read and understand the Leave of Absence policy in the Graduate Calendar. Contact your home program if you have any questions about the policy.

Read the policy

Submit a Leave of Absence form

If this is your first request, or if the total leave accrued will amount to less than one year, submit the form to your home program.

All other leave requests must also be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for approval. 

Contact your Graduate Program Administrator

About your leave of absence

Students should prepare well in advance of, or soon after the event requiring a leave of absence. Understanding early on how a leave will impact your academic life can help you prepare for the time away from your program and ensure a smooth return.

Duration of a leave

You may apply for a minimum of one term and up to one year of leave at a time, with the possibility of renewing the leave. However, a maternity leave can be up to 18 months. Master’s students have a maximum of two years; PhD students have a maximum of three years.

Completing your degree

Your time away will not count as time in program. If you have been in a Master's program for one year and then take a one year leave of absence, you will have three years to complete the degree, since the maximum time to complete a Master’s degree is four years.


Awards and funding

Normally, a leave will interrupt your funding. While some external funding agencies have provisions for maternity leave, there are awards that will end in the case of a leave.

Award interruption

Tuition and fees

If the leave overlaps your registration anniversary month, general fees will be calculated based on that time and may be pro-rated to your registration. Contact your Graduate Program Officer (GPO) for details.

Contact your GPO

Paid maternity leave

In the case of a maternity leave which interrupts funding, the Faculty of Graduate Studies will provide funding for up to four months for those months in which you receive no other funding. All students applying for maternity leave will be considered for this benefit.

Contact your GPO


International students

Contact International Student Services to discuss the immigration implications of a leave of absence and to understand how it will affect your legal status in Canada.

International Student Services

Thesis-based students

Discuss the leave and its implications with your supervisor and any other people who are involved with your research project, e.g., members of the supervisory committee.

Statutory declaration

Use this document in the place of a medical note. Complete the form and meet with a Commissioner for Oaths (in your faculty or Student Legal Assistance) for signing. 

Statutory Declaration form