Resources for New and Expecting Student Parents

Children ages 2 to 5 play in the Preschool Lab affiliated with the School of Human Ecology

Prior to taking a leave of absence, please consider the following:

Many departments and programs have local leave policies. Please consult your program administrator, advisor, and the Graduate School as early as possible in your planning process.

If you have pre-enrolled for a future term, you may drop all courses before the first day of class without academic penalty. Dropping courses prior to the first day of class will ensure a full tuition refund.

If you are withdrawing mid-semester, a withdrawal form is required. Also be sure to confirm that you will remain eligible for tuition remission. If you withdraw in the middle of a term, tuition remission will be maintained if you have already met the minimum appointment requirement. Prior to terminating your appointment, consult with your program and review the tuition remission policy.

  • Non-dissertators: Since many programs have formal policies regarding leave, it is critical that you contact your program in advance. The Graduate School does not have a formal policy regarding a leave of absence at the pre-dissertator level. Master’s degree students who take a leave of absence maintain course credits for up to 5 years.
  • Dissertators: In order to encourage timely degree completion, some time limits have been established. Ph.D. candidates who do not take the final oral exam and deposit within 5 years of passing the prelim exam may require another prelim exam. The Graduate School requires that all dissertators maintain continuous enrollment. When this is not possible, a degree completion fee is assessed. In exceptional circumstances, a student’s program may appeal these time limits through a written request to the Graduate School.
  • International Students: Prior to taking a leave of absence, please check on your visa status with International Student Services (ISS), 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 608-262-2044.

Graduate Appointment Conditionality

Students with Teaching Assistantships (TA) or Program Assistantships (PA) should review the TA/PA contract for info regarding leave, as well as the FMLA for TAs and PAs. Contact your department steward or the Teaching Assistant Association (TAA) office (608-256-4375 or with any questions or concerns.

Students with Research Assistantships (RA) should consult with their program, PI and/or advisor.

Students with Fellowships or Traineeships are advised to contact their funding source or the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources (OFFR) 231 Bascom Hall, 608-262-9597.

Returning from a Leave of Absence

Please contact your program in advance, to notify them of your intent to return. Resuming your studies is facilitated via the online application. Students who are not enrolled for one semester or more (excluding summer) will need to reapply for admission and pay the application fee.  Instructions for reapplication are available here. Please reapply at least 6 weeks in advance.  Read the Graduate School readmission policy for more information.

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