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Taking a Leave of Absence

If you have a serious life event during your time at Mizzou, you may request a leave of absence during or between semesters. This means you’ll temporarily stop taking classes without withdrawing from the university, and you will have access to campus support to help you when you’re ready to return. Taking a leave of absence means you’ll agree not to take classes at any other higher education institution during your leave.

Reasons for a leave of absence include (but are not limited to):

  • Medical issues (physical or mental)
  • Family circumstances such as death, pregnancy or parental leave
  • Circumstances regarding someone you aren’t related to but are close to
  • Financial concerns
  • Military service (documentation required)

Except in the case of military service, you won’t be required to provide documentation of your reason for taking a leave of absence.

Graduate Students

Graduate students needing to request a leave of absence should follow the leave of absence process found on the graduate school website.

School of Law

Law students should contact their dean’s office for information concerning a leave of absence.

School of Medicine

Medical students should contact the Associate Dean for Student Programs to request a leave of absence.

College of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Medicine students should contact their dean’s office for information concerning a leave of absence.

Leave of Absence Request Form

To request a leave of absence, fill out the form linked below and email it to

Before submitting your request, scroll down to read our leave of absence Frequently Asked Questions.

Leave of Absence Request Form

Returning After a Leave of Absence

The standard term for a leave of absence is up to one year, with the possibility to request an extension for one additional year. If you don’t ask for an extension at the end of the first year, you will be automatically removed from the leave of absence process. Once you’ve been removed from leave of absence status, you’ll need to re-apply as a returning student to continue your degree.

Return from Leave of Absence Form

When you are ready to return from your leave of absence, fill out the form linked below and email it to

Return from Leave of Absence Form

Leave of Absence FAQ

Do I need to withdraw from my classes if taking a leave of absence?

If you are taking a leave of absence prior to completing the term, you will need to officially withdraw from any class that has not ended, or for which you have received a grade for that term.

Should I take a leave of absence if I will be out for a couple of weeks?

No, leaves of absence are for those circumstances where you will be out for at least a term or more.

If I take a leave of absence for military deployment, are the options to withdraw from all courses for the term, drop from all courses for the term, or receive incompletes in all courses for the current term available?

Yes, the active-duty policy still applies under the leave of absence policy since this governed by state statutes. Those leaving on active duty must provide us with a copy of their military orders along with their option for their courses on the Leave of Absence Form.

Can I utilize the Student Health Center while on leave of absence if I pay the fee?

Yes. The MU Care Team will work with the Student Health Center by providing your contact information to them. Fees are paid directly to the Student Health Center for services.

If I received incompletes in a prior term before taking a leave of absence, can I complete those incompletes while on LOA?

Yes, you will need to collaborate with the instructor of the course on the items you need to complete for the course. For more information, see the Incomplete Grades policy page.

Can I withdraw from my course after the last day to withdraw for the term has passed and have a leave of absence approved?

No, you cannot withdraw after the last day to withdraw and declare a leave of absence for that term. Students declaring a leave of absence must follow all academic policies, including the academic dates and deadlines. For more information on withdrawing, see Drop a Course or Withdraw from Mizzou. You can submit a request for a leave of absence for the next term.

If I miss the withdraw deadline for a term but would still like to withdraw and then take a leave of absence, what is the process?

Students missing the withdraw deadline for a term can utilize the Revision of Record process requesting a change to their academic records. Visit the ROR process page for more information.

You may submit a request for a leave of absence for the next term.

If I am approved for a leave of absence and owe money to the University, am I still obligated to make payments on my account while on leave?

Yes, you will want to make payments on your account while on leave of absence, since any outstanding balance will accumulate late payment and finance charges, increasing the amount of money owed to the University. Prior to declaring a leave of absence, you should contact the Cashiers Office to set up payment arrangements.

Official Leave of Absence Policy

Students may request a Leave of Absence during or between semesters. Leaves provide the student an option to discontinue taking classes, while remaining affiliated with the campus and retaining some support to assist with returning to campus. During the leave the student will agree to not take classes at other institutions of higher education.

A leave may be requested for up to a year, with the possibility of one year extension using the process defined by the campus. Students who fail to return in a year or ask for an extension will be removed from the Leave of Absence process. Should they wish to return in the future they would access the application for readmission.

Reasons for requests include but are not limited to: Medical issues – physical or mental, family circumstances – such as family death, pregnancy or parental leave, financial concerns, circumstances related to non-related significant individuals, military service obligations for which documentation of orders will be required. Except for military service, documentation of reason is not required. Students may submit additional information to assist the CARE team.

Students who seek a Leave of Absence starting during a semester or term, will be subject to the academic polices of the University, including those of their Academic Units in effect at that time.
Students on leave will be responsible for fulfilling any financial obligations incurred prior to the leave. Federal, State and campus limitations on financial aid leaves of absence will apply, which include the limitations of the Department of Education’s leave of absence policy that limits the timeframe for an official leave of absence to 180 days for suspension of loan repayment requirements. Students will be responsible for contacting financial aid for assistance in understanding the impact on them.

The development of processes to support this policy will be coordinated by the Office of the University Registrar in cooperation with the Academic Units and Student Affairs and will be supported by the various appropriate campus units.

Policy approved by Faculty Council, June 16, 2022.