Leave of Absence Policy

Graduate students whose programs require continuous registration may apply to their Graduate Coordinator for a one-session to three-session leave during their program of study for:

  1. serious health or personal problems which temporarily make it impossible to continue in the program; or
  2. parental leave by either parent at the time of pregnancy, birth or adoption, and/or to provide full-time care during the child’s first year. Parental leave must be completed within 12 months of the date of birth or custody. Where both parents are graduate students taking leave, the combined total number of sessions may not exceed four. Learn about the SGS Parental ​Grant program.

Once on leave, students will neither be registered nor will they be required to pay fees for this period. In general, unless a request is made to opt-in to access services while on leave, students on leave may not make demands upon the resources of the university, attend courses, or expect advice from their supervisor. As an exception, students on leave for parental or serious health reasons who wish to consult with their supervisor or other faculty are advised to make special arrangements through their department. Students on leave will not be eligible to receive University of Toronto financial assistance. In the case of other graduate student awards, the regulations of the particular granting agency apply.

For more information about a Leave of Absence, please visit the Understanding Leave of Absence page.

Students on leave may request continued access to U of T library services by sending an email to graduate.information@utoronto.ca. The School of Graduate Studies will review the request and contact the library to allow access to library services if the request is approved.

Students may make application for a leave by completing the Leave of Absence Form and submitting it to their Graduate Coordinator for approval. The form is then sent to the School of Graduate Studies for processing. The termination date of the degree program will be extended by the duration of the leave taken, i.e., one, two, or three sessions as appropriate. Except for parental leave or in exceptional circumstances, it is not expected that a student will be granted more than one leave under the terms of this policy. Normally the start and finish of the leave would coincide with the start and end of a session. When students require a leave to begin in mid-session, they are advised to contact Student Services at the School of Graduate Studies to make special arrangements.

Leave requests that do not fall under the terms of this policy will require final approval from the School of Graduate Studies. However, graduate students in full-time programs that are over 12 months in duration can take up to 15 business days per academic year in personal time off, in addition to statutory holidays and days designated as University closures or holidays.