Leave of Absence

Students are expected to follow a continuous course of study at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. However, a student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily may request a leave of absence. There are three types of leave—personal, medical, and parental—all of which are described below. The general policies that apply to a leave of absence are:

  1. Any student who is contemplating a leave of absence should see the assistant dean for student services to discuss the necessary application procedures.
  2. All leaves of absence must be approved by the assistant dean for student services and the associate dean for academic affairs. Medical leaves also require the written recommendation of a physician on the staff of Yale Health, as described below.
  3. A student may be granted a leave of absence of one to two years. Any leave approved by the assistant dean for student services and the associate dean for academic affairs will be for a specified period.
  4. International students who apply for a leave of absence must consult with OISS regarding their visa status.
  5. A student on a leave of absence may complete outstanding work in courses for which extensions have been granted. The student may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave.
  6. A student on a leave of absence is not eligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases, student loans are not deferred during periods of nonenrollment.
  7. A student on a leave of absence is not eligible for the use of any University facilities normally available to enrolled students.
  8. A student on leave of absence may continue to be enrolled in Yale Health by purchasing coverage through the Student Affiliate Coverage plan. In order to secure continuous coverage from Yale Health, enrollment in this plan must be requested prior to the beginning of the term in which the student will be on leave. If a leave of absence is granted during the term, the student must request Yale Health Affiliate Coverage enrollment within thirty days of the date the registrar was notified of the leave. Coverage is not automatic; enrollment forms are available from the Member Services Department of Yale Health, 203.432.0246, or can be downloaded from the Yale Health website (http://yalehealth.yale.edu).
  9. A student on a leave of absence does not have to file a formal application for readmission. However, the student must notify the assistant dean for student services in writing of the intention to return at least eight weeks prior to the end of the approved leave. In addition, a returning student who wishes to be considered for financial aid must submit appropriate financial aid applications to the School’s financial aid office to determine eligibility.
  10. A student on a leave of absence who does not return at the end of an approved leave, and does not request and receive an extension from the dean, is automatically dismissed from the School.

Personal leave of absence A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies may request a personal leave of absence. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is current with degree requirements is eligible for a personal leave after satisfactory completion of at least one term of study. Personal leaves cannot be granted retroactively and normally will not be approved after the tenth day of a term.

To request a personal leave of absence, the student must apply in writing before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave, and the address at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. If the assistant dean for student services and the associate dean for academic affairs find the student to be eligible, the leave will be approved. In any case, the student will be informed in writing of the action taken. A student who does not apply for a personal leave of absence, or whose application for a leave is denied, and who does not register for any term, will be considered to have withdrawn from the School.

Medical leave of absence A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the director of student services and the associate dean for academic affairs, on the written recommendation of a physician on the staff of Yale Health. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements is eligible for a medical leave any time after matriculation. The final decision concerning a request for a medical leave of absence will be communicated in writing by the assistant dean for student services.

The School of Forestry & Environmental Studies reserves the right to require a student to take a leave for medical reasons when, on recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, the dean of the School determines that the student is a danger to self or others because of a serious medical problem, or that the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health to determine if the student is such a danger. An appeal of such a leave must be made in writing to the dean of the School no later than seven days from the date of withdrawal.

A student who is placed on medical leave during any term will have tuition adjusted according to the same schedule used for withdrawals (see Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy). Before re-registering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission to return from a Yale Health physician.

Leave of absence for parental responsibilities A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, maternity care, or paternity care may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements is eligible for parental leave any time after matriculation.

Any student planning to have or care for a child is encouraged to meet with the assistant dean for student services to discuss leaves and other short-term arrangements. For many students, short-term arrangements rather than a leave of absence are possible. Students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contract and the related polices of the Graduate Housing Office before applying for a parental leave of absence. Students granted a parental leave may continue to reside in University housing to the end of the academic term for which the leave was first granted, but no longer.