Leaves of Absence
Educational, medical and military leaves are permitted if students meet the eligibility requirements and submit a Leave of Absence form with the required signatures and documentation to the Office of the Registrar.
Eligibility For All Leaves
Students on authorized Leaves of Absence are considered in continuous attendance for the purpose of returning to the same curriculum in effect when the leave began. They are not required to apply for readmission or pay an application fee, provided they return to the same major and by the approved returning term. Not enrolling in the approved term requires reapplication for admission, payment of the application fee, and potentially new curriculum requirements.
Students must be eligible to enroll in the term the leave begins. Two leaves with a maximum of eight quarters combined are available to each student and cannot be extended beyond the limit. Beginning Summer 2015, summer quarters are not included when calculating the length of a leave.
Students should consider the effect a leave may have on their loan status, as lenders may count the leave period as part of the total grace period. Students who receive loan disbursements directly may be required to repay portions of their loan. Cal Poly provides enrollment status to the National Loan Clearing House. For questions regarding loan status, please contact the Cal Poly Student Financial Services Office.
Planned Educational Leaves
Fully approved educational leaves must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the add/drop deadline the quarter the leave is to begin. To change the length of a leave, the submission of a revised and approved leave request form is required by the add/drop deadline of the approved returning term or, if returning sooner, the add/drop deadline of the new returning term. Students on academic probation are not eligible to take educational leaves.
An educational leave for undergraduate students must contribute to their educational objective and be approved by their advisor and department head/chair.
An educational leave for graduate students must be approved by the graduate coordinator and dean of research and graduate programs.
Returning Students/Short Term Leaves
Undergraduate students who have not enrolled in three consecutive quarters (Fall, Winter, Spring) and are not on an approved leave of absence must file an application for readmission. For more information see Former Student Eligibility.
For information on the continuous enrollment for graduate students, please see the Continuous Enrollment policy for graduate students.
Medical Leaves provide time for a student to receive treatment and recover from a disabling injury or other medical condition(s). Medical Leaves usually begin the term following the student’s last term of attendance, so must be applied for in advance. On occasion Medical Leaves may be granted retroactively. Medical documentation is necessary from the treating healthcare provider or from Cal Poly Health Services (if you are or have been under the care of a Health and/or Counseling Services clinician for this particular problem). This documentation must support the time period required for recovery and must accompany the Medical Leave Form. Students may download the Medical Leave Form from this website and call the Registrar’s Office for general questions. For specific medical questions, please contact your treating healthcare provider. If you have been treated by Health and Counseling Services for this problem, you may call Cal Poly Health Services (805)756-1211 with specific medical questions.
To change the length of a medical leave, submission of new medical documentation that supports the change to the leave period is required.
Students called to active U.S. Military duty should attach their orders to a Military Leave of Absence form before submitting the form to the Office of the Registrar.