Undergraduate Leave of Absence Policy

Other University policies, procedures and guidelines that apply to students can be found at https://www.mcgill.ca/secretariat/policies-and-regulations.




A leave-of-absence may be granted to undergraduate students for the following reasons: maternity or parenting reasons, personal or family health reasons, professional development, or for required military service. Such a leave must be requested on a term-by-term basis and may be granted for a period of up to 52 weeks. A leave-of-absence request shall be submitted to the student’s faculty Advising or Student Affairs office along with appropriate documentation. Refer to specific instructions on your faculty website.

Students who are granted such a leave shall have “leave of absence” recorded on the transcript. No tuition fees will be charged for the duration of the authorized leave. During a leave of absence a student maintains an active student ID card and has access to McGill mail and use of the libraries. The student is not permitted to register for courses or to participate in student internships or undergraduate research. The student shall not normally attend another academic institution; exceptions may be requested for professional development.


Faculties may request documentation of a student’s readiness to resume studies. Faculties shall apply “withdrawn” status after one year of approved L-O-A if the student has not returned to the University.

 Additional considerations for a pan-University undergraduate leave-of-absence policy:

  • personal objectives (travel, time off, etc.) shall not be grounds for a leave-of-absence
  • financial matters shall not be grounds for a leave-of-absence
  • normally, a student shall be in satisfactory standing when requesting a L-O-A; exceptions may apply and shall be determined by the faculty and, if applicable, the professional program
  • since students on a leave-of-absence pay no fees, the Student Services are not available. However an opt-in option is available; students may opt-in to the Student Services at the usual rate at the Students Services main office in the Brown Student Services Building
  • students who are eligible for scholarship renewal will not have scholarship monies transferred to their account while they are on L-O-A, but will maintain eligibility for renewal upon registration in subsequent terms
  • terms and conditions vary among loan and bursary providers; student consultation with an advisor in Scholarships and Student Aid, Student Services, is recommended
  • professional programs shall publicize limitations to application of the undergraduate leave-of-absence policy that may be required due to accreditation requirements or placement limitations
  • international students are advised to contact International Student Services (ISS) regarding individual circumstances. Sample situations: a) if a student is granted a L-O-A for medical reasons and cannot travel home, they are not reported to immigration authorities but must be prepared to submit supporting materials when immigration documents are renewed; b) if a L-O-A is granted before the end of the drop/add period, the international health insurance is cancelled with refund. A student who wishes to maintain the insurance must contact ISS.