Office of Student Returns

Personal Leave of Absence

Requesting a Personal Leave of Absence

A personal leave of absence must be approved in writing by your academic dean. If you are considering a personal leave of absence, you should arrange a meeting with your academic dean to discuss your reasons and to determine whether the request is valid and in your best interest. A personal leave of absence is usually granted for only one semester.

In order to be eligible for a personal leave you must:

  1. be in good standing with the university;
  2. have reached the second semester of your first year;
  3. request a leave prior to the first day of classes of the desired leave term.

Appropriate reasons for requesting a personal leave of absence might well include a desire to travel, a plan to work in a special non-academic program, take care of family obligations, enroll as a non-degree seeking student at another university, or gain a sense of direction. A personal leave of absence may be granted for health related reasons.

Regardless of  a student's separation category, the academic dean and or another Duke licensed healthcare provider, can recommend that a student receive relevant treatment while away.  If treatment is advised, the student will be required to submit the appropiate medical documents (Part B of the return application) upon requesting to return to Duke.

The appropriate forms needed to request a personal leave of absence are located in your academic dean’s office.

Transcript implications

The transcript notation for a personal leave of absence is "leave of absence." If a personal leave of absence is requested and granted before the first day of classes, your  course schedule for the pending semester will be deleted.  

Expected Length of Time Away

  • Students placed on a personal leave of absence are usually expected to return after one semester away. 
  • Regardless of your length of time away, students are expected to submit application materials according to established procedures and deadline dates applicable to their desired return term and separation category.
  • Students placed on personal leave of absence are expected to return by an exact term date, as discussed at the time of your separation. If you anticipate a longer time away, you must contact your academic dean to make your intentions known.  If your time away exceeds two years, please be advised that you may be administratively withdrawn from Duke. 
  • Reagardless of  the length of your time away, permission to return to Duke is not guaranteed.  A student may be required to remain on leave, if it is believed to be in the best interest of the student as deemed by the student’s Academic Dean, a Duke health care professional, their personal health care professional and or another authorized University official. 

Tuition Cost/Refund

Because personal leaves of absence generally only granted prior the start of a semester, students  placed on a personal leave of absence will  incur no tuition fee for the upcoming semeser.  Prepaid tuition will be reimbursed.

Housing Cost/Refund

Residence hall charges are prorated and will be calculated according to the number of days a room is occupied. Stuents must release the room by submitting their key and moving their belongings. For more information, contact the Bursar's Office (919-684-3531) and the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services (RLHS) (919-684-4304).

Bursar's Account and Financial Aid

Students who need to resolve outstanding balances from terms prior to a leave of absence should contact the financial aid office at finaid@duke.edu, or call 919-684-6225 to speak with a counselor about resources that might be available to help clear financial obligations to the University.

The Bursar’s office will be in regular contact during the leave period with any student who has an outstanding financial obligation.  Students with outstanding financial balances will not be eligible to enroll in classes for any future term.

Duke Visa/ International Students

Students holding an F1/J1 Visa should contact Duke Visa Services at 681-8472, or email visahelp@mc.duke.edu, to inform them of the pending separation.

Requesting a Return to Duke after a Personal Leave of Absence

Students requesting to return from a personal leave of absence must submit a return application to the Office of Student Returns (OSR).  

Regardless of  a student's separation category, the academic dean and or another Duke licensed healthcare provider, can recommend that a student receive relevant treatment while away.  If treatment is advised, the student will be required to submit the appropiate medical documents (Part B of the return application) upon requesting to return to Duke.

Deadlines

Students should determine their targetted return term and plan a submission accordingly. An earlier application will not be accepted and does not benefit you since it is important for the application to be as up-to-date as possible. It is the student's responsibility to make sure the application is complete by the deadline date. Letters of recommendation and other supporting documents from respective individuals should be requested in a timely manner. ONLY COMPLETE applications will be reviewed. Applications are reviewed as expeditiously as possible.  There are three review cycles per year with distinct deadlines.

Returning Semester

Application Period Opens

Application Deadline

Fall June 1 July 1
Spring October 1 November 1
Summer I and II March 1 April 1

Readmission Application