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Student handbooks

Leave of absence policy

 Students take time away from their studies for a wide variety of reasons including:

  • To manage a medical concern
  • To fulfill a family obligation
  • To pursue career-related opportunities
  • To complete military service
  • To work on a political campaign

While interrupting your studies to take time away may seem intimidating, a leave is a means to the successful completion of a degree, not a barrier to graduating. More than three-quarters of students who take a leave return to complete their degree within two years.

If you are considering a leave, take time to think carefully about your goals for your time away and for when you return. Speaking with an LPS program director is an important first step. Depending on your circumstances, you should get advice from other sources as well. Students taking time away in order to manage a medical condition should discuss the leave with their healthcare provider. Your LPS program director will help you connect with other campus resources as you prepare to take a leave of absence, such as Student Financial Services, Housing, and International Student and Scholar Services.

Students typically take a leave for a full academic year. Individual circumstances may require more or less time; the length of the leave is determined by the school. Students on leave should remain in contact with their LPS program director and update them about changes in plans. The return from leave process supports students in a successful re-entry to academic life at Penn. When preparing to return, students must consult their LPS program director to develop a plan that includes the connection with appropriate resources.

Get Ready for Spring!

Spring Course Guide

The Spring Course Guide is here! Find the classes you need and start getting ahead for the semester.

See Course Guide >

Important Dates and Deadlines

Academic Calendar

The LPS Academic Calendar provides important information around deadlines and dates.

See Academic Calendar >

Get Social with LPS


Penn LPS

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

Telephone: (215) 898-7326
Fax: (215) 573-2053

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