UMKC’s Leave of Absence Policy provides a means for students to take an approved leave of absence from a degree program without being required to go through the re-admission process upon return to the University.   Students who are approved for a leave of absence will be allowed to register for classes during the “priority registration time period” for the next semester they return from their approved leave of absence period.  Students who are enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in the School of Graduate Studies and the Schools of Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Conservatory of Music and Dance must adhere to their school’s leave of absence policies and procedures as these schools may have more stringent requirements or additional procedures.

  1. Students who want to take an approved leave of absence are required to fill out the “Request for Leave of Absence Form” and are required to fill out a “Return from Leave of Absence Form” in order to be allowed to enroll and return to their previous academic program.
  2. The deadline for applying for a leave of absence if the student has not been attending classes and is enrolled is no later than the fourth week of the semester.   Students who need to apply for a leave of absence during a semester for which they have been attending will have until the last week of classes for the current term in accordance with the academic calendar.

The deadline for applying for a return from a leave of absence is 30 days prior to the first class date of the semester in which the student plans to enroll.  Students who request a leave of absence that is not planned in advance due to a medical emergency or other extenuating circumstance beyond the control of the student will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Academic program and graduation requirements may change during a student’s leave of absence.  It is at the discretion of the college/school to define the program and graduation requirements once the student has been approved to return from a leave of absence.  Some programs may approve students to return on a space available basis.

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Be a degree seeking student
  2. Be registered and enrolled in classes for the current term
  3. Be eligible to enroll and be in academic good standing, on probation, or on continuing probation with his or her academic unit
  4. Have submitted all outstanding high school or transfer transcripts if conditional admission was granted for the student to enroll for the previous semester
  5. Provide a personal statement and official documentation for why a leave of absence is being requested

Please note: a student who returns from a leave of absence will continue on the same academic standing that was in place at the time that the leave of absence began.

Leave of Absence Duration

A leave of absence will be granted for a maximum of two semesters (e.g. Fall and Spring or Summer and Fall).  A student can request an extension for his or her leave of absence; however, the request for an extension cannot extend more than one year beyond the original date requested.  Students who do not return by the date noted on their approved leave of absence form and who are not granted an approved extension will be required to reapply through the Office of Admissions.

Leave of Absence Duration for Military Personnel

A leave of absence will be granted for all uniformed service members called to duty (whether voluntary or involuntary) for the duration of their time served.  The student must fill out a Request for Leave of Absence form and provide the Registration and Records office with a copy of their written orders.  Service members will be re-admitted to the university upon their return under the same re-admittance policies as all students who have been on a leave of absence from the university.   Service members will not experience any added penalties from the University for fulfilling their military obligations.

Student Status During the Leave of Absence

A student granted a leave of absence retains his/her admitted student status. However, he/she is not registered and, therefore, does not have all the rights and privileges of a registered student and should be aware of the following consequences:

  1. Financial Aid & Scholarships Office - A student is not eligible for any financial aid disbursements during the semesters while on leave of absence. A student on a leave of absence can be reported to lenders and loan service agencies as "non-attending" and may need to contact his/her lenders for information on possible repayment requirements, deferments and forbearances.
  2. Enrollment verification requests - Enrollment verifications for other entities, such as parents' health or auto insurance companies, will also be reported as "non-attending."
  3. Campus health - A student on a leave of absence for a particular semester is not registered for any credit hours and, therefore, not eligible to use the Student Health and Wellness Service Office.
  4. Computing resources - A student on a leave of absence will not have access to computing resources, including computing labs. Students will be able to maintain their UMKC exchange email accounts.
  5. Other student services – A student on a leave of absence will not have access to any campus or university service that is usually available only for currently enrolled students.

Leave of Absence Appeal

A student who has been denied a leave of absence or a student who has been granted a leave of absence but believes that either the period of leave awarded or the conditions specified are unreasonable, shall have a right to appeal the decision. All leave of absences that originate in the academic units of Medicine, Law, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Dentistry must continue through that unit's administrative appeals process. The process for filing an appeal is defined below.

Process for Obtaining a Leave of Absence

  1. Schedule an appointment with your college/school to meet with an academic advisor or other designated administrator  to review the leave of absence application’s impact on the following issues:
    • Impact on progress toward degree.
    • Catalog year and status after leave of absence.
    • Previous semester’s academic standing at the time of the requested leave.
    • Transfer policies, incomplete grades, agency requirements (e.g., state licensing/certification) and other academic issues, if applicable.
    1. Requesting a change of major at the same time the leave of absence is being requested.
    2. Review the policy and complete the Request for Leave of Absence Request Form.  Forms are available online by visiting http://www.umkc.edu/registrar/forms.asp.  The deadline for applying for a leave of absence if the student has not been attending and is enrolled is no later than the fourth week of the semester.  Students who need to apply for a leave of absence during a semester for which they have been attending will have until the last week of classes for the current term in accordance with the academic calendar.
    3. Obtain the signature of the designated administrator in your college/school to approve the leave of absence.
    4. Schedule a meeting with the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office to meet with a financial aid counselor if you are receiving financial aid and/or scholarships for the term in which you want to apply for a Leave of Absence.
    5. Contact other offices, if applicable:
      • International Student Affairs Office - International students must receive mandatory advisement, including signature, from the International Student Affairs Office (ISAO) to discuss the impact of the leave of absence on their immigration status. An international student on an approved leave of absence must contact the ISAO prior to his/her return to UMKC to clear visa status and request appropriate immigration documents.
      • Financial Aid & Scholarships Office - Students who have received financial aid and/or scholarships should request information from the office about the impact a leave of absence has on current aid and future eligibility.  Students should specifically request information about possible deferments for scholarships and/or loans.
      • Cashier’s Office – Students who have outstanding balances on their accounts should talk with the Cashier’s Office about payment arrangements to ensure there will be no delinquencies, late charge or collections associated with their accounts during their extended leave of absence period.   Once a plan has been created, the Cashier’s Office will provide sign-off on the leave of absence form which is returned to the next appropriate office for processing. 
      • Residential Life - Students living on campus must formally petition to be released from their Residential Life License Agreement. If future housing is needed, students must reapply for housing during the return from leave of absence if applicable.
      • Campus Dining - Students with meal plans must formally apply for a release from their meal plan contract and should contact the Campus Dining sales office for further details.
      • Veterans’ Services - Students with veterans' educational benefits and/or students leaving the university due to a military activation should contact Veterans’ Services in the Registration & Records Office for information and assistance.
      • Parking Office - Students who purchased parking hangtags  should notify the office in writing and return the decal and gate access card (if applicable) prior to leaving, so that the appropriate prorated refund can be issued.
      • Campus Health & Counseling Services - Students on leave of absence are not eligible to purchase UMKC student health insurance. NOTE: A student covered under his/her parents' insurance policy most likely has to be a full-time student (enrolled in at least 12 credit hours) to qualify for coverage and should check with the appropriate company representative for further information.
      • Residency Classification - Students with questions about maintaining his or her current status or applying for reclassification should contact the residency coordinator in the Office of Admissions.
      • Fee Refunds Schedule – Students who request a Leave of Absence are subject to the established fee refund schedule.  Students who wish to petition for an exception to the refund policy will need to attach the form to their Leave of Absence Request.
  2. Submit the Request for Leave of Absence Form
    • Once all required signature(s) have been obtained, the application is returned to the Registration & Records Office for review/approval. The student may return the form in person or the form may be sent through campus mail by the student's advising office.
    • The student follows the established procedures for withdrawing if registered for the current term as well as the procedures for canceling any future term registrations during the requested leave of absence. Note: Students receiving financial aid must visit the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office for information on how withdrawal impacts their financial aid.
    • The student updates his or her mailing address on the Pathway system, if necessary.

UMKC’s Registration & Records Office Procedures for Processing a Leave of Absence

  1. Notify the student of the result of his or her leave of absence request in writing to their UMKC email address.
  2. Process the leave of absence request and note the expected return date in the Pathway system.
  3. Notify the Academic Unit of the student’s approved leave of absence and the semester the student is expected to return.

Leave of Absence Appeal Process

  1. All leave of absence appeals not originating from the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in the School of Graduate Studies , Schools of Medicine, Law, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Dentistry must be presented in writing to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (AVCSAEM) within five (5) working days of receipt of the leave of absence denial and contain the following information:
    • The reason(s) for the appeal including any hardships the leave of absence denial poses to the student’s future continued academic status.
    • Any additional evidence deemed necessary to reverse the original decision. 
  2. On receipt of a formal appeal, the AVCSAEM or designee will:
    • Acknowledge the receipt of the appeal within five (5) working days on receipt of the written leave of absence appeal.
    • Investigate the claims outlined in the appeal.
    • Notify the student, in writing, of the decision within five (5) working days of acknowledgement of the written appeal.
  3. The decision of the AVCSAEM or designee is final.
  4. If a student considers that they have been unfairly or improperly treated in the appeals process, they have the right to file a grievance with the appropriate officer as outlined in the University of Missouri Student Grievance policy, http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/rules/collected_rules/grievance/ch390/grievance_390.010.

Steps for Returning from a Leave of Absence

  1. A student should be physically, mentally and emotionally ready to return to school.
  2. At the time of return, a student must complete a Return from Leave of Absence Form and must be eligible to register for the term in which they want to register (e.g. no financial holds, no academic holds, no disciplinary holds, etc.).
  3. A student returning from a leave of absence that is earlier than the date originally agreed upon should provide notice to all applicable offices as soon as possible as noted on the Return from Leave of Absence Form.
  4. A student must meet all financial aid requirements as outlined by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office for the upcoming academic year or term for which the student is returning from their leave of absence.
  5. The Student Affairs Office in conjunction with the other offices that require signatures from a return from leave of absence will assist in identifying any outstanding issues associated with advising, registration, etc.
  6. The Registration & Records Office will send notification to the student's UMKC email address that their Leave of Absence has been processed.

The Leave of Absence policy is effective as of Summer 2010 and applies to all students, regardless of the catalog year the student entered the University.