Personal Leave

Undergraduate and graduate students may take a personal leave for many reasons, including travel, to participate in a non-academic program, attend to a family crisis, or to gain a sense of direction.

Undergraduates are allowed up to four semesters away from campus, total, in the course of completing their degrees. This includes personal leave, semesters of required withdrawal, or absences without formal leave. The limit of four semesters does not include study abroad, leave for domestic Study Elsewhere, leave for military or religious service, or medical leave. After an absence of a semester or longer, students must confer with the Advising Deans in order to return. A student who exceeds the limit of four semesters away from campus must apply for reinstatement.

  • If you are a graduate student interested in exploring a personal leave, please review the Leaves of Absence section of the Graduate Student Handbook and consult with your Director of Graduate Studies or Program Director.
  • If you are an undergraduate student interested in exploring a personal leave, please review the information below and consult with your Advising Dean for guidance (Liberal Arts BA/BS, Liberal Arts BFA, or Engineering).

How to Request a Personal Leave

Students can initiate a request for a personal leave of absence (ploa) or leave to study abroad through SIS. Beginning with a personal leave of absence for the spring 2022 semester, a re-enrollment fee to bind the undergraduate student’s plan to return will be assessed. This fee will be waived if the student initiates the personal leave before the deadline of June 26th  and October 26th for the fall and spring semesters, respectively. The fee will also be waived if the student has a fee waiver approved by the Council of Advising Deans on the basis of exceptional unplanned circumstances beyond their control, such as military service call up, family emergency, and the like. Students who are interested in applying for a fee waiver should contact their Advising Dean.  Deadlines for study abroad programs can be found on the Tufts Global Education pages. Once in SIS, select "Student Living" and select "Leave of Absence." A request for approval will be sent to your advising dean, graduate advisor, or the program abroad contact.

International Students: Please note that all medical and non-medical leaves of absence must also be coordinated with the International Center.

First-year Students: First-year undergraduate students who request a personal leave during the first semester will ordinarily be approved for return to Tufts after two years. Students with health issues or who experience a disruptive emergency should work with their dean about other appropriate options for time away from their studies. A personal leave approved for return to Tufts after two years will not count towards the 4 semester limit.

Academic Impact of a Personal Leave

The normal deadlines for withdrawing from classes apply after the start of the semester. You will be subject to normal criteria for Academic Alert and Probation (Liberal Arts BA/BS or Engineering) or Academic Warning and Probation (Liberal Arts BFA).

Incomplete Grades: Undergraduate students who take a personal or medical leave of absence or who have been required to withdraw from the University must complete all outstanding written work and exams to resolve all grades of Incomplete prior to being able to return for subsequent semesters. Learn more: Liberal Arts BA/BS, Liberal Arts BFA, and Engineering.

Financial Considerations of a Personal Leave

If you leave withdraw from your classes at any time during the first six weeks, you are eligible for reimbursement of a percentage of tuition, decreasing as each week passes. There is no reimbursement after the sixth week. If you receive financial aid, consult your financial aid counselor.

Academic Residence Requirements and a Personal Leave

If your official leave date falls after the tuition-reimbursement period, you may count that semester toward the residence requirement of eight semesters of full-time study.

Health Insurance and a Personal Leave

The student health insurance provided by Tufts University is in effect from August 20 through August 19 of the following year (12 months). Students enrolled in the student health insurance who take a personal leave after August 20 should contact studenthealthinsurance@tufts.edu to confirm student health insurance eligibility or reimbursement of the health insurance premium.