Students decide to take time away from school for a multitude of personal, professional, health, and/or academic reasons. You can read more below about the different time away categories at Tufts, which are overseen by different departments. If you're not sure which category might make the most sense for you, reach out to Student Support ( and we'll help you find the right fit.

We understand that not all situations and circumstances are the same. Tufts handles each instance of time away on a case-by-case basis to provide students with individualized attention aimed at fostering long-term success at the University. The appropriate point person in Student Support, Advising (Liberal Arts BA/BS, Liberal Arts BFA, or Engineering), or your graduate department will help you navigate this process.

International Students: Please note that all time away must also be coordinated with the International Center.

Medical Leave

If a health condition is prompting you to consider taking a break from school, talk to Student Support about a medical leave. Student Support oversees that process and can talk through possible next steps with you. 

Learn More about Medical Leaves

Personal Leave

Students can take personal leave for many reasons, including work, travel, family matters, non-academic programs or opportunities, or simply to gain a sense of direction. Advising deans oversee this process for undergraduate students, and academic departments oversee this process for graduate students. 

Many students considering personal leaves benefit from talking to Student Support, too. Student Support routinely talks to students about topics relevant to personal leaves, such as family concerns, financial challenges, housing or food insecurity, feelings of fear or uncertainty, and personal decision-making in general. 

Learn More about Personal Leaves

Parental Leave (Graduate Students)

Graduate students can apply for a parental leave for one semester (fall or spring) for the birth or adoption of a child. You must be your child’s primary caregiver during the time of the leave. If granted, parental leave will not be counted toward your time to degree. Stipends will not be paid during a parental leave.

Learn More about Parental Leaves