UW Graduate School

Memo 9: On-Leave Policy to Maintain Graduate Student Status

To maintain graduate status, a student must be enrolled on a full-time, part-time, or official on-leave basis from the time of first enrollment in the Graduate School until completion of all requirements for the graduate degree. (Summer quarter on-leave enrollment is automatic for all graduate students who were either registered or officially on-leave during the prior spring quarter.) Failure to maintain either continuous enrollment or on-leave status constitutes evidence that the student has resigned from the Graduate School.

To be eligible for on-leave status, a student must be registered for at least one quarter as a graduate student at the University of Washington immediately prior to going on leave. Eligible international students will be required to consult with International Student Services regarding their immigration status prior to final approval. Students must request this leave on a quarterly basis and pay a non-refundable, quarterly fee. Additionally, a student should be in good academic standing unless on an official probation status as per Memo 16.

On-leave status entitles students to use the University libraries and maintain access to their email accounts. They are not entitled to extensive faculty and staff counsel, examinations of any type (except for language competency), thesis/dissertation filing, appointments as Academic Student Employees, University housing, student insurance, or any form of financial assistance. Students may use the Hall Health Primary Care Center on a pay-for-service basis and can pay to use the IMA.

Any student who has registered for a quarter may not submit a petition for on-leave status for that specific quarter unless they officially withdraw from all courses before the first day of that quarter. Students who have been registered for even one day of a quarter are deemed to have status for the quarter and will be eligible to register for classes or apply for on-leave for the following quarter (spring enables registration for summer or autumn); the student’s email account will be active for the quarter, but library privileges will not be maintained once courses are dropped.

If a student who is in on-leave status registers in any other status, i.e. Non-Matriculated or Graduate Non-Matriculated, it will terminate their official on-leave status for that quarter, even if the student subsequently drops those courses.

Reinstatement to the Graduate School if On-Leave Status was Not Secured and Registration Not Maintained

Students previously registered in the Graduate School who have failed to maintain graduate student status but wish to resume studies within the same degree program must file a request for reinstatement to the Graduate School. Requests will first be reviewed and approved by the department. Once the department has approved the request and the Graduate School has confirmed students’ eligibility for reinstatement, students will be notified to pay a non-refundable reinstatement fee before registering for the requested quarter of reinstatement.

Time to Degree and Limits for On-Leave Status

The Graduate School allows six years to complete requirements for a master’s degree and 10 years for doctoral degree. Periods spent on leave or out of status are included in these limits.


Revised: November 2021