Semester Leave


Semester Leave

Once a student has enrolled for at least one semester, the student has the option of not enrolling for one semester. If a student opts not to enroll for one semester, no paperwork is required. Please note that newly enrolled students must attend for one semester before they are eligible for this semester leave. Also, students who are completing an RP are not eligible for semester leave.

Students who have attended one semester as a graduate student and are in good standing may leave SJSU for one semester (Fall or Spring) without applying for an official leave of absence. Students must return in the semester following the one semester leave or they will have to re-apply for admission. Students in good standing who re-apply within one year will be automatically admitted, and do not need to send transcripts. Summer registration is not required nor does it count as being in matriculation. (See “Follow University Registration Processes“) Note: Leaves do not impact, change, or extend the 7 year rule for completing the graduate degree.

Students wishing to take a leave of two or more semesters (fall/spring or spring/fall), should read the University Policy section on “Leave of Absence and Withdrawal“. (See Academic forms for a listing of all Office of the Registrar forms.)

If a student needs two or more consecutive semesters off, the student must submit a Leave Request prior to the start of the semester after a One Semester Leave. Fill out the Leave Request Form (online form). See tutorial below.

Extension of Existing Leave
A request for extension must be filed before the start of the semester following this leave period. The reasons for the extension must be the same as for the original leave. For a different reason, a new leave petition should be filed. The form is the same as the normal Leave Request Form, however, under “Special Leave Conditions” please select “Extension of existing leave.”

Retroactive Leave Request
If you were not able to file your petition before the deadline, you can submit a retroactive leave petition with documentation indicating an inability to apply in advance of the leave period. Please note that retroactive leave petitions are rarely granted. The form is the same as the normal Leave Request Form, however, under “Special Leave Conditions” please select “Retroactive leave.”

Early Return from Leave
For an early return from leave, it is your responsibility to notify the Office of the Registrar in writing.

If you have questions, please contact the Student Services Team.

Tutorial (MLIS, MARA, INFM, TL Credential, Certificate)

Before filling in this form, please consider the type of leave you are requesting and prepare the appropriate documentation:

  • Educational
    You must attach a personal statement describing the leave activity and how it will enhance your educational program. At least one letter of support from a university professor must be included.
  • Health-Related or Primary Caregiver
    You must attach a personal statement detailing the reason for your absence along with documentation that supports your request. Failure to provide enough detail may result in your request being returned to you. You must attach either medical documentation or the Healthcare Provider Verification of Medical Condition form. Divulgence of medical information is not required, but may be provided if desired.
  • Military
    If you have a copy of your military orders, you will need to attach a copy to the request. If you do not have them, a copy will be required upon your return.
  • Personal Hardship
    You must attach a personal statement indicating the nature of the hardship. In addition, please include supporting documentation (examples below):
    • Financial (Include bank statement, eviction notice, etc)
    • Increased work hours (check stubs, letter from your employer, etc)
    • Job relocation letter (letter from your employer)
    • Other
    You must include a plan by which you will bring yourself back to financial security or resolve the hardship. All documentation should be included in a single attachment as part of your personal statement.

Once you have prepared the proper documentation, proceed to the online form. (Do not use Safari to complete the form).

  1. Enter your personal information
  2. Answer the questions
    Things to note:
    • Students residing abroad are still considered special session students. Please select “No” for “Are you an international student”
    • Students completing an RP in INFO 289 are not eligible for leave. If you are in RP status, you will need to maintain continuous enrollment and cannot take leave.
  3. Select the number of terms you are requesting leave for
    Things to note:
    • Only count Fall and Spring terms.
    • Count from the first term you took leave. Even if you are filing the petition after your first semester leave, you need to count that first semester in the total terms you are requesting. (i.e. If you sat out Spring without paperwork and are filing the petition prior to take leave in Fall, you would still select “2” terms even if you plan to return that following Spring)
    • Minimum number of terms is 2. You do not need to file a petition to sit out one semester
  4. Select the type of leave you are requesting
    Leave Type
  5. Special Leave Conditions. Unless you are requesting an extension of existing leave or retroactive leave, please select “None of the above”
  6. Select the term you are requesting to begin leave and return from leave. (If you’ve already sat out one semester, indicate that term as your leave of absence start term.)
    Leave Start Return
  7. Enter Department Chair Name and Email:
    • Department Chair or Designee Name: Linda Main pp Anthony Chow
    • Department Chair or Designee Email:
  8. Complete and submit form Submit