Personal Leave of Absence

If you want or need to pause your studies temporarily for personal reasons unrelated to health, you can request a personal leave by completing the change of status form and returning it to your department/DGS for signing. 

If you are on a Yale-sponsored visa, you should reach out to OISS to see how a leave will impact your immigration status.

While on an approved leave, you retain your Yale email and VPN access, but your ID is deactivated.

Normally, students in PhD programs are not eligible for personal leaves after the fourth year of study. 

Health Coverage

Student coverage at Yale Health ends on the effective date of the leave, but if you wish to remain covered by Yale Health, then you must enroll in student affiliate coverage within 30 days via the Student Enrollment Change Application Form. There is no requirement to retain Yale Health coverage while you are on leave; many students choose other forms of medical insurance. 

GSAS students taking personal leaves self-pay for student affiliate coverage. PhD students on personal leave do not receive a health award from the Graduate School to pay for affiliate coverage.

Returning from a Personal Leave

Students may only return from leave at the start of each term. Occasionally, PhD students may be able to return on June 1 with the permission of their program and the Graduate School. It’s essential that you request your return early, so that your registration and return to Yale student health coverage can be processed in time.

To return, you must email your DGS and to inform us of your plans six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which you expect to return. The Graduate School will approve your return via a formal approval email.

Extending a Personal Leave

If you are on a personal leave and have one or more leave semesters still available to use, you can extend your leave by emailing your DGS and six weeks prior to the expiration of your leave to request an extension.

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