Leave of Absence

Students not engaged primarily in degree work are considered on Leave of Absence. Leaves of Absence fall into two categories:

While on Leave of Absence

  • Students on leave of absence, like registered students, are expected to maintain a satisfactory standard of conduct.
  • If instructed by the GSAS dean for student affairs, a student on leave must remain away from the University campus and may not participate in any University activities.
  • The Registrar’s Office calculation of graduate-year (G-Year) does not stop while the student is on a leave of absence. Students may request a G-Year adjustment through their academic program administrator or graduate program coordinator.
  • Students who take a leave of absence are charged tuition and any applicable fees, including rent, while they are on leave (see chart below). GSAS tuition grants are usually not available to students on leave.
  • Students may not reside in GSAS residence halls while on a leave of absence. Current residents must notify the Office of Residential Life (gsasreslife@fas.harvard.edu/617-495-5060) within 5 days of their leave of absence being approved.
  • Students on leave who pay the facilities fee retain their student identification card, email access, and the use of University facilities.
  • Repayment of educational loans cannot be deferred while on leave unless the student is registered at another school. Existing student loans may go into loan repayment during leave.
  • Students on a leave of absence may apply for and receive a degree, however, they must pay the facilities fee during their final term of enrollment prior to conferral of their degree.

Financial Obligations While on Leave of Absence 2020-2021

Facilities Fee

Required for full access to Harvard Library resources

$1,636 (per term)

Active File Fee

Charge for non-resident status without access to Harvard Library resources

   $150 (per term)


See a complete description of Harvard Library access for non-resident students in the non-resident students section.

Health Insurance

The date a student goes on leave will affect the student's health insurance through Harvard as outlined in the HUHS Leave of Absence/Withdrawal policy.


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Office of Student Affairs
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center
1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 350
Cambridge, MA 02138

Policy Forms

Application for Leave of Absence