Leaves of Absence

7317108038_f6e0ec7c82_nLeaves of absence are generally discouraged. If a student in good standing and making satisfactory progress toward a degree must interrupt studies for an approved reason (e.g., approved study abroad*, sustained ill health), he/she may petition for a Leave, usually not to exceed one year. Students who need to be excused from registration must request a leave of absence by the last day to add or drop courses. This date is the last day to drop and add regular session courses and applies to students taking weekly and intensive courses.

Students who have failed to attempt coursework for at least one semester within an academic year without filing a Leave of Absence Form may have their Program of Study (degree objective) expired and will need to reapply.

*USC Study Abroad programs do not require a leave of absence.

Process for Requesting a Leave of Absence

The process for requesting a leave of absence follows these steps:

  • Students submit a USC Price Master’s Petition (PDF, for master’s students), or a USC Price Doctoral Petition (PDF, for doctoral students), or a Undergraduate Leave of Absence Form, which is available in the Undergraduate Leave of Absence Handbook to their appropriate Student Services Advisor. Students must include the requested duration of and general reason for the leave. Students need not provide personal details.
  • The Student Services Advisor forwards the request to the appropriate degree director for approval.
  • The Student Services Advisor informs the student of the decision in writing.

International students must confer with the Office of International Students when requesting a leave of absence.

Additional Information

For additional information, go to the USC Catalogue. Graduate students, please go to the Graduate Students page in the Requirements for Graduation section of the USC Catalogue. Undergraduate students, please go to the Course Work Taken Elsewhere page in the USC Catalogue.