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Leaves and Absences


If you decide to go on leave, we’ve got you covered.

Occasionally, students may miss classes for a short or long period of time. The Student Excused Absence Policy helps explain resources and support for students who miss classes.

Students enrolled at Clark University are expected to maintain continuous enrollment, with the exception of the summer break. However, we understand that it sometimes may be necessary or desirable to take a leave of absence for a period of time. Undergraduate Students who are thinking of taking a leave of absence should contact the Division of Student Success, by phone at 1-508-793-7423 or via email at Graduate Students who are looking to take a leave of absence should work with their academic program.

A leave of absence is granted for one semester at a time. Students may take a leave of absence for up to three consecutive semesters. Approximately mid-way through the prior semester, the Division of Student Success will reach out to ask students on leave about their intentions for the upcoming semester through what we call the Leave of Absence intentions process. Students must communicate with the Division of Student Success to extend their leave each semester through this process. If the student has not returned to Clark University after three consecutive semesters, they will also be withdrawn administratively from Clark. (Total number of leave semesters can be more than three semesters. The three-semester limit is only for consecutive semesters.) A student who is granted a voluntary leave while on academic and/or disciplinary status will return to that same status. Consult your academic advisor as well as other offices directly, including Financial Assistance and Student Accounts, to discuss implications of taking a leave of absence.

Clark still communicates with students who are on leaves of absence! When you complete a leave of absence form, we will collect your Clark email address and your cell phone number. We use that contact information to make students aware of important deadlines while they are away and to obtain their intentions for the following semester. To opt out of cell phone communication regarding leaves of absences, please email the Division of Student Success at

Students may take leaves of absence effective for their current semester up until the last day of classes. However, the date when a student takes a leave of absence impacts if a student receives a refund and the amount of refund. The refund schedule can be found on the Student Accounts website, and students should connect with Student Accounts and Financial Assistance regarding further questions. Students living in on-campus housing who take a leave of absence will generally have about 48 hours after submitting their leave of absence request to complete move their belongings and themselves out of their on-campus housing assignment.

Additionally, if students take a leave of absence effective for their current semester after the 11th week of the semester, they will be required to take a leave for the following semester as well as we find that only a few weeks of effective leave is not sufficient for students to address the underlying causes for their leave. Students may appeal this requirement through a petition to the Division of Student Success which will be evaluated by a committee. Questions about petitions should be directed to

If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, your visa may require that you be a full-time student. If you take a leave of absence, you will no longer meet that requirement. You must obtain authorization from the International Students and Scholars Office at before you take a leave of absence.

Leaves for the purpose of studying abroad or away are arranged through the Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs.

If a medical condition has precipitated your need for a leave of absence, you may apply to take a medical leave of absence. To do so, read the Medical Leave of Absence Policy and then schedule a meeting with the Division of Student Success.

The University recognizes that, for various reasons, students may want to interrupt their enrollment at Clark to take some time off and may request a temporary separation from the University. To request a voluntary leave of absence, contact the Division of Student Success. You will also be asked to complete a request for a leave of absence after your meeting.

To return from a leave of absence, contact the Division of Student Success at or call 1-508-793-7423. It is not necessary to reapply for admission to return to active status from leave status, but you must inform Student Success in writing of your plan to re-enroll.

In the semester during which you are on leave, Student Success will send an email to your Clark email address asking you to indicate whether you plan to return, request an extension of your leave, or notify us that you are withdrawing. Responding to this email serves as the required written notification of your intent to return to active status or to extend your leave. Responding to the email will ensure that you get the appropriate information to facilitate your enrollment. Failure to respond results in being withdrawn from the University.

Students returning from a medical leave of absence also will need to complete the following forms:

When you take a leave of absence, your course selection for the coming semester is automatically canceled. After you notify us that you are returning, reach out to your faculty advisor to discuss class registration. If you are unable to contact your faculty advisor, contact Academic Advising at 1-508-793-7468 or

Undergraduate students who decide to leave Clark permanently or to not return to Clark should contact the Division of Student Success. Graduate students who are looking to no longer be a student at Clark should contact their academic programs directly. We will provide you with the appropriate instructions for withdrawing from the University.

Contact Information

Office of Academic Support and Care

Office Location
  • Academic Commons
    Goddard Library, 1st Floor
    Suite 104
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

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