Taking a Leave of Absence

by UMaineCLASAdvisingCenter

Sometimes during a student’s college career, they need to take a break. It could be for personal reasons, or health reasons, or financial reasons. Truthfully, there are any number of reasons. But the time may come when a student needs to take a semester or two off from any and all academic pursuits and not take any coursework at any institution of higher learning, including the University of Maine. The official term for this break is a leave of absence, and this blog will explain the administrative process involved in taking one.

Basically, any student is allowed a leave of absence, but there are two requirements. First, during the time away, you are not allowed to be enrolled at any other college. If you’re taking classes elsewhere, then you’re not taking a leave of absence, you’re doing a study away. Secondly, you need to be in good academic and financial standing. That means, you can’t owe the university any money and you can’t be on academic probation. Provided you meet those two requirements, you shouldn’t run into any roadblocks.

The first thing you should do is go to the UMaine Forms website and choose the Undergraduate Leave of Absence Form. You’ll be prompted for a login and password. Always use the following:
Login – student
Password – blackbear
You’ll then be asked to select the option you’d like access to, so click on “Submit Leave of Absence Form.” That will take you to the online form, which you’ll then fill out. When you are finished, hit the “Send Email” button and you’re all set.

There are some more things to consider, though. First, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences recommends, if you are going to take a leave of absence, that you fill out the form before the semester starts. The reason for this is that once the semester starts, if you have attended any classes, even just one meeting of one class, you can no longer just do a leave of absence, you have to do a withdrawal. Also, if you are living on campus and have already moved into your dorm room, you will need to check with Student Housing about possible pro-rated charges (since you did live in the room for a time, even if just a day or two). And finally, when you are ready to return, it is your responsibility, before the semester starts, to contact: the Financial Aid office, to organize your finances; your college’s dean’s office, to get your registration material; and your advisor, to evaluate your progress and plan for the future. Also, if your leave of absence lasts longer than two semesters, you will have to contact Admissions and fill out a readmit form.

So, if you do need to take a leave of absence from classes, the University of Maine has a process in place that allows you to do it easily and with as little fuss as possible. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here at the CLAS Advising Center or go see your college’s dean’s office. They’ll be more than happy to help you through the process.