Leaves of Absence and Academic Concerns

a student walks across Mentors' Circle

Leaves of Absence and Academic Concerns


We understand that life does not always go according to plan. If you need to take a temporary break from your studies, the University of Delaware is here to help. Our goal is to ensure you connect with the office that can best assist you in making an informed decision and in understanding the implications of taking a leave. Below are some options for your consideration.

Additionally, we offer support when circumstances unfairly impact your academic experience. On this page, you will find information about filing an academic grievance.

Absence Type Situation Duration Office to Assist Email
Excused Short-term need to miss class, according to UD's Class Attendance Policy 1 Day–2 Weeks Your Academic Assistant Dean Your Academic Assistant Dean
Medical Leave  Medical condition for which you need to take time away from classes to seek treatment Full/Remainder of Semester Case Management & Student Advocacy deanofstudents@udel.edu
Military Leave Orders for active military duty Full/Remainder of Semester Case Management & Student Advocacy vabenefits@udel.edu
Educational Leave Opportunity to engage in activities related to your educational objectives Full/Remainder of Semester Your Academic Assistant Dean Your Academic Assistant Dean
Personal Leave Personal reason Full/Remainder of Semester Your Academic Assistant Dean Your Academic Assistant Dean
Withdrawal Do not wish to return to UD Full/Remainder of Semester Your Academic Assistant Dean Your Academic Assistant Dean

Excused Absence

One Day to Two Weeks

UD recognizes that unforeseen circumstances may require that you miss class. An excused absence allows you to do so without negatively impacting your attendance record or incurring penalties. 

Valid reasons for excused absences include documented illness, family emergencies, religious observances and University-approved activities. Please view the UD Class Attendance policy for the complete list and detailed regulations. 

For approval of an excused absence, contact the office of your Academic Assistant Dean.

Leave of Absence

More than Two Weeks to Duration of Semester

Leaves of absence can be related to your mental health, physical health, active military status, educational opportunities or personal reasons. Students who take a leave of absence are planning to return to UD. Most leaves of absences can only be taken for up to two consecutive semesters and require you to meet with a specific office. The office contacts for each type of leave are listed below.

Medical Leave

If you're an undergraduate student experiencing a medical condition that is negatively affecting your studies or are in need of additional treatment, you may consider a Medical Leave of Absence.

Our staff in Case Management & Student Advocacy will guide you through the process to take a leave of absence and support you as you prepare to return to campus following your leave.

If you are considering taking a medical leave, email deanofstudents@udel.edu to schedule a time to meet. Our staff will help you understand your options so you can make an informed decision about your wellbeing and academic journey.

  1. Complete the Leave of Absence Web Form and select "Medical" as the reason for leave.
    Note: In order to protect your privacy, please do not include any personal or health information in the comments field. You are welcome to leave this field blank.
  2. Provide a letter on letterhead stationery from your treating healthcare provider indicating your diagnosis and giving a recommendation for your medical leave.
    Email the letter directly to the staff member in our office who is helping you. If you are unsure to whom to send the letter, please email it to deanofstudents@udel.edu.
  1. Email the Case Management & Student Advocacy staff member who processed your medical leave of absence to let them know you would like to return to classes. Be sure to notify them at least four weeks prior to the start of the semester that you would like to return. If you are unsure who assisted you, you may email our office at deanofstudents@udel.edu.
  2. Our staff will respond with a blank "Provider Documentation Form." Request that your treating healthcare provider complete and return the form to our office via email to the staff member in Case Management & Student Advocacy (or they may email it to our office at deanofstudents@udel.edu). We recommend that you ask your provider to copy you on the form they submit so that you are aware that our office has received the information. 
  3. Once we receive the form, our staff will contact you to schedule a virtual meeting to discuss your transition back to UD. Once all steps are completed, the Dean of Students registration hold will be removed from your account.

Military Leave

A student ordered to active duty, under circumstances that preclude completion of a semester or session, will be allowed to take a leave of absence from the University for up to two consecutive semesters. 

For absences under two weeks, you can request an excused absence from your college or program’s Assistant Dean. Excused absences are at the discretion of your instructors and should be requested as soon as possible so that they can plan with you for material coverage.


  1. Submit the Leave of Absence Web Form and indicate the term in which your leave is for.
  2. Email a copy of your military orders to the Veteran Services Coordinator at vabenefits@udel.edu.


Special provisions of the University of Delaware Readmission Policy apply to students seeking readmission after performing military service. Enrolled military spouses who must move due to redeployment or relocation should consult with the assistant dean of their college before leaving the University.

Personal Leave

Personal leave gives you a breather while keeping your student status active so you can manage your priorities and return when you're ready. Reasons may include finances, family situations or exciting opportunities outside of academics—anything that requires your attention.

Request personal leave before the drop/add deadline for the term you will miss.

Educational Leave

Have an amazing opportunity related to your studies or degree program? You might be eligible for an educational leave of absence.

This option allows you to pursue enriching experiences such as diving deep into your field with hands-on research under expert guidance or immersing yourself in another culture's academics via study abroad programs.

Taking an educational leave helps you maximize your learning by pursuing unique opportunities that complement your program and maintain your student status so you can seamlessly return and continue your studies.


We also know that sometimes a student may need to officially withdraw from the University. This implies that you are not planning to return to UD.

For withdrawals, please contact the appropriate department as listed below for your enrollment status.

Graduate Students Mary Martin marym@udel.edu
Professional Continuing Studies Students Michelle Parnell access-advise@udel.edu
Undergraduate Students Academic Assistant Dean

Academic Concerns and Grievances

We understand feeling unhappy with a grade or faculty interaction. If you believe these factors unfairly impacted your academic experience, you can address the concerns according to UD’s Grade Grievance and Other Related Academic Complaints policy, detailed in section 3.1.10. 

We encourage you to first seek resolution by sharing your concern directly with your faculty member. If you are unable to find agreement or such a meeting with your faculty would be inappropriate, then you should email the chair of your faculty member’s department regarding your concern. If you are unsure who the department chair is, email us at deanofstudents@udel.edu. We are happy to assist by providing the appropriate contact information.

 If your concern is not resolved to the extent that you wish, additional steps and appeal processes are detailed in the Grade Grievance policy.