Leave of Absence

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Each student is expected to complete the baccalaureate degree by attending Lehigh for four consecutive academic years. Throughout their education, if students choose to take some time away from Lehigh for any reason, they can request a leave of absence. Students requesting a Leave of Absence should contact the Associate Dean of Students Office as soon as possible. After talking with staff in the Dean of Students Office, students must submit a petition (PDF) to the SOS Committee for a Leave of Absence.

Download Leave of Absence form

The form must be signed by the student's faculty adviser, associate dean of the college and the completed form must be submitted prior to the start of any subsequent enrollment at another college or university. Students wishing to take courses while they are away must also complete the Transfer of Credit Form. Please visit the Registrar's web site for the complete policy on Leaves of Absence and Transfer of Credits "Any student who is uncertain about attending a future fall or spring term at Lehigh University is urged to discuss the matter with the Associate Dean of Students prior to taking any action to withdraw or attend another college or university." Students may take courses at another institution during a summer term without requesting an academic leave of absence. Check with the Registrar's Office for limitations and processes for transfer course approval.

Important information for all students requesting a Leave of Absence (LOA)

Confirmation regarding your approved LOA will be mailed to the address noted on your LOA Petition Form.  Along with the notice is a letter containing all the information listed here.

Please be sure to keep in touch with the Financial Assistance Office (610-758-3181) if financial aid is an issue. They can answer questions regarding repayment of student loans and help you maintain appropriate paperwork for aid when you return.  All bill payment issues including any refund of current payments can be directed to Lehigh’s Bursar’s Office (610-758-3160). Please note that if you are interested in on-campus housing upon your return, you are not eligible for the lottery if you are absent during the spring semester. Similarly you are not guaranteed your same residence hall room if you are absent during the fall semester.  However, Housing Services is committed to working closely with you regarding your housing options and preferences. Please contact Ms. Christina Bell in Housing Services (610-758-3500) with all housing questions.

As indicated on your LOA Petition Form, all requests for transfer credits taken during your LOA must be submitted to the Registration & Academic Services Office before classes begin.  Read more information regarding the transfer credit process.

Due to important policies and procedures, students not actively enrolled are not entitled to computer access and library access.  We do, however, realize how important communication with Lehigh is during this time away.  Therefore, your campus email account will remain open during the official extension of your LOA.  You can also access your academic information in Banner using your LIN and PIN through the secure log-in on the Registration & Academic Services Office website.

Before you can register for your returning semester of classes, you must complete the readmission form.  So that you can register for classes during the normal registration time period, you must complete the form before the 10th week of the semester before you want to return (October or March 15th).  It takes a week for us to process your return.  Although we will do all we can to help you as soon as possible, we cannot guarantee that you will have active status for registration if you miss that deadline.

To access all registration information, you will need to access Banner by using your LIN and PIN through the secure log-in on the Registration & Academic Services Office website: You will not be able to use your portal account as you have in the past.  You will, however, have access to everything you need.

Questions regarding the Leave of Absence should be directed to Dean Lori McClaind lob3@lehigh.edu (610-758-4159).