Students considering an Academic Leave of Absence must contact an Academic and Finance Advisor to discuss strategies to help them continue their studies prior to requesting an ALOA.
Students who require an ALOA, and who are not eligible for a military leave of absence, must complete a Request for Leave of Absence form, available in the Student Portal on the Student Programs page. The request is submitted for approval to the Academic Liaison, who is responsible for determining if the student is eligible for a leave. Not all requests will be approved, additional documentation may be required, and all Leave of Absence decisions are final.
When a Leave request is approved, the Academic Liaison notifies the student, faculty and Faculty Services (if the student is in an active course), Academic and Finance Advisor, Registrar, and Student & Financial Services. At that time, the Academic Liaison specifies the length of time approved for the ALOA, and the course start date on which a student must start the next course after the approved ALOA return date.
A student who is in an active course at the time he or she is granted an academic leave of absence (ALOA) receives a “W” (Withdrawn) grade provided the request is made on or before the last day to withdraw from the course. Otherwise a letter grade, based on course work completed to date will be given.
Length of Leave
The permissible length of each ALOA is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Office of the Registrar. Calendar days are used to calculate the length of time a student spends on ALOA, and the maximum number of calendar days permissible in any case is 90 per ALOA. The allowed length of the ALOA will be determined during the approval process by the Academic Liaison based on the circumstances of each leave requested.
The date specified as the beginning date of the Academic Leave of Absence is the date the student submits the request for leave. However, the total amount of time on leave covers the student’s total time out of attendance. Therefore, the total amount of time on leave is calculated from the day following the student’s last date of attendance (LDA).
Regardless of whether the ALOA begins while a student is in a course or in between courses, the maximum allowable time out of a course is 90 days. The student must return from their ALOA on a start date such that the 90-day leave limit is not exceeded. Back-to-back requests that comprise more than 90 days of leave total are not permitted. Leave of absences are restricted to no more than 180 days in a rolling calendar year.
Time spent on ALOA counts toward program length and is included when determining if a student can complete their degree program within the maximum time limits.
Number of Leaves
As of the effective date of this ALOA policy, the number of leaves a student may take during the total duration of their program depends on the program:
- Students in a certificate program may take one ALOA
- Students in a Master’s Degree program may take up to two ALOAs
- Students in a Doctoral Degree program may take up to three ALOAs
- The total number of ALOAs approved for undergraduate students is evaluated on a case-by-case basis
No leaves are permitted for students in non-degree programs.
Access to University Resources During Leave
Students on leave do not maintain access to faculty, the online courseroom, or the Academic Success Center coaching service. Access to other university resources such as the NCU Library may also be limited while a student is on leave.
When doctoral candidates are not actively enrolled in a course, they have limited communication with NCU support staff and may not engage in certain activities related to their research. Specifically, doctoral candidates must be actively enrolled in a course to have contact with their dissertation chair. Doctoral candidates must also be actively enrolled in a dissertation course with NCU in order to recruit, obtain informed consent, have any contact with participants, or perform data collection f their Institutional Review Board (IRB) application has been approved.
Return from Leave
Students returning from ALOA remain in the degree program in which they were enrolled at the time the ALOA was approved.
Students who do not vest into the eighth day of the returning course immediately following the date of return from leave will be administratively withdrawn from the University. It is the responsibility of the student to work with his or her Academic and Finance Advisor to begin a course on or before the date specified as the date of return from leave.