Voluntary Academic Leave

UBC students in good academic standing may, in most programs, take an academic leave (time away from UBC studies). There are different rules for returning to studies, depending on how long you are away or how many times you take academic leave.


Voluntary academic leave

If you leave the Faculty of Arts at UBC in good academic standing, you can take an academic leave of up to one year and will be automatically assigned an Eligibility to Return status on your account for the following academic year.

If you leave the Faculty of Arts at UBC in good academic standing and take more than a year away from your degree, you must apply for readmission through the “admissions” tab in the Student Service Centre (SSC). Admission is not competitive if you left in good standing.

If you leave the Faculty of Arts at UBC in good academic standing, return to UBC for a year, and then take a another academic leave, you must apply for readmission through the “admissions” tab in the Student Service Centre (SSC). Admission is not competitive if you left in good standing.

Before you leave

  1. Review UBC’s policy on academic leave
  2. Talk to an academic or departmental advisor for program-specific requirements
  3. Check with an Enrolment Services Advisor to see if taking a break will affect your financial assistance or awards

If you study elsewhere

If you plan to study at another institution while you are on academic leave, you must get a Letter of Permission from UBC to have your credits applied to your UBC degree.

Readmission deadline

May 15 is the readmission deadline for a second voluntary academic or a leave that spans more than one year.

Academic leave for international students in good standing

UBC announced a new authorized leave option for UBC international students to show they have taken time away from their studies during Winter Session 2022/23 but still maintain the conditions of their study permit and eligibility for the post-graduation work permit program.

This leave enables international students in good academic standing to take up to a year away from studies without having to reapply for admission. If you want to prove to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that you were on an authorized leave, you can now request an official letter that documents your leave details.

To request your authorized leave and letter, please complete this form. Your Campus Wide Login (CWL) will be required. If your request meets all eligibility requirements, you will receive your authorized letter in 2-4 weeks.

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