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Educational Leave

If you need to take a temporary leave of absence from CSULB—meaning you will not take any classes during a fall or spring semester—you need to officially apply for a leave of absence (either an Educational Leave or a Military Leave). For details about each type of leave as well as eligibility requirements and how to apply, use the menu to the right or scroll below.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement:

Once admitted to CSULB, all students must complete at least one class and earn unit(s) every consecutive fall and spring semester unless approved to take a leave of absence. This is called continuous enrollment. If you do not maintain continuous enrollment before your graduation date, you may be discontinued from CSULB and be unable to register when you are ready to return. Discontinued students will need to reapply to the university and follow the degree requirements of their new year of admittance instead of their original requirements.

For policy details, please refer to CSULB Policy Statement 21-12 and the California Code of Regulations (“Election of Regulations”).


Eligibility and Duration

Students may take an educational leave for personal, educational, financial, medical, or other reasons. If you need to take an educational leave, you will need to explain your reason(s) for the leave. You are eligible to apply for an educational leave if you:

  • Completed at least one semester of coursework at CSULB (fall or spring)
  • Previously earned units at CSULB
  • Have not applied to graduate in the semester of your requested leave
  • Are not enrolled in classes at CSULB (or another CSU) in the semester of your requested leave
  • Have not been academically disqualified or had a previous break in enrollment

You may request to take an educational leave for one or two semesters. If needed and if you remain eligible, while on leave, you may request to extend your leave. Under no circumstances will the total number of approved educational leaves exceed two, nor will the duration of approved educational leaves extend beyond two calendar years.

Military Leave

Students called to active military services may take an extended military leave for up to a maximum of five years due to approved educational reasons and for circumstances beyond a student’s control.

  • Requests for military leave must be accompanied by a copy of military orders indicating the induction date
  • CSULB will approve a military leave for students called for active military service as a result of mobilization of U.S. military reserves
  • In the case of students called for active military service, CSULB will authorize withdrawals throughout the term

For additional information, assistance with dropping current classes and other processing, contact Veterans Services.

Educational Leave Workshops

If you are considering an educational leave, please attend an Educational Leave Workshop to learn more about the requirements, how to apply, and address any questions you may have.


How to Request an Educational or Military Leave

If you need to take an educational or military leave, you must submit your request by the appropriate deadline. Your request will include your reason(s) for seeking the leave and the term you plan to return to CSULB. Eligible students can submit requests for an educational or military leave in MyCSULB Student Center.

Instructions

  1. Log in to MyCSULB Student Center. In the Academics section, select Enrollment Adjustments.

Academics menu in MyCSULB Student Center with Enrollment Adjustments link selected

  1. Select Leave of Absence.

Enrollment Adjustments section with Leave of Absence link selected

  1. Select Create New Request to start a new request.
  2. Review the information and then select Next.
  3. Choose the type of request (Educational Leave or Military Leave) and then select Next to continue.
  4. Select the term you plan to return to CSULB. In the Category dropdown menu, select the reason for your educational leave. Provide a personal statement that explains your reason(s) for seeking the leave.

Leave of Absence request details form for anticipated return term, category, and reason for request

  1. When you’re finished, select Submit to send your request for approval.

Your request will automatically be sent to the required approvers. You’ll receive an email once your request has been processed. You can check the status of your request at any time by returning to the Leave of Absence page in MyCSULB Student Center.

Financial Aid Recipients

If you are a financial aid recipient and your request to take an educational leave is approved, please notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships office so that your financial aid can be re-awarded based on your actual expected enrollment.

When you are enrolled less than half-time, the grace period on your student loans will begin. If you do not enroll at least half-time before the end of your grace period, your loans will enter repayment.

International Students

If you are an international degree-seeking student, contact the Center for International Education before you request an educational leave.


Returning from an Educational Leave

When you request an educational leave, you are required to provide the semester you plan to return to CSULB. Before that semester begins, Enrollment Services will email you with information about registering for your classes.

If you are a financial aid recipient, be sure to meet all financial aid deadlines for the semester you plan to return.

Make sure that your contact information is correct in MyCSULB Student Center so that you don’t miss any important notifications.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is an educational leave?

If you need to take a temporary leave of absence from CSULB and not take any classes during a particular fall or spring semester, you need to apply for an educational leave. 

What reasons are there for taking an educational leave?

Students may take an educational leave for personal, educational, financial, medical, or other reasons. If you need to take an educational leave, you’ll need to explain your reason(s) for the leave when you submit your request.

Why am I ineligible for an educational leave?

You may be ineligible to take an educational leave if you:

  • Have not completed at least one semester at CSULB (fall or spring)
  • Have not earned any units at CSULB
  • Are planning to graduate the same semester you are requesting an educational leave
  • Are enrolled during the semester you are requesting an educational leave
  • Missed the deadline to apply for an educational leave for the intended semester
  • Already took the maximum number of leaves (two)
  • Are academically disqualified or had a previous break in enrollment

What happens after I submit my request?

Your request will automatically be sent to the required approvers. You will receive an email once your request has been processed.

If you’re a postbaccalaureate student, your request will be sent to your graduate advisor for approval before it can be processed.

When is the deadline to request a leave?

The deadline to request an educational leave is the last day of the semester preceding the intended leave. For example, if you are requesting to take a leave of absence during the fall semester, your request must be submitted by the last day of the spring semester. See Key Dates and Deadlines for exact dates.

After deadlines have passed, requests are considered by exception only and a $10 missed deadline fee is required to submit your request, regardless of the outcome. Late requests will only be considered until the last day of the semester you are taking the leave.

What happens when my leave is approved?

You will receive an email once your request has been processed. If approved, you will not be able to register for classes during the semester(s) you are on leave. In addition, no computer facilities, no library privileges, and no student services are available to a student on educational leave.

Why was my leave denied?

In MyCSULB Student Center, select Enrollment Adjustments and then select Leave of Absence. Any previous requests will be listed on that page. The reason your request was denied will be included in your request details.

How long can I go on educational leave?

You may request to take an educational leave for one or two semesters. If needed, while on leave, you may request to extend your leave if eligible. Under no circumstances will the total number of approved educational leaves exceed two, nor will the duration of approved educational leaves extend beyond two calendar years.

Can I take classes at another school during my leave?

While on educational leave, you may not attend another CSU campus. CSULB students who want to attend classes at another CSU institution must meet the eligibility criteria and submit the Concurrent and Visitor Enrollment Form to the Office of Enrollment Services.

What happens to my financial aid while I’m on educational leave?

If you are a financial aid recipient and your request to take an educational leave is approved, please notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships office so that your financial aid can be re-awarded based on your actual expected enrollment.

When you are enrolled less than half-time, the grace period on your student loans will begin. If you don’t enroll at least half-time before the end of your grace period, your loans will enter repayment.

Do I need to drop my classes before I can request an educational leave?

Yes, you will need to drop all of your classes for the intended semester of leave before you can submit your request. You cannot request an educational leave for a semester where you have already enrolled in classes.

If you’re still enrolled in classes after the deadline to drop for the semester, you’ll need to request to withdraw from your classes. If you receive approval to withdraw from your classes, you’ll receive W grades and will not need to complete an educational leave for that term. Only request an educational leave if you are applying for a leave for a current or future term for which you have not received any grades (including Ws).

Can I apply for an educational leave during my first semester at CSULB?

Newly admitted students are not eligible to take an educational leave. Any new student who wishes to withdraw from their first term must reapply to the university.

Students may take an educational leave during their second semester at CSULB. However, because you must have earned units at CSULB to be eligible, you will not be able to submit a request until final grades have been processed at the end of the semester.

Can I extend my leave?

While you are taking an educational leave, you may be eligible to extend your leave if needed. To extend your leave, log in to MyCSULB Student Center. Then, select Enrollment Adjustments and Leave of Absence. Your current leave information will be listed on that page. If you are eligible, you’ll have the option to extend your request.

Under no circumstances will the total number of approved educational leaves exceed two, nor will the duration of approved educational leaves extend beyond two calendar years.

Can I cancel my leave of absence?

If your request has not yet been approved, you may be able to cancel your request in MyCSULB Student Center. If your request has already been processed, you will need to send an email to ES-Registration@csulb.edu to request that your leave be canceled so that you can register.

What if I’m on academic probation?

If you are on academic probation but otherwise eligible, you may request to take an educational leave. However, if you are subsequently disqualified, your approved leave will be revoked.

What if I have applied to graduate already?

You are not eligible to take an educational leave during the same semester you have applied to graduate. If you’re eligible to change your graduation term, you may follow the instructions to request a change:

Do I need to apply for leave if I am not taking classes in the summer or winter terms?

No. You only need to apply for an educational leave if you will not enroll in any classes for a particular fall or spring semester.