Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence

Excelsior University will grant a leave of absence of up to one year to an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student who has a documented medical or extenuating personal reason that prohibits the student from progressing in their degree or certificate program. Leave may be current or retroactive.

Military service members who have been deployed for duty or training away from their regular duty stations and National Guard and Reserve personnel called to federal active duty for 21 or more consecutive days may have their enrollment expiration date extended, or their enrollment reactivated commensurate with the amount of time they served in support of these operations.

A leave of absence will extend the maximum program completion time by up to one year. See the policy on Time Limit for Academic Programs Completion for additional details on program completion time limits.

Are Exceptions of Policy Allowed?

Yes. Students can appeal to the Office of the Ombudsperson.


To request a leave of absence, a student will submit a request to the ombudsperson.

  1. For a medical leave of absence, the student request must be accompanied by a letter from a medical professional. The letter must be on official letterhead and include the diagnosis, the limitations it imposes on the individual, and an estimation of the time required for recovery. Excelsior University reserves the right to verify qualifications of the certifying professionals.
  2. For a personal leave of absence, the student request must be accompanied by official documentation supporting the need for the leave.
  3. For a military leave of absence, students should submit either a copy of their deployment orders or a “signed” verification letter on official letterhead from their Education Service Officer or Commanding Officer certifying the dates and the length of deployment (temporary duty) or training.

Documentation should be sent to the ombudsperson in one of the following ways:

  1. Message Center-Ombudsperson
  2. Email: ombudsperson@excelsior.edu
  3. Mail:
    Ombudsperson Office
    Excelsior University
    7 Columbia Circle
    Albany, NY 12203-5159
  4. Fax: 518-464-8777

The ombudsperson will decide whether to grant the leave and will notify the student of the decision and the length of their leave (if granted).

A student placed on a leave of absence is not eligible to receive student services (e.g., advisement, transcript evaluation, course approval).