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Fall and winter semester enrollments at BYU are mandatory for each student while spring and summer enrollment is optional (for continuing students).
The leave of absence was specifically created for these mandatory fall and winter enrollments in case life happens and you are unable to attend one of these major semesters.
Here are the details about taking a leave of absence:
- You have to be a BYU day-time eligible student. Note: View your registration eligibility on the 'Register' tab in MyMAP. If your registration eligibility for the semester indicates “DC-Day Continuing”, you are day-time eligible.
- You can take a Leave of Absence for one major semester (fall or winter) per academic year without notifying the university as long as you come back to school the next major semester. You must have a current ecclesiastical endorsement.
Note: An academic year begins with fall semester and continues through the next summer term. Since spring and summer enrollments aren't mandatory, a leave of absence isn't necessary if you choose not to enroll.
- No paperwork is required to take a leave of absence (unless you discontinue after the add/drop deadline). Just plan on returning and registering for the major semester (fall/winter) following your leave of absence.
- Read the details under each heading below for information about special restrictions.
Newly Admitted Students
- New freshmen, transfer students, and former students must attend the semester or term they were admitted. (This means new students cannot take a leave of absence their first term or semester at BYU). If you want to try to change the semester or term you enter BYU, contact OneStop Student Services (801-422-4104) to see if you're eligible to request a change.
- International students need to contact the International Student Services office before taking a leave of absence.
- A leave of absence can be taken the semester immediately before a missionary deferment starts (consecutive semesters), as long as the semester you are absent isn't the first semester you were admitted (see Newly Admitted section above). Following your mission you have to enroll at BYU within a given time period, as noted here.
(Failure to follow the leave of absence policies could result in you having to reapply to the university.)
If you miss a major semester as a continuing student, just make sure you register for the next major semester within the applicable deadlines. If the system won’t let you register, here are some possible reason why:
- Ecclesiastical Endorsement: Ecclesiastical Endorsements are due each year between January 1 and March 15, so if you took your leave of absence during that time and didn't renew your endorsement, you will need to submit a new one. To complete this requirement, click the do it link on the 'complete ecclesiastical endorsement' task below.
- University Holds: You can check for any registration holds on your account by looking at the 'Summary' tab in MyMAP. Click here for an explanation of common registration holds.
- You missed more than one major semester. If you don't enroll in classes before the add/drop deadline of the semester immediately following your leave of absence, you will have to reapply for admission as a former student. Re-admission is NOT guaranteed.
If you attend another school during your leave of absence, remember to send an updated transcript to BYU so your credits can be applied to your BYU record. If you do not attend another school, your academic status will remain the same as it was when you took your leave of absence.
The university scholarship application deadline for spring/summer and fall/winter scholarships is March 1st regardless of BYU attendance. If you don't want to miss out on scholarships for when you return from your leave of absence, you will need to apply by March 1st. The application is online so you can apply from wherever you are.
Click the do it link on the 'apply for scholarships' task below to begin the application. The scholarship application for the next academic year will be available approximately mid-October.
During your leave of absence it's a good idea to continue checking your My Financial Center for important messages regarding your account. If the Health Plan Office or Financial Aid & Scholarships Office (or others) need to reach you while you're gone, they will send a message through My Financial Center YMessage.
You are ultimately responsible for reading your messages and taking action when necessary, even during your leave of absence.
Student loans have a repayment grace period of six months beginning on the date the borrower drops below half-time enrollment. If your leave of absence extends beyond six months (i.e. winter semester and spring term), your grace period ends and you will go into loan repayment.
The following indicates the minimum credit hours needed for the university to report a student as being at least half-time:
- Fall/Winter: 6 credits (undergraduate), 4.5 credits (graduate)
- Spring/Summer: 3 credits (undergraduate), 2.5 credits (graduate)
Click the do it link on the 'View Federal Loan Repayment' for more information.
If you are doing an internship and will be registered for an internship course in your major, it does not count as a Leave of Absence. (See intern.byu.edu to make sure you take the proper steps to register for an internship.) However, if your internship is not connected to a BYU internship course, and you will not be registered for any other credits, it will count as a Leave of Absence.
You are not eligible for student employment during the semester you take a leave of absence. Click the visit it link on the 'student employment office' task below to visit the student employment website.
Academically suspended and dismissed students should consult with the Academic Support Office.
Honor code suspended and dismissed students should consult with the Honor Code Office.
BYU does not have a military service deferment. However, we are anxious to help you continue your studies after returning from military service. All current BYU students have the option to take a leave of absence for one major semester. If you are required to leave BYU for military service and will miss more than one major semester (fall or winter), contact OneStop at 801-422-7075 to discuss your options.
If you are required to discontinue from your current enrollment, you will want to contact OneStop to make appropriate arrangements. A BYU OneStop Counselor can assist you with your individual needs and circumstances by coordinating many areas of service on campus, including: Admissions, Scholarships, and the Veterans Support Office.
Often students’ orders require them to report before they are able to personally proceed with the discontinuance process; in this case, your counselor can help you even after you have reported for active duty. Call OneStop (801-422-7075) to schedule an appointment with a counselor.