Leaves and Extensions

Students who find it necessary to interrupt their graduate studies may apply for on-leave status.  Leave is granted when a student is best advised for personal, health or other reasons to have time completely away from their academic responsibilities.  Leave, not including parental leave or leave to pursue concurrent programs, is limited to one year for Master’s students and two years for Ph.D. students. A leave will normally begin on the first day of a term, for a period of four, eight, or twelve months, and can not be taken after the program requirements have been completed.

Students granted leave-of-absence or parental leave retain the full value of any University graduate fellowship or other award whose terms and conditions are established by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Awards will be suspended at the onset of the leave and reinstated at the termination of the leave period, provided the student returns to full-time study at that time. Other awards will be paid according to the conditions established by the donor or granting agency.

To apply for a leave of absence, students must email help@ece.ubc.ca and provide a completed leave of absence request form:
MASc/PhD Students: G+PS Leave of Absence Form.
MEng Students: MEng ECE Leave of Absence Form.

It is understood that students with on-leave status will not undertake any academic or research work, or use any of the University’s facilities during the period of leave. Building access requests during leaves will be denied. The time spent on-leave is also not counted as part of the allowed time for completion of the degree. A small on-leave fee will be charged, but while on a leave of absence the student is not charged tuition.

International students considering a leave of absence are encouraged to consult International Student Advising to discuss how this may affect their Canadian immigration status, eligibility to work, and future applications.

A graduate student who is bearing a child or who has primary responsibility for the care of an infant or young child is eligible for parental leave. A request for parental leave should be made to the department by emailing help@ece.ubc.ca and following the UBC Parental Accommodation Procedure.

Where possible, students enrolled in courses should coordinate their leave to coincide with the beginning of an academic term.

Extenuating circumstances may justify allowing a student additional time to complete their degree program.  Any extension request would need to have strong justification and support from the student's supervisor.

All extension requests must be made by emailing help@ece.ubc.ca and must follow the procedures/form completion listed on the G+PS Program Extensions website.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies also have prepared a sample timeline for students to follow when they are considering applying for an extension: Sample Timeline - Program Extensions