Leaves of Absence

Many Brown students leave the University for a semester or even a year to pursue internships, to participate in service work in the United States or abroad, or to engage in other work that complements their academic study (hear from students who have taken a leave). This page explains procedures for taking a personal leave of absence. For information on medical leaves, contact the Office of Student Student Support Services at 401-863-3145. 

The Curricular Resource Center (CRC) provides peer advising for students interested in personal leaves. Stop by Room 228 in the Robert Campus Center to learn what other students have done while on leave and to discuss your options with our knowledgeable peer advisors.

Students studying at Brown on a visa must consult with an OISSS advisor to discuss the implications of a leave of absence for their immigration status and/or student visa.

Filing for a personal leave

Once you have an idea of what you might do on a leave, meet with an academic dean to discuss your plans and to request that the necessary paperwork be filed. It is essential that you understand how a leave might affect your academic progress and degree completion plans before taking your leave. Please note that students who are on any kind of leave for more than five years are not guaranteed readmission to Brown.

Students wishing to take a personal leave once a semester is underway must do so no later than the mid-semester deadline, as indicated on the Registrar's academic calendar. 

Readmission deadlines

Students on personal leave for fewer than three years should submit a return request no later than April 1 to return in the subsequent fall. To return in the spring, students should submit a return request no later than October 1. These deadlines allow readmitted students to participate in online pre-registration for the semester of their return.

Students on any kind of leave for more than three years must apply for permission to return to Brown by February 1 for fall semester readmission and by July 1 for spring semester readmission. Students on a personal leave or academic suspension should email [email protected] for instructions. Students who left Brown on a medical leave should contact Student Support Services. 


Students who wish to withdraw from Brown permanently must contact [email protected] and an academic dean will reply. The deans will help ensure that the student is making a fully informed decision. Because withdrawing is a permanent decision, students are advised to discuss their withdrawal plans carefully with parents or guardians. Withdrawal may have financial aid and tuition implications that students and parents should know about before deciding to withdraw.