Leave of Absence

Students may be granted leave for periods of absence from the University.

For undergraduates, such leave of absence is normally not counted against the maximum candidature of the programme pursued by the student concerned. For graduate students, leave of absence is counted against their maximum candidature. For graduate students in coursework programmes, up to one year of leave of absence may be excluded from the count against their maximum candidature.

Leave of absence may be granted for the following reasons:

  1. Medical Reasons

    Students who are applying for medical leave of absence for one semester (term) or more must consult the University's Health Physician (University Health Centre) who will submit an assessment to the relevant Faculty on whether the student is indeed unfit to study for the semester(s).

    Students who are on medical leave of absence for one semester (term) or more, must also be certified fit to resume studies by the University's Health Physician before s/he can start attending classes. If a student has been consulting a medical practitioner other than one from the University Health Centre during the period of leave, a medical report (in English) from that medical practitioner must be submitted to the University's Health Physician. Students will not be able to register for modules until they have been certified fit. Should they still be unwell, the medical leave of absence may be extended. Such applications for leave extension will be evaluated based on medical recommendations and the student's academic records. Normally, a student who is granted leave of absence on medical grounds during a semester will be given “IC” grades for all modules taken in that semester.

  2. Academic reasons

    Leave may be granted for students to participate in other external academic activities like conference and fieldwork.

    Unlike students on leave of absence due to other reasons, students who are away for conference or fieldwork are still active in their candidature. Students should refer to their respective Faculty for conference/fieldwork leave application procedure.

    If the period of the fieldwork is one semester (term) or more, the leave should not be submitted via the online Leave of Absence System at the NUS Integrated Student Information System.

  3. Personal reasons

    Leave may be granted for students to participate in activities such as competitions, sports, seminars, and community services, to start-up a company or to attend to personal matters (including maternity leave). Such students are encouraged to purchase travel insurance for their personal leisure trips. More information on this can be found here.

Students are advised to plan ahead to decide if they want to take term leave, taking into consideration the impact on fees, scholarship, modules, hostel, insurance coverage, etc. Students are reminded that fees for the semester are payable if term leave is applied after the first two instructional weeks. All leave of absence applications are subject to approval.

Students who require leave of one semester (term) or more should obtain approval in advance of the semester. If a student applies for semester (term) leave of absence beyond Instructional Week 2, he/she is liable to pay fees (tuition and miscellaneous) for the entire semester. Not having attended any class or not having utilised university's resources are invalid reasons for exemption from fee payment. Students on semester (term) leave would be expected to resume their studies at the start of the following (regular) semester. Graduate research students submitting an application for semester (term) leave should indicate the whole semester (which includes the University vacation period), as the period of their leave application. Graduate research students (non-scholars) who submit their theses for examination during the semester when they are on leave of absence or during the semester immediately after the period of leave, will have to pay fees (tuition and miscellaneous) for one semester, even if the thesis is submitted within Instructional Week 2 of the latter semester.

Students are to note that the deadline for the application of semester (term) leave of absence will be the last day of Recess Week. In the event that your absence beyond Recess Week is inevitable due to unforeseen circumstances, please approach your Home Faculty/School Dean's Office for advice.

Students contemplating on applying for leave of absence are strongly advised to consult their Department or Faculty advisor on the possible impact to their course of study. If during the period of leave of absence, rules relating to his/her candidature are amended, the student must expect to be governed under the amended rules upon his/her return from leave.

Graduate students should also note that if the leave period results in a student exceeding the maximum candidature, the student will also need to apply for an extension of candidature to cover the leave period and for research students, the additional time to complete the thesis. There is no automatic extension of candidature to account for the period of leave. In addition, should the student submit his/her thesis for examination during the leave period or during the semester immediately after the period of leave, the student will have to pay fees for one semester.

It is the student's responsibility to notify the relevant Departments/course instructors regarding absences from scheduled academic activities. Students who are absent for an extended period without first obtaining approval for leave will be regarded as being absent without permission and are liable to have their registration status terminated.

Students granted leave of absence are required to vacate their hostel accommodation during the period of leave. The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) will re-assess hostel applications of students returning from leave of absence.

Medical or health insurance benefits shall no longer be applicable during the period students are on term leave of absence. For more information, please refer to: http://www.nus.edu.sg/uhc/healthservice/insurance-schemes/introduction.html.

International Students who are granted leave of absence consecutively for more than 2 years will have to cancel their Student's Pass. In addition, International Students who are granted leave of absence to participate in a local internship during the regular semester which does not earn any credits for graduation will have to cancel their Student's Pass and apply to the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) for the necessary Training Employment Pass through their employer. At least one month and not more than two months before the resumption of studies, the International Student will have to contact the Registrar's Office (via regenquiry@nus.edu.sg) to activate the process of re-applying for Student's Pass via the Immigration Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in order to return to NUS in the following semesters. For more information on the application of Student's Pass, please refer to http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/event/studentpass.html

During official University examination periods (including Reading Week), no leave will be granted. However, students may request for special consideration due to medical and other emergencies by submitting the appropriate form available from the Examination Directory for Students. For graduate research students who have not been scheduled for examinations during this period, they may apply for leave through their department administrators.

Applications for Leave of Absence (with the exception of term-long fieldwork or otherwise advised by the Faculty), are to be submitted via the online Leave of Absence System at NUS Integrated Student Information System.