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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Leaves of Absence with Permission

Sometimes students need to take a formal leave of absence (longer than three weeks) while in the process of completing their TRU graduate degree program. This type of leave is available to students after completion of a minimum of one term. Leaves of absence are normally granted in 4-month blocks to align with TRU’s usual semester registration terms, and may be granted for a minimum of one term and up to one year (3 terms). Grounds for approving requests for a long-term leave include medical, compassionate, and parental reasons:

  • Medical: A student is experiencing illness or injury that significantly interferes with their ability to pursue a course of study.
  • Compassionate: A student is experiencing personal or family issues that significantly interfere with their ability to pursue a course of study.
  • Parental: A student is expecting a child, and/or has primary responsibility for the care of a child immediately prior to or following birth or an adoption, and this significantly interferes with their ability to pursue a course of study.

Financial support is normally suspended during the leave, and tuition fees are not assessed during the period of leave. Time spent on a leave is not included in the time period allotted for completion of the degree and your program deadline will be adjusted accordingly.

During a period of leave, graduate awards will be paid according to the conditions established by the donor or granting agency. You are responsible for communicating with Student Awards & Financial Aid (, 250-828-5024, Old Main 1629) prior to requesting leave in order to request the appropriate award interruption.

The leave of absence should be requested prior to the start of the affected TRU term(s) and requires signed approval from:

  1. Your thesis/project supervisor (if applicable)
  2. Your Graduate Program Coordinator
  3. Your program Dean

Retroactive leaves will only be approved in highly exceptional cases.

Your leave of absence request must include:

  • A completed TRU Leave of Absence Request Form
  • A letter from the student explaining the circumstances related to the leave
  • Supporting documentation from a physician or other qualified professional, if applicable

Please submit such requests, with complete documentation, to your TRU Program Coordinator or Graduate Supervisor.

Prior to submitting the request, you may wish to investigate academic supports at TRU that could assist you in remaining in your studies. Please contact Student Services at 250-828-5000 or for more information. Services offered include Accessibility Services (academic accommodations,, Counselling Services (personal counselling at; career counselling at, and the Writing Centre (graduate-specific writing supports,

Unless TRU is informed otherwise in advance, you will be reinstated in your TRU program and registered in the term indicated on the submitted Leave of Absence form.

If you wish to extend your time on leave, you must submit a new Leave of Absence Request Form. If you remain absent from your program beyond the approved dates, you may be withdrawn from your program and required to reapply for admission to be reinstated in your program of study. Note that the total duration of all leaves of absence granted in a master’s program is normally limited to 2 years (6 terms).

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