Filing For Leave
Filing a leave of absence for undergraduates is primarily a declaration process – that is, there is not an approval or denial given. Please note that this is not the case for graduate students at USC. Graduate students must apply for a leave of absence within the initial add/drop period of the term that the leave will begin. Undergraduate students simply inform the University and all necessary departments regarding their intended leave. However, extended leaves may impact the availability of academic programs and courses.
Types of Leaves
When a student submits a Leave of Absence Form, they must select a reason for the leave. Although multiple factors may contribute to the need to take a leave of absence, students are asked to select just one option for the primary reason the leave is being taken.
*Students may also attribute their leave of absence to the COVID-19 pandemic during the declaration process. However, students whose primary concerns relate to academic, financial, health, personal or family well-being should still select that leave type.
Is a Leave Right for Me?
In general, USC students are not allowed to take courses outside of USC in the Fall or Spring terms. A leave of absence does not exempt students from the residence requirement, nor does it automatically grant permission to transfer work from another college or university to USC. Students are discouraged from planning to study at all while on a leave of absence. In rare circumstances, a student may consult with their academic advisor for a Request for Exception to Residence. These requests require advance departmental approval.
Declaring a Leave of Absence is also not necessary when a student intends to complete the final requirements for the degree outside of USC and does not plan to register for any additional courses at USC in future.
What You Need to Know
Steps for Withdrawal
Take these action steps to declare a leave of absence.
Notify FAO of your plans to take a leave and in advance of your return to the University.
Typically, students are not approved to enroll in coursework during a leave.