Leave of Absence

Students may be granted leave of absence 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). An assessment will be conducted to determine if the student is indeed unfit to study for the semester(s) and this will be sent to the relevant Faculty/School. In general, a student who is granted leave of absence on medical grounds during a semester will be given “IC” grades for all courses 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/School 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 Education Records 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, maximum candidature, normal candidature, scholarship, courses, hostel, insurance coverage, etc, where applicable.

Students contemplating on applying for leave of absence are strongly advised to consult their Department or Faculty advisor on the

possible impact to their programme. 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.

It is the student's responsibility to notify the relevant Departments/programme 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.

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 Education Records System.

Students are to note that the deadline for the application of semester (term) leave of absence will be the last day of Recess Week. However, any application for leave of absence that is made after Instructional Week 2 will be charged the semester fees. Refer to the section below on "Fees, student's pass, hostel, and insurance related matters". 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.

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.

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 (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.

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 units for graduation will have to cancel their Student's Pass and apply for the necessary work 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 submit this form 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 here.

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.

There may be limited and conditional accident and medical insurance benefits for students when on Leave of Absence. For more information, please refer to: http://www.nus.edu.sg/uhc/services/billing-insurance/insurance-matters

Students on medical leave of absence for one semester (term) or more must also be certified fit to resume studies before s/he can start attending classes. 

Students will not be able to register for courses 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.

From February 2019, graduate students (both research and coursework) who apply for semester (term) leave of absence will normally have the approved leave period excluded from the count against their maximum candidature. This means that their candidature end date will be extended accordingly. [Note: If a MOE subsidy recipient applies for semester (term) leave of absence late, i.e. after Instructional Week 2, he/she is liable to pay fees for the semester. Hence, he/she would have consumed MOE subsidy for the semester. For such a case, even though the candidature end date has been extended, there will be no extension to the student's eligible MOE subsidy period.]

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.

During official University examination periods (including Reading Week), no leave will be granted. For graduate research students who have not been scheduled for examinations during this period, they may apply for leave through their department administrators.

Graduate research scholars may refer to additional notes on leave matters here.

For undergraduates (except BTech students), such leave of absence is normally not counted against the maximum candidature of the programme. Similarly, for students admitted in AY2016/17 and after under the modular system, all approved leave of absence taken will also not be counted against the normal candidature. If students have to extend their studies beyond the normal candidature period, they will have to pay partial non-subsidized fees, culminating in full non-subsidized fees, during the extended semester(s) (refer here).