Taking a break from your courses

Find out what to do if you need to take a break from your studies.

About academic leave

In accordance with the Academic Calendar, students in ‘Good Standing’, for most programs, may take an academic Leave (time away from UBC studies) of up to one full year or 12 months. 

Students in some programs are required to seek permission for an academic leave before leaving. All students should discuss their plans with an academic advisor in their faculty or school.

Those who choose to take one year off will be automatically assigned an Eligibility to Return (ELTR) status on their account for the following academic year.

Example: A student in "Good Standing" after completing the 2019/20 Winter Session will automatically be eligible to register in the same program for the 2020 Summer, 2020/21 Winter, 2021 Summer and 2021/22 Winter Sessions)

Consequences of not being in good standing

Students who have been placed on academic probation may be restricted to register in a maximum number of credits in the following term. Please see your faculty’s academic regulations or contact your faculty’s advising office for more information.

Programs requiring approval for academic Leave

Students in cohort-based or limited enrolment programs are required to seek permission for an academic leave prior to departing due to limited ability to accommodate leaves in such programs.

However, for all other programs, students are highly encouraged to notify their home faculty to ensure they understand the implications and next steps. Please contact your faculty or school prior to taking an academic leave.

Requesting academic leave

Undergraduate students

If you are an undergraduate student and want to take time off:

  1. Review UBC's policy on academic leave.

  2. Talk to an academic advisor in your program or faculty for program-specific requirements.

  3. Check with an Enrolment Services Advisor to see if taking a break will affect your financial assistance or awards.

International students

If you're an international student, you have special considerations for taking time off. See important steps to take for requesting time away from your studies.

Returning from academic leave

If you have been away for one year, see how to return to your studies depending on your situation.

You did not attend school elsewhere

  1. Log into your Student Service Centre.

  2. Select “Program to Return”.

You attended school elsewhere with a LOP (Letter of Permission)

  1. Log into your Student Service Centre.

  2. Select “Program to Return”.

  3. Submit your official transcript to UBC for a review of any transfer credit you may be eligible for.

You attended school elsewhere without a LOP (Letter of Permission)

Students who attended school elsewhere without a Letter of Permission from their faculty will not receive transfer credit upon return to their original program.

Do not apply for readmission. You are still considered a Returning student to your original program regardless of attending elsewhere.

  1. Log into your Student Service Centre (SSC).​​

  2. Select “Program to Return.”

You would like to return to a new program

  1. Log into your Student Service Centre.

  2. Select “Admission” from the top menu bar.

  3. Select “Re-admission” from the drop-down menu.

  4. Select “ No, I would like to reapply to a different program”.