There are different types of time away from Duke for various needs. While it can take many forms, it is important to note that all time away will fall under specific leave categories. Below is an outline of all official University leave categories and relevant deadlines. If you are not sure which category works best for you and your current situation, please reach out to the Time Away Office. 

Voluntary Leave



Medical Leave

A Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) should be considered if a pause in academic coursework may be helpful due to physical or mental health-related matters. A medical leave of absence is an opportunity to receive appropriate treatment and engage in self-reflection. Duke University hopes that all students will receive effective treatment and apply to return when ready. To initiate a Medical Leave, schedule an appointment with the Time Away Office.

Deadline for Medical Leave of Absence
5:00pm on the last day of classes (LDOC) in the semester that is in progress (Time Away Inquiry Form AND required documentation must be submitted to the Time Away Office by 5:00 pm on LDOC). 

Personal Leave

A personal leave of absence allows you to place your studies on hold for one or more semesters. Typical reasons for a personal leave might include a desire to travel, participate in a non-academic program, campaign, complete a paid or unpaid internship, attend to a family crisis, or gain a sense of direction. To initiate a Personal Leave, schedule an appointment with the Time Away Office and complete the Time Away Inquiry Form

Deadline for a Personal Leave of Absence
Prior to the first day of classes of the semester when you want your personal leave to begin. 

Voluntary Withdrawal

Students may choose to voluntarily withdraw from Duke permanently due to a variety of reasons ranging from wanting to live closer to family, deciding that they wish to attend another institution permanently, or other reasons. To initiate a Voluntary Withdrawal, schedule an appointment with the Time Away Office and complete the Time Away Inquiry Form.

Students can take a voluntary withdrawal at any point. Depending on whether they are enrolled in classes, the timing of the withdrawal request will determine the final grades for those courses. Students may not return to Duke the semester immediately following the voluntary withdrawal.

  • If a student requests a voluntary withdrawal between semesters and during the drop/add period, any course enrollments are dropped from the record. Students will pay regular fees and follow the tuition refund schedule.
  • If the student requests a voluntary withdrawal after drop/add and by the course withdrawal deadline, the student receives Ws and the courses remain on their record.
  • If a student requests a voluntary withdrawal after the course withdrawal deadline, they will receive F grades for that term.  

Deadline for a Voluntary Withdrawal 
Anytime throughout the semester. 

Involuntary Leave

Academic Dismissal

Students may be academically dismissed due to reasons relating to academic performance. Please see the information for your college detailing stipulations by which students are academically dismissed.

Trinity Requirements
Pratt Requirements

Administrative Financial Withdrawal
In rare instances, following every effort made to find a solution, students can be administratively withdrawn from the university for failure to pay tuition and fees. If you have any questions about Administrative Withdrawal due to non-financial reasons, please contact the Time Away Office directly with any questions. 
Administrative Withdrawal (Non-financial)Some reasons for an Involuntary Administrative Withdrawal include instances in which students do not return to campus at the start of the semester and provide no reason for their absence. When students are separated from Duke for extended periods of time (e.g., longer than 2 years) and do not respond to outreach or contact from the Time Away Office to indicate a desire to return, they may be involuntarily withdrawn from Duke in order to interrupt unwanted, ongoing communication from the institution. If you have any questions about Administrative Withdrawal due to non-financial reasons, please contact the Time Away Office directly with any questions.
Disciplinary Dismissal/Suspension

Please see the policies for your college regarding Disciplinary Dismissal/Suspension:

Trinity - Withdrawal due to Disciplinary Suspension 
Pratt - Plagiarism, Cheating, and Dishonesty
For other disciplinary-related dismissal/suspension issues related to Pratt, contact your Pratt Academic Dean. 

When requesting to return, the Office of Student Conduct must provide a statement confirming completion of the sanction(s).