Leave of Absence - Academic Leave Procedures


For GRADUATE AND CREDENTIAL STUDENT leave of absence, please go to the Graduate Studies website 

Newly Admitted Students

Newly admitted students are NOT eligible for academic leave for their first semester.  Any new student who does not enroll any courses in the first term must apply for readmission to Cal State Fullerton to return as a matriculated student.

Undergraduate and Second Bachelor Students

What does Stop-Out policy have to do with my request for a leave of absence?

Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate second bachelor's students who need to be absent from the University should first make use of a stop-out (informal leave) before seeking to use the leave of absence policy, as explained below.

Important - Are all students elgible for using the Stop-Out policy?

Not eligible for a stop-out (informal leave): 

  • Academically disqualified students
  • Foreign visa students
  • Graduate students
  • Credential students
  • Students who have been on an approved leave of absence for two semesters or more cannot add a stop-out semester at the end of their approved leave period in an effort to extend their period of absence from the university.

Stop-Out (informal leave) policy

Cannot be used the first semester you are admitted to CSUF

  • Continuing students may take a two semester stop out from CSUF effective Spring 2024 and do not need to take any action prior to registration.  This is considered informal leave.
  • Pertains to Spring and Fall semesters only (Summer Session and Winter do not count as terms that are a part of the stop‐out policy)
  • Registration information will be automatically available for the term following stop-out


Leave of Absence (formal request for academic leave)

An undergraduate student must use the “Stop Out” semester before applying for a leave of absence. Student must meet the following criteria: 

    • Student must have completed one semester in residence at CSU Fullerton
    • Student must be in Good Academic Standing

The leave of absence request may be submitted for the following circumstances:

  • Illness or disability – self or immediate family member (permanent or temporary, including pregnancy). Medical reason requires a doctor’s note.
  • Active duty in the armed forces of the United States
  • Study Abroad programs
  • Educational/professional training programs not available at Cal State Fullerton

A leave of absence is not be granted for more than a year. The deadline to submit a leave of absence form is Census Date for the semester the student is requesting the leave of absence.


When submitting a leave of absence request:

  • Make sure you first make use of a stop‐out (informal leave) (if eligible to use stop‐out, as explained above)
  • Make sure the reason for your leave request is one of the reasons listed on the form
  • Complete and sign the 'Request for Leave of Absence' form
  • Attach documentation as explained below.


Documentation for a Leave of Absence request

It is important to provide appropriate documentation for your leave of absence request:

  • An attached statement from the student describing the reason for requesting a leave of absence is not considered documentation.
  • Documentation must be from a source other than the student to verify the reason for the request (example: verification letter from a health care provider, military orders, study abroad contract, etc).

If your Leave of Absence request is submitted without any documentation, your form will be returned to you without processing. The form can only be resubmitted when appropriate documentation is attached.

Medical Leave of Absence:

  • If you intend to submit a Medical Leave of Absence,  you must upload credible medical documentation with your request.  Failure to submit proper medical documentation for a medical request will result in your form being rejected. 
  • Medical charts, notes, lab results, x-rays, hospital records, discharge papers, police reports and medically related pictures/images are not sufficient medical documentation  for a medical leave of absence petition.  DO NOT UPLOAD these items.

Two options meet the medical documentation requirement.

  1. Students can submit a Medical/Mental Health Professional FormPDF File OR
  2. Students can submit a letter from student's health care provider*. If a student decides to submit a letter from their health care provider, that letter must include all of the following:
    • Official letterhead including name/title/medical license of attending health care provider with phone number and address of medical or mental health facility
    • General description of the student's medical condition; why/how it prevents them from completing their coursework and verification of the time frame for the leave

Medical/Mental Health Professional Form PDF File is sufficient medical documentation in lieu of a letter from the medical provider.

View samples of sufficient medical documentations/letters

Consult with your doctor or counselor about your Medical or Mental Health Leave of Absence request and show them this document for clarification. Request appropriate documentation.

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