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Military Leaves of Absence

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The university is proud to provide accommodations to our active duty students (domestic and international, including National Guard and reservists), in the event that they are temporarily unable to attend class or have to suspend their studies due to service requirements. If you are an active duty service member and are called away for required military service, you may elect to take a leave of absence and return upon the completion of your service requirement.

When taking a leave of absence due to required military service, all leave of absence policies apply with the following exceptions:

  • Your leave of absence may exceed one calendar year
  • Any leave of absence quarters related to your service will not be deducted from your total allowable quarters of leave (two calendar years, up to eight quarters).


Please see Undergraduate Degrees: Leaves & Reinstatements and Graduate Degrees: Leaves & Reinstatements to review the full policies.

How to Request a Military Leave of Absence

Requesting a military leave of absence is a two-step process. You must complete both steps for your leave to be considered an official military leave (e.g. time away does count toward your 8 quarters of allowed leave). 

Step 1: Contact the VA Certification Officer at vabenefits@stanford.edu to notify them of your required military service. This message should include documentation confirming your service requirement, including the start and end dates. For international military service, your documentation must be in English. The VA Certification Officer will verify your service requirements and provide you with a certification letter confirming the approval of your military leave. 

Step 2: After receiving the certification letter from the VA Certification Officer, submit the leave of absence eForm for your career (undergraduate, graduate, or coterm). During submission of your eForm, you must attach the certification letter you obtained in Step 1. This letter will tell the Registrar’s Office to discount your requested leave quarters when they process your leave. Submissions that do not include the certification letter will be treated as a standard leave of absence and the requested terms will count toward your 8 quarters of allowed leave. 

Note: The eForm will only allow requests for up to one calendar year. If your service requirements exceed one year, please submit the request for one year (4 quarters). The Registrar’s Office will process your request based on the service dates listed on your certification letter. 

Timing of Your Military Leave

  • If you are called away to military service you will have the option to either take Incomplete grades in all courses or drop all courses without penalty, based on your last date of attendance. Whether you may drop all courses or request Incomplete grades will be determined by your last date of attendance as follows: 
    • If you are called to service within weeks 1-8 of the quarter, you may complete an LOA request form and receive a full tuition refund regardless of attendance.
    • If you are called to service within weeks 9-11, you may take Incompletes in any or all courses; or you may receive a grade for work completed in the course to date, based on an agreement with each instructor. 


Please see our Incomplete Grades policy for further information regarding military leaves that begin after the quarter has started.