Skip Navigation

Interruption of Degree Work 

A Leave Of Absence (LOA) is an approved interruption of a degree program that is subject to a fixed duration and/or specific requirements for return. A withdrawal is a complete departure from the Conservatory and its degree programs and can only be reversed through the mechanisms of re-audition and petition of the relevant academic committee. 

Quick Steps to Take an LOA

  1. Contact Academic Affairs to discuss your situation.
  2. Understand your obligations.
  3. Understand the procedures to return.
  4. Complete the online form.

See also, special information for:

For a shorter absence, see Attendance and Absences.  
For a complete departure from Peabody, see Withdraw.

Leave of Absence

Any student in good standing may be placed on LOA for personal or professional reasons.   

A student must formally request an LOA from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  If a leave of absence is granted, the leave will be made for a fixed duration of either one semester or one year. During that time, the student may not be enrolled as a full-time student at another institution. Any credits earned at another institution during the LOA must be approved for transfer by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in consultation with department chairs. 

The Peabody Conservatory is not obliged to grant a leave of absence, and students should present compelling personal or professional reasons for requesting an interruption of his/her regular progress toward the degree.  An LOA is not granted retroactively, and students must request the leave of absence before postponing their studies.  Moreover, an LOA  is subject to the following conditions:

  • The student must be a current student who has matriculated into the Conservatory.
  • The student must be taking lessons or coursework to fulfill the requirements of a degree program.
  • The student may not be in immediate jeopardy for dismissal on academic grounds. 
  • An international student must make arrangements regarding his or her visa with the International Student Advisor.
  • A student who receives financial aid must make the appropriate arrangements with the Financial Aid office.
  • The student must be given clearance for all financial obligations, including but not limited to tuition, instrument loans, library fines, and residence fees.

Return from LOA

In order to re-enroll, a student on an LOA must notify the Office of Academic Affairs in writing of his or her intent to return. Notification can be as simple as completing the online form.

  • Students should notify Academic Affairs by November 15 for spring re-enrollment. 
  • Students should notify Academic Affairs by by April 15 for fall re-enrollment.

A tuition deposit of $50 is required at that time to reserve space on the major teacher’s roster.  However, a student requesting an LOA is not guaranteed a space in a teacher’s studio upon return to school. 

Return to Top

Extended Leave

Any student on a leave of absence must report his or her status to the Conservatory by the middle of the second semester of leave in order to make arrangements to return or to extend the LOA for an additional semester. Students who are granted an extension to a LOA beyond the originally stipulated year must petition the appropriate academic committee for readmission and certification of previously earned credits toward the degree program. This process may include re-auditioning and/or placement tests in specific areas. The maximum duration of a LOA with an extension is three semesters.

Students who do not report their status by the end of the semester before they are scheduled to return will be considered to have abandoned their degree program and withdrawn from the Conservatory without following the proper withdrawal procedures. 

The Peabody Conservatory has no obligation to former students who abandon degree programs, and former students can only return to the Conservatory by re-auditioning and petitioning the appropriate committee for certification of previously earned credits.

Return to Top

Medical Leave of Absence

In certain circumstances, a student with a chronic condition that is documented by licensed caregiver will be placed on a medical or involuntary leave of absence (MLOA). A student will be administratively withdrawn from all classes and receive no credit. This step is taken when necessary to protect the safety of the student or other individuals or to preserve the integrity of the university’s learning environment. Such a decision may be based on behavior and/or communication that: 

  • Harms or threatens harm to the health or safety of the student or others 
  • Causes or threatens to cause significant damage to the property or resources of the university 
  • Evidences chronic and/or serious drug or alcohol abuse 
  • Significantly disrupts the functioning of the university community 
  • Reflects disorganized or altered thinking incompatible with successful participation in the academic program 

If a medical or involuntary leave of absence is required, the leave may not exceed one year without the student requesting an extension and providing the appropriate documentation from a licensed professional. A student who wishes to return must notify the Office of Student Affairs in writing of his or her intent to return. An assessment of the student’s fitness for return is required as a condition of returning from a medical or involuntary leave of absence.  Study at the Conservatory may only resume at the scheduled start of a semester.

Return to Top

Special Circumstances for Leave of Absence

Doctoral students may only take an LOA while completing their residency. Once a DMA candidate has completed the required coursework, he or she may no longer exercise the leave of absence option but must continue to enroll for Consultation (610 • 813–814) in order to maintain standing in the program. If a student interrupts his or her program by failing to register for Consultation or failing to pay the Degree-in-Progress (DIP) fee for more than one year, the student must petition the DMA Committee for readmission. If a petition is approved, all retroactive fees must be paid in order for the reinstatement of status to become effective. Any DMA candidate who fails to register for Consultation will be dismissed from the program. 

Double degree students may request an LOA from the double degree program, but they cannot be granted leave from only the Homewood or Peabody portion of the program. An LOA for double degree students is subject to the guidelines of the advising office for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences or the Whiting School of Engineering.

International students who request an LOA should be aware that federal law governing the visa status of F-1 students requires them to leave the United States for the duration of their leave of absence, unless the leave is granted for reasons of illness or other medical conditions. Students who wish to remain in the United States during their leave of absence must provide medical documentation to the school to support such a request. Medical leaves of absence cannot exceed an aggregate of one year. 

Return to Top