The Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs is your point of contact when a student wishes to withdraw, take a leave of absence, change degrees or programs, and/or move to a different workload (e.g., a student wants to switch from full time to part time studies). Students should complete the GSAS Change of Status Inquiry Form to inquire about a change of status.

Leave of Absence 

Students may petition for a leave of absence, for a variety of reasons including health issues and family obligations. The petition must have the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies of  the program and the Graduate School. Leaves of absence up to one year will normally be granted  to students in good standing who present compelling personal reasons. Note that students who are on a leave of absence are not eligible for University health insurance, unless they have been enrolled for at least 30 days in the fall semester. If the student used the health insurance  policy during those 30 days before taking the leave, they will find their claims are not accepted  by the insurance company. They are also not eligible for the use of gym facilities, purchase of a  parking sticker or in-school student loan deferments. The time-to-degree clock stops during a  leave of absence. 

Once a student decides to take a leave, they can initiate the request in Workday. The Assistant  Dean of Academic Affairs will receive the notification, and communicate with the department  about any stipulations for the student to return from leave (curricular or academic milestones,  timing, time management preparation, etc.). 

Health Leave of Absence 

Brandeis University students requesting medical academic accommodation are directed to Student Accessibility Support (SAS). 

When a graduate student requests a Leave of Absence or a Program-Element (dissertation proposal, comprehensive examination, dissertation defense) time extension accommodation as a  result of a medical circumstance: 

  • The Access Specialist for Graduate Students will serve as the initial contact with the  student as a part of the standard SAS in-take process 
  • SAS will notify the Program Director/DGS and GSAS that a medical academic  accommodation request in one of the noted areas has been received. The student will be  identified; the health circumstance will be shared on a need-to-know basis. 
  • Once the documentation has been received, the Access Specialist and Director of SAS  meet to review the documentation and accommodation request to determine: (1) whether additional documentation is needed, or (2) whether Brandeis partners/experts need to be convened for the case review (e.g., Counseling, Health Center, OEO, Graduate School Program Director, etc.).
  • SAS reviews documentation/consults as needed and makes a decision on the student  accommodation request. 
  • The Director of SAS formally sends a letter to the student regarding the decision on the  medical accommodation request. A copy of the letter is sent to Program Director/DGS  and GSAS, if needed. 
  • If a medical accommodation is granted for a leave of absence or an extension of time for  a program-element, the letter will notify the student of their responsibility to notify SAS  before the extension of time expires if they believe they need to request additional time or  other accommodation based on their medical circumstance. If a student makes an  additional request, SAS will determine if additional medical information is needed and  makes a decision on the request. The student will be notified in writing by the Director of  SAS of the decision. A copy of the letter is sent to the Program Director/DGS and GSAS,  if needed. 
  • To return from the health leave of absence, the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs will  reach out to the student prior to the new semester, to ascertain whether the leave should  be extended, or to initiate the proper return/registration process. The student will be  required to be in touch with SAS to submit appropriate documentation that confirms that  they are now able to return to full-time student status. 
Withdrawal, Program Change, or Change of Workload 

Should a student wish to withdraw, move to/from full and part-time status, or change programs, they must contact their DGS and the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs to discuss their options. Students may petition GSAS to change from part-time to full-time or to change programs. Please note that most changes in program require a new Admission application.