Student Life Office

Leave of Absence 

A leave of absence is available for students who need to take time off from the College for a variety of reasons. Leaves of absence are usually processed before the start of a semester and can be granted for a maximum of two semesters at a time.

Taking a leave is a big decision that can have academic, financial and personal implications. If you would like to speak with someone about your situation and options, please contact the Student Life Office to schedule a meeting with a dean and review these alternatives to taking a leave of absence. You are encouraged to continue to attend classes until you have made an official decision to take a leave of absence to avoid falling behind on work if you do decide to remain enrolled for the semester.

To Take a Leave of Absence 

The Student Life Office coordinates the Leave of Absence process in collaboration with several partnering offices. If you need assistance or have general questions about taking a leave, please contact the Student Life Office.

To take a leave of absence you must do the following:

  1. Review the Leave of Absence FAQs
  2. Log into IRIS and select the Leave and Withdrawal Request link (under "Request Time Away")
  3. Complete and submit the Leave of Absence request form and survey
  4. Schedule a meeting to discuss your leave request with a Dean in Student Life
  5. Meet with a dean in Student Life
  6. Meet with your faculty adviser
  7. Monitor your Reed inbox for communication from the Business Office and Financial Aid
  8. Move out of on-campus housing, if applicable

After you submit the form, Student Life will be notified of your intentions to take a leave of absence. You will have five business days to meet with and/or receive confirmation from the following offices and individuals:

Student Life. Upon submitting your request you must schedule a meeting to discuss your leave request with a Dean in Student Life. Once your meeting with a Dean is completed, Student Life will mark it as completed in IRIS and the other offices will be notified. 

Your faculty adviser. See Questions to Ask Your Faculty Adviser about Taking a Leave of Absence in preparation of the meeting. Following this meeting, your adviser will confirm your meeting in IRIS. 

Residence Life (if applicable). If you live on-campus, Residence Life will automatically be notified of your leave request. Students who live on-campus and wish to take a leave during the current semester will have five business days after submitting their leave request form to move out of housing. Because of this, students are encouraged to make arrangements to move out of on-campus housing as soon as they make a decision to take a leave. If you are registered for on-campus housing for a future semester and you plan on taking a leave for that semester your contract will be canceled. Please visit Moving Out of On-Campus Housing for more information.  

The Business Office. The Business Office may contact you to share information with you regarding your student account. The Business Office may request a meeting before they confirm your leave in IRIS. 

Financial Aid (if applicable). If you are a recipient of financial aid, you will automatically receive information from Financial Aid about how taking a leave of absence may affect your financial aid or loans. Financial Aid may request a meeting before they confirm your leave in IRIS.

When you have satisfied all the requirements above, and the offices have confirmed your leave in IRIS, the Registrar’s Office will remove you from any classes you are registered for the current semester and/or future semesters.

You will then receive confirmation that your leave is official and in effect. The email will include information about how to return to Reed when your leave has concluded. 

If you do not complete the steps outlined above within five business days, your leave request will be canceled and you will remain enrolled. If you still intend to take a leave of absence, you must contact the Student Life Office to re-initiate your request with a new initiation date. A changed initiation date may affect your tuition refund or money owed. 


Returning students may initiate a leave of absence before the semester at any time. Students are encouraged to initiate their leave at least 3 weeks before the start of the semester to avoid any unnecessary billing or tuition charges.

Returning students may initiate a leave during the semester at any point prior to the 10th week of classes. See the academic calendar for specific dates.

New students who are eligible for deferred admission may not initiate a leave until such time that they are no longer eligible for deferred admission. 

On-Campus Housing

Students who live on campus at the time they take a leave of absence will have their room and board contract canceled. Students have five business days to move out of housing after submitting their leave request form in IRIS. Students will incur additional room charges if they do not move out within five business days. Please review Moving Out of On-Campus Housing for more information.

Extending a Leave of Absence 

At the conclusion of a student’s initial leave of absence, a student may extend their leave for up to four consecutive semesters of leave. To extend a Leave of Absence, students should submit a Leave and Withdrawal Request form in IRIS. Students will be asked to speak again with a dean in Student Life and notify their faculty adviser, Financial Aid and the Business Office of their leave extension.

Returning to Reed

To return from a leave of absence, students simply need to register for the semester they intend to return. A few weeks before registration for classes opens, the Registrar’s Office will contact students on a leave of absence with information about how to register to return. Students who intend to return should plan in advance to meet financial aid and Residence Life deadlines.

If a student’s leave has expired (e.g. the student has taken more than four semesters away or did not formally extend their leave of absence), the student will need to apply for readmission through the Registrar’s Office to return.

Please visit Returning from a Leave of Absence for more information.


Please read the Leave of Absence FAQs to learn more about the regulations for taking a leave. You are also encouraged to contact the Student Life Office or any of the offices below if you have questions.

The Student Life Office
Location: Eliot Hall 218
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Telephone: 503-517-7396

Additional Resources 

Leave & Withdrawal Home
Leave of Absence FAQs
Alternatives to Taking a Leave of Absence
Questions to Ask Your Faculty Adviser about Taking a Leave
Checklist for Taking a Leave of Absence
Returning from a Leave of Absence