On-leave Status Procedure

The UW Linguistics department graduate leave plan is designed to support students in the general Ph.D. program who are taking leave for a variety of reasons. If you are a Computational Linguistics student, visit their leave information page for information.

The reasons a general linguistics graduate student may take leave for include, but are not limited to:

  • Field research related to a student’s dissertation
  • Personal medical conditions, including mental health-related conditions
  • Caretaking: Arrival of a new child in the home by birth, adoption, or foster placement
  • Caretaking: Care of a sick family member

More detailed information can be found on the graduate school on-leave page: https://grad.uw.edu/policies-procedures/general-graduate-student-policies/graduate-on-leave-status/

On-leave quarters extend the time to graduation and do not count against quarters of guaranteed departmental funding, however, RA and TA assignments may be altered to accommodate departmental and student needs.

Communication and cooperation between students and their advisor(s) are encouraged.  Students should discuss their timeframe for taking leave as early as possible. While students are not required to make progress toward their degree during leave, students and their advisor(s) may choose to meet. Advisors are not obligated to meet with students who are not enrolled.

Steps to Request Leave

  1. Students should consult with their MA/PhD advisor (and other committee members) before applying for on-leave status. (If a student does not have an advisor yet, the student should talk to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC).) With their committee, students will specify the length of requested leave, present a plan for returning to the program, and a timeframe for completion after the leave.
  2. Students should email the Graduate Program Coordinators (GPC) specifying their leave time frame. They should include their updated timeline for completion of the degree.
  3. Students should inform the linguistics administrator as soon as possible of the leave request because the administrator will handle leave administration.
  4. Students do not have to disclose any personal or medical reasons to anyone, but if they do, the faculty and administrator will not disclose any details.
  5. After leave is approved, students should file an on-leave status request to the graduate school. https://grad.uw.edu/for-students-and-post-docs/mygrad-program/

Be sure to check the deadlines on the Graduate School website to file for leave.

Graduate Student Employees

Graduate Student Employees (GSEs) are governed by the UW/UAW Local 4121 contract: https://hr.uw.edu/labor/academic-and-student-unions/uaw-ase/ase-contract

For information specifically on leaves of absence, see UW/UAW Local 4121 contract regarding Leaves of Absence: https://hr.uw.edu/labor/academic-and-student-unions/uaw-ase/ase-contract

GSEs are welcome to contact their union representative with any questions or concerns about leave-taking: uaw4121@uaw4121.org


GSEs should refer to the UW HR website for the most up-to-date and accurate information on maintaining GAIP insurance. https://hr.uw.edu/benefits/insurance/health/graduate-appointees/gaip-leave-of-absence/

Paid Family and Medical Leave

GSEs may qualify for paid leave according to Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit: https://paidleave.wa.gov/

The main qualifiers for this leave are medical (for oneself including pregnancy and mental health treatment), family (to care for a family member), and military leave. As always, the sooner the department knows of an impending leave, the more likely everything will be in place on the day the leave starts.

International Students

Leave-taking and delayed progress toward the completion of degree may affect the visa status of international students. International students are encouraged to consult with the Office of International Student Services (ISS) before applying for leave: https://iss.washington.edu/

International students are also encouraged to confirm eligibility for health insurance coverage if returning to their home country.

Accommodations and Support

Students with disabilities or health conditions, including pregnancy, are encouraged to work with Disability Resources for Students:  http://depts.washington.edu/uwdrs/

The department is committed to working with graduate students in need of disability accommodations. Students are encouraged to discuss accommodations with their advisor or with members of the GPC although they do not have to disclose the nature of the disability.

Students are also encouraged to utilize mental health resources and support which are available on campus: https://www.washington.edu/counseling/resources/