How to postpone attending BYU for a period of time for a mission or other personal reason.
To defer means that you postpone registering for classes for a period of time. There are two types of deferments available to BYU Students: Leave of Absence and Mission Deferment.
After you receive your mission call and before you leave on your mission, you will need to defer for the semesters you are gone by.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence is when a day continuing student does not attend one major semester (fall or winter), but returns the following major semester. You cannot take a leave of absence the first semester you’re admitted. If you want to try to change the semester or term you were admitted to BYU, contact Enrollment Services (801-422-4104) to see if you’re eligible to request a change.
If you are planning on being away from school for one semester after enrolling at BYU, review the policies below and visit the Leave of Absence Checklist for more information.
No paperwork is required to take a leave of absence, as long as the following semester you register for and attend at least one class for credit.
Students who wish to take a leave of absence should keep in mind the following:
- Ecclesiastical endorsement: You must have a current ecclesiastical endorsement to register for subsequent semesters. To complete this requirement, submit the continuing student ecclesiastical endorsement form found online at endorsement.byu.edu.
- Scholarships: The scholarship application deadline for spring/summer and fall/winter scholarships is February 1st regardless of BYU attendance.
- Federal loan repayment: Student loans have a grace period of six months beginning on the date that the borrower drops below at least half-time enrollment. If your leave of absence extends beyond six months (i.e. winter semester and spring term), you will begin your loan repayment timeline.
- Reapplication for admission: If you fail to enroll in classes before the add/drop deadline of the consecutive major semester, you will have to reapply for admission as a former student by the appropriate deadlines. Readmission is NOT guaranteed.
NOTE: If you attend another school during your leave of absence, remember to send an updated transcript to BYU so your credits can be applied to your BYU record. If you do not attend another school, your academic status will remain the same as it was when you took your leave of absence.
A leave of absence may be taken directly prior to a missionary deferment (consecutive semesters). Following your mission, you must enroll at BYU within a given time period, as noted in the Missionary Deferment policy.
International students must be a daytime student for eight months prior to a leave of absence. International students must obtain clearance from the International Office before taking a leave of absence.