Deferring or Leaving School
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'll need to complete the online missionary deferment to defer both enrollment and academic scholarships.
Full Withdrawal from School
If you need to withdraw fully from your current enrollment for a mission deferment or leave of absence, contact Enrollment Services. An Enrollment Services Counselor can assist you with your individual needs and circumstances by coordinating with many offices on campus, including Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, International Student Services, and Veterans Support.
If you are in the military and are required to leave school before you're able to request a full withdrawal, an contact Enrollment Services and a counselor can help you even after you have reported for active duty.
Leave of Absence
A Leave of Absence occurs when you do not register for any classes or drop all registered classes by the add/drop deadline of a semester or term (i.e., term 1, term 2, or semester-length). You cannot take a leave of absence the first semester you’re admitted. An undergraduate student cannot miss an entire academic year and continue at BYU without reapplying. As long as you attend (see definitions below) at least one semester/term within an academic year, you'll maintain continuing status and registration eligibility for the next academic year.
Attendance: A semester will count as attended when a student has a grade* for a class in any semester/term. A semester or term will not count as attended when the only registrations are from classes registered as audit, or credit earned from Independent Study and Conferences and Workshops.
*Grades are A through E, P, T, I, NS, W, WE, IE. A full withdrawal with grades of W or WE will count as an attendance.
Academic Year: An academic year is from fall semester through summer term (e.g. Fall 2021 – Summer 2022)
Before Taking a Leave of Absence
Review the information below and the Leave of Absence Checklist. No paperwork is required to take a leave of absence.
- Program Requirements. Continuing status at the university may not guarantee continuing status in your program. Please check with your advisor or program coordinator for enrollment requirements.
- Ecclesiastical endorsement: Upon your return, you must have a current ecclesiastical endorsement before you can register. To complete this requirement, submit the continuing student ecclesiastical endorsement form at honorcodecommit.byu.edu.
- Scholarships: You must meet posted scholarship deadlines 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, you will begin your loan repayment timeline.
- Reapplication for admission: If you fail to attend at least one semester/term in an academic year, you'll 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.
- Missionaries: A leave of absence may be taken directly prior to a missionary deferment. Following your mission, you must enroll at BYU within a designated time period, as noted in the Missionary Deferment policy.
- Graduate Students: Please consult with the Graduate Studies office for enrollment and leave of absence policies.
- International Students: You must be a daytime continuing student for eight months prior to a leave of absence. You must obtain clearance from the International Office before taking a leave of absence.
- Military Service Leave: BYU does not have a military service deferment. However, we are eager to help you continue your studies after returning from military service. If you are required to leave BYU for military service, contact Enrollment Services to discuss your options before you leave.