Leave of Absence

You can request a leave of absence for the coming semester within the specified periods in “My Requests” in the student portal.

Leave of absence can only be granted from the second semester of study onward. This also applies to students resuming their studies following a break. Leave of absence can be granted as early as the first semester in the event of illness, accident or maternity leave.

Cancellation of Modules

Modules that have already been booked for the semester of leave will be canceled automatically by the University of Zurich after approval of the leave of absence has been granted.

Periods

For the Fall Semester

1 February – 31 August

For the Spring Semester

1 September – 31 January

Reasons for a Leave of Absence

A leave of absence may be requested for the following reasons:

Reason for leave

Required document
(as a PDF file)

Illness or accident

Doctor’s confirmation

Maternity leave

Birth certificate, doctor’s confirmation

Care for family members

Doctor’s confirmation

Military or civilian service

Notification of military service

Non-mandatory internship

No document required

Independent mobility

No document required

PhD publication phase

No document required

External stay double degree

No document required

Independent mobility: If coursework completed at another university is to be credited at the University of Zurich, you cannot request a leave of absence. Instead, you must remain enrolled as a regular student. Some of the semester fees to be paid to the University of Zurich will be reimbursed if you must also pay foreign fees.

Requesting a Leave of Absence

You can see the processing status of your request at any time directly in the request under “My Requests.” A separate request for leave must be submitted each semester.

  • Request the leave in “My Requests” in the student portal during the specified periods. Any necessary documents that are not yet available may be submitted later. After the request has been submitted it will be reviewed by the University of Zurich Student Administration Office (request status: “To be verified”).

  • If a document must be submitted later or a document that has been submitted is illegible, etc., you will receive a letter from the Student Administration Office via the student portal (with notification by e-mail). It can be found in the "Leave" request under “Documents.” The status of the request will change to “Incomplete.”

  • Upload the required document as a PDF file in the request (“Documents” tab) and submit the request again by clicking on the “Resubmit” button (lower right-hand corner).

  • The processing status will be “To be verified” until your request has been processed by the Student Administration Office.  

  • Once your request has been processed, the status will change to “Approved” or “Rejected.” If the request is approved, you will directly receive the “Confirmation of Leave of Absence”; if it is rejected, you will receive a letter specifying the reason for rejection. You will find both in the request under “Documents” (with notification by e-mail). The invoice for the mandatory semester contributions is uploaded to the “Enrollment” request at the beginning of June and the beginning of December (with notification by e-mail).

Following approval: The previous enrollment will continue to be displayed in “My Enrollment and Personal Data,” but it will not be possible to book modules, etc.

Following rejection: You remain regularly enrolled in the previous degree program/study programs.

Following the end of the semester of leave: For the coming semester the original enrollment will be proposed in “My Enrollment and Personal Data” and once the semester invoice has been paid, it will be valid. A new request must be submitted to extend the leave of absence.

Invoice for Mandatory Semester Contributions

You must continue to pay the mandatory semester contributions during the semester of leave. However, no tuition fee is due.

The invoice for the mandatory semester contributions is uploaded to the student portal at the beginning of June and the beginning of December (with notification by e-mail). You will find the invoice in the “Enrollment” request for the corresponding semester.

If you have already received an invoice for the full semester fees, this will automatically be deleted after approval of the leave of absence has been granted and a new invoice for the reduced amount will be uploaded.

If you have already paid the full semester fees, the Student Administration Office will initiate a reimbursement for the difference. You will receive a letter by mail.

Maximum Leave Duration, Confirmation of Leave, UZH Card

Maximum leave duration:

Maximum number of leave semesters:

Two semesters per academic level

Doctoral candidates during the publication phase:

Four additional semesters

Confirmation of Leave of Absence:

Once your leave has been approved, the Student Administration Office will automatically upload the “Confirmation of Leave of Absence” to the student portal. The confirmation of leave can be downloaded in the “Leave” request.

UZH Card and Use of UZH Infrastructure:

You can validate your UZH Card and continue to use University of Zurich infrastructure during your semester of leave (libraries, cafeterias, Academic Sports Association Zurich (ASVZ), etc.).

The UZH Card can only be validated after the invoice for the mandatory semester contributions has been paid, but not before 1 August for the Fall Semester and 1 February for the Spring Semester.

Leave During the Publication Phase of the Doctoral Thesis

During the publication phase of your doctoral thesis, you can request four additional semesters of leave. Leave must be requested again for each semester.

Leave may be taken at the start of the publication phase if:

  • you are currently enrolled as a regular student,
  • conferral of your doctorate has been confirmed by the faculty,
  • you do not utilize any University of Zurich services during the coming semester (with the exception of libraries, the Academic Sports Association Zurich (ASVZ) and cafeterias).

Leave when Studying in More than one Degree Program

Students who are registered for more than one degree program at the same time may only request leave for all degree programs at the same time. However, a separate request must be submitted for each degree program. Exception: For leave during the publication phase of a doctoral thesis, studies may be continued in the other degree programs.