Leave of Absence

Reference: Regulation 4.06

If you need to apply for a leave of absence due to medical, compassionate, or pregnancy/parental grounds you can do so through the secure Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

After submitting an application for leave, your request will be forwarded to your home program for approval and finally to The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for approval and processing. Once a decision has been made, you will receive notification via your Western e-mail address.


International students in Canada during their leave are required to opt into UHIP; however, international students are eligible for a maximum of four months of coverage while on a leave.

Doctoral Medical Leave Bursaries

Starting October 5, 2015, doctoral students may be eligible for a Medical Leave Bursary of up to $5,000 for one term of leave during the full duration of a student’s degree. The bursary will be available to any eligible doctoral students on a medical leave effective September 1, 2015. 

To be eligible, students must:

  • be enrolled full-time in a PhD program or in the DMA program
  • be within their funding eligibility period (e.g., in Year 1 to 4, or Year 1 to 5 in the case of direct-entry, Master’s to Doctoral transfer or combined PhD/masters programs)
  • provide a Medical Certificate completed by a health care practitioner
  • expect to return to full-time studies following the leave
  • request and be approved by the graduate program and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for a medical leave of absence

The bursary would be granted for a maximum of one term.  Students requiring a medical leave longer than one term would not receive additional funding. Students are eligible for a maximum of $5,000 of medical leave bursary funding during the full duration of their degree.

The bursary would be provided directly to the student to cover living costs while on medical leave.  Students who receive a medical leave bursary are subject to all aspects of the SGPS Regulation on Leaves of Absence (see Graduate Regulations, Section 4.06).