Leaves of Absence

As a matter of university policy, students are expected to attend classes as scheduled. However, subject to acceptable documentation, a Non-Medical Leave of Absence may be granted through the Office of Student Life.

A non-medical leave of absence may be granted for up to five days during an academic quarter or summer session. Typically, leave is not granted for one day, unless the absence would adversely impact the student’s grade (e.g., a missed test or quiz). Unless circumstances make prior request impossible, students are expected to request leave prior to an absence.

When it is impractical for a student to make-up missed work or assignments, they should discuss the matter with their instructor.

If a student is unable to attend classes because of an injury or illness, a Medical Leave of Absence may be requested through the Student Health Center. A medical leave of absence will not be granted without proper diagnosis and/or documentation. For further details, see the Student Health Center's Medical Leave of Absence page or please contact the Student Health Center at student.health@wwu.edu, Campus Services Building 202, or at (360) 650-3400.

Non-medical leave of absence can be provided in the following situations: Funeral, memorial, celebration of life; serious illness of a family member; death of a family member or close friend; court appearance (criminal, civil, protection order, immigration related); crime victimization including violence or sexual violence (working with CASAS or Equal Opportunity Office or police); verified Western sponsored trips (clubs, academic organizations, conferences); house/apartment fire;  jury duty.

Non-medical leave of absences are not provided in the following situations: family vacations, graduations, weddings, baby showers; interviews; car problems; childcare issues; roommate conflicts; academic stress/overload; student-athlete participation in sports or club sports; weather-related absences (see Western’s Inclement Weather Policy); medical (see Student Health Center’s Medical Excuse Policy).