Program Duration

Can I request a leave of absence once I start the (GWC)2 program?

University of Guelph:

A regular student may make prior arrangements, subject to review and recommendation by the department, to take a leave of absence from graduate studies for a specified period of time, not to exceed one year. The Board of Graduate Studies may approve a leave of absence for students who request permission not to register for two or more consecutive semesters. Further leave(s) of absence may be granted subject to review and recommendation by the department and approval by the Board of Graduate Studies. Failure to register or receive prior permission for a leave of absence will be regarded as withdrawal from graduate studies at this university. Students who wish to resume their studies must apply for readmission; if readmitted they will be required to conform to current regulations.  Please use the following form to apply for a leave of absence:

University of Waterloo:

In certain circumstances such as illness, maternity/parental leave, limited external research or work opportunity which is not related to their UW program, or temporary financial difficulties for which the University cannot provide hardship funds, students may apply to the Associate Dean (Graduate Studies ) of their Faculty for inactive status (leave of absence) Normally, inactive status is approved for a maximum of two consecutive terms (maternity leave up to three consecutive terms). Normally, students who have incomplete courses on their record are not eligible for inactive status. Students requesting inactive status and to apply for readmission, must complete a Graduate Studies Change of Enrolment Status/Degree Completion/Voluntary Withdrawal form

Can I request a program extension if I exceed the time limits for a program completion?

University of Guelph:

At the present time, no requests for extension of the time limits are required.  The progress of students is evaluated by their advisory committee and, based on that evaluation, those who exceed their maximum time limit may receive a formal request that the student be required to withdraw due to lack of progress.

University of Waterloo:

Up to three terms of extensions of the time limits may be obtained by petitioning the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.  Further extensions must be approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for Science.  Please note if you require an extension, you will be notified by the Graduate Secretary in the Department of Chemistry – do not assume you need an extension. If you are required to fill out an extension by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and you do not complete it, beware: this may cause you to “fail to register” at which time you will no longer be considered a graduate student at the University of Waterloo, and you will need to re-apply for admission.

What happens if I have to withdraw from the program once I start?

University of Guelph:

First Semester Students: A withdrawal for any student in the first semester of study will be permanent. If the student wishes to re-activate the application file for a future semester, it must be done through their academic department/school. A new application fee will be required; a decision form will be required from the department/school before a new offer of admission will be issued.

Temporary Withdrawal: A student who wishes to withdraw during the course of one semester and return for a later semester must complete the Withdrawal Notice. If the absence is to extend beyond the end of the current term, a Leave of Absence application will also be required. (This does not apply to first-semester students; see above.)

Re-Admission: A student who permanently withdraws and who subsequently applies for re-admission to continue the same program will be assessed a Re-admission fee. Contact Graduate Program Services for the appropriate forms.  Readmission will be based on an evaluation of the application by the (GWC)2. (

Download a copy of the University of Guelph withdrawal form here.

University of Waterloo:

Temporary Withdrawal:  Students who request more than two consecutive terms of leave because they have other commitments such as a full-time job or travel plans, should voluntarily withdraw from their program until they are prepared to resume their studies. In advance of voluntary withdrawal, students must discuss with their department any conditions which must be met upon their readmission to their program. Students requesting to withdraw, must complete a Graduate Studies Change of Enrolment Status/Degree Completion/Voluntary Withdrawal form

Re-Admission: Students who reapply to the program and are approved for readmission, will be required to enrol for a minimum of one full term, without tuition refund, to complete their program.  Application must be done through the OUAC application service.

Download a copy of the University of Waterloo withdrawal form here.