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Graduate Assistant Leave of Absence Process

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  • There are times when members of our graduate assistant workforce may need time off during their tenure at UF. Graduate assistants are entitled to six (6) weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period if they meet the eligibility criteria per the GAU bargaining agreement: Article 8.3 and 8.4. This leave may be extended up to a year if approved by the department. Requesting a leave of absence does not affect the graduate assistant’s eligibility to receive university raises.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Per the Bargaining Agreement Article 8.3, the graduate assistant must be in his/her second semester of employment as a graduate assistant to be eligible for the leave provision for medical or research reasons.

    Graduate assistants who are requesting leave of absence can be enrolled in courses and request the leave or are not enrolled in courses. The leave of absence will allow the graduate assistant to keep their tuition waiver and benefits active.

    Graduate Assistants with Multiple Appointments

    If the graduate assistant has multiple appointments, he/she must inform all supervisors about the request for leave of absence. If the graduate assistant’s appointments are under different departments or colleges a letter per appointment would be required.


    During the graduate assistant’s leave of absence, his/her GatorGradCare coverage will continue. The graduate assistant is responsible for the employee’s share of the monthly premium, which can be collected in advance if possible or upon return from his/her leave.


    Below are steps to accurately and effectively support a graduate assistant who may need to be on leave due to personal reasons including but not limited to medical reasons and/or to enhance their academic development through research and/or internships.

    When a graduate assistant requests a leave of absence for any reason, please complete the following steps:

    1. The graduate assistant, work supervisor, graduate coordinator and chair must discuss the leave of absence. Based on the conversation all parties must come to an agreement as to the length of the leave.
    2. The department will complete the template letter including all required signatures prior to submission.
    3. Submit letter via email to UFHR Leave Administration and Judy Traveis from the Graduate School.

    UFHR Leave Administration will provide a confirmation email once the leave of absence is entered in the system. No additional steps are required by the student or the department, unless a change is needed.

    Contact Information

    UFHR Leave Administration
    Phone: (352) 392-2477
    Email: benefits@ufl.edu

    Judy Traveis, Ph.D
    Assistant Dean for Administration
    Graduate School
    Email: judiusb@ufl.edu