A student has the right to apply for academic leave on the following conditions:


  • Health reasons – for a maximum period of two years. When applying for academic leave for health reasons, the student shall provide a medical certificate containing a doctor’s recommendation for the necessity of academic leave and its length. The same principle applies when taking academic leave for pregnancy.
  • Service in the Estonian Defence Forces – when requesting academic leave for service in the Defence Forces, the student shall attach the defence forces service notice to the academic leave application.
  • Parental leave – until the child reaches three years of age.
    When requesting academic leave to care for a child, the student shall attach a copy of the child’s birth certificate to his/her application.
  • Other reasons (difficult financial situation, family problems, working abroad, etc) – for a maximum period of one year.

Applying for academic leave for other reasons is limited as follows:

  • first semester students cannot apply for academic leave for other reasons;
  • academic leave for other reasons can be applied for only during the standard period of study (academic leave for all other reasons can be taken also after the standard period of study has been exceeded) and only for 1 semester or 2 semesters (it is not possible to extend it);
  • academic leave for other reasons can be taken only once at every level of study for a maximum period of one year.

Academic leave is not included in the standard period of study. This means that after returning from academic leave the standard study period shall continue from where it was stopped when the student requested academic leave. 

Academic leave lasts at least until the end of a semester. Therefore, if a student requests academic leave in the middle of a semester, it cannot be terminated before the end of the semester, even when the circumstances for taking academic leave have changed in the meantime.

An application must be filled in the Study Information System (ÕIS). An application for academic leave must also contain the end semester. The academic leave will automatically be ended by the study department at the preliminary week of the semester following the semester indicated in the student’s application as the last semester of academic leave.

A student taking academic leave has a right to delete his/her name from the list of persons registered for a particular course. This can be done within two weeks from the granting of academic leave. It is necessary to submit a written application to the department teaching the subject.  PS! It is not allowed to delete a student’s name from the course registration list where the contact study period has ended or ends during the week when the application for academic leave is submitted (with the exception of students taking academic leave for pregnancy or parental leave).

During academic leave a student may take subjects depending on his/her admission year and reason for academic leave. Please contact the staff in your department for getting additional information. 

When a student applies for academic leave for other reasons (difficult financial situation, working abroad, etc.), the student has to take into account that his/her medical insurance is paused during the time of academic leave. Where a student takes academic leave for different reasons (health reasons, service in defence forces, parental leave), the medical insurance shall be valid on other grounds.

PS! Please be aware that you may not be given the Estonian Temporary Residence Permit for Study if you are taking an academic leave. International degree students who have the Estonian Temporary Residence Permit who wish to take an academic leave are requested to contact with the International Admission Specialist (admissions@tlu.ee).