On March 11, the Office of Academic Affairs introduced adjustments to the operational criteria for taking an academic leave of absence for 2020 Spring. The criteria were revised as a measure to avert the spread of COVID-19 within the KAIST community.
Henceforth, patients who tested positive with the novel coronavirus and those who have received a self-isolation notice are allowed to apply for a leave of absence due to COVID-19. Students who are staying abroad due to the travel complications caused by the outbreak are also eligible to apply. Applicants must submit a document proving their inability to attend classes, such as a medical certificate requiring hospitalization, an infection confirmation certificate, a self-isolation notice, or a visa rejection letter.
The policy extends to all students enrolled in graduate or integrated programs, and undergraduate students in their second semester or above. As for undergraduate freshmen in their first semester, who are normally prohibited from taking an academic leave of absence, approval may be granted if the student obtains permission from the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Policy after an interview, which is available via email, phone, or video call.
The updated policy also considers the case of students who have exhausted the maximum number of general academic leaves allowed, which is four semesters for undergraduate and doctoral students and two for master’s students. In such a case, students may still apply for a leave of absence due to illness, and suspend study for up to two semesters. However, this extension does not apply for students who have a number of unused general leaves.
Additionally, those who are unable to attend classes due to circumstances caused by COVID-19 but do not wish to take a leave of absence can be deemed to have attended classes for 14 days upon approval by their course instructors.
Students who wish to take an academic leave due to an illness must submit their application by the last business day before the beginning of final examinations, which will take place from June 29 to July 3. The deadline for general leave of absence applications remains as the start of the mid-term exam period.