A sabbatical leave, as distinguished from a terminal leave, a leave without compensation, or a leave for reasons of health, is defined as a leave for the purpose of encouraging faculty members (including administrative officers who hold faculty rank) to engage in scholarly research or other activities that will increase their scholarly achievement or their capacity for service to the University. A sabbatical leave must be approved in advance by the dean and will not be granted for the purpose of taking regular academic or other employment of pecuniary advantage elsewhere. (A partial exception to this policy, applicable to certain kinds of research grants, is explained below.) 


Except as provided by school policies that permit sabbatical leaves for Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty, eligibility for a sabbatical leave is limited to full-time members of the faculty who have achieved tenure rights and who have completed six years of full-time service as members of the faculty at New York University.

Faculty members typically accrue time towards sabbatical at the rate of one year towards sabbatical per one year of active service.  Once a faculty member has obtained six years towards sabbatical, the faculty member remains eligible for sabbatical and further years towards sabbatical are not accrued until the sabbatical is taken. Additional years towards sabbatical, beyond the three years required for one semester sabbatical or the six years required for a full year sabbatical, are not “banked” towards future sabbaticals.

For the first sabbatical at NYU six years of service must have accrued. Thereafter faculty can accrue six additional years and then take a year sabbatical at 75% of salary or a semester of sabbatical at 100%.  In general, at least six years must elapse between consecutive sabbaticals. Alternately, faculty can accrue only three years towards sabbatical and take a semester of sabbatical at 75%. Upon return from that sabbatical accrual begins anew. 

Term and Compensation of the Sabbatical

In general, a sabbatical leave is granted to the eligible faculty member, starting September 1, for the usual teaching terms (i.e., September to June inclusive) of one academic year, at three quarters of annual base salary. However, as an alternative, a faculty member who has qualified for a full year of sabbatical leave at three-quarters salary may apply for such sabbatical to be divided into two terms falling within a seven-year period, each such term representing a seventh semester at three-quarters of the base salary applicable thereto. As another alternative, a faculty member who is qualified for a full year’s sabbatical leave at three-quarters salary may elect, in lieu thereof, to apply for only one semester of sabbatical leave during the sabbatical year, at the full base salary for that semester.

Appropriate variations apply in units, such as the College of Dentistry, the Robert I. Grossman School of Medicine and the Libraries, in which active service is rendered on a 12-month basis rather than a 9-month basis.

The cost of replacing a faculty member during sabbatical leave will be kept as low as possible by arrangements such as rotating (“bracketing”) courses, employing part-time faculty members, and making internal adjustments in the departments concerned.    


At the conclusion of a sabbatical leave the faculty member will forward to the department chairperson and the dean copies of a report on activities undertaken during the period of the leave.

Return from Sabbatical

Sabbatical leaves are granted on the assumption that colleagues and students will benefit from the research and experiences of the faculty member. Accordingly, faculty taking a sabbatical have a commitment to return to the full-time faculty with full-time teaching obligations for no less than the length of time on sabbatical (one semester or one academic year). This expectation does not apply to a faculty member who retires from NYU at the end of an earned sabbatical.

Procedure for Granting a Sabbatical Leave

Application for a sabbatical leave should be made in writing by the faculty member and submitted to the department chairperson no later than December 1 preceding the academic year for which the leave is sought. Because of the impact of a leave on departmental planning, early application is recommended.

The department chairperson must forward the application with an accompanying recommendation to the appropriate dean on or before the following December 15. The recommendation shall include a statement of the proposed method of handling the normal duties of the faculty member while on leave.

The dean must forward each application and the accompanying recommendation of the department chairperson, together with the dean’s own recommendation, to the Office of the Provost on or before January 15. The Office of the Provost, after such additional consultation with the dean as may be desirable, will announce the determination.

Sabbatical Leave and Sponsored Research and Related Activities

All sabbatical leave arrangements approved by the University carry the restriction that the faculty member is not permitted to engage in any form of regular academic or other employment to supplement the sabbatical salary. However, a member of the faculty is entitled to supplement the salary provided by the University during the period of leave with funding provided by an external sponsor for research and related activities, in an amount approved by the sponsor, so long as the total compensation is no more than the full base salary and the leave otherwise comports with the terms and conditions of the award. The faculty member must take the initiative to report plans for sabbatical leave to the sponsor and identify the salary supplementation explicitly in the proposal whenever possible, and must make known to the department chairpersons and dean at the time of request for sabbatical leave that such funding is being, or will be, sought from the sponsor.

Benefits during Sabbatical Leave of Absence

During a leave of absence, benefits may be affected. The Benefits Office should be contacted for details regarding how to continue benefit coverage and the length of time for which benefits may be continued.

It is a faculty member’s responsibility to contact the Benefits Office to arrange for continuation of benefits. More information is available at the Benefits Office.