A sabbatical is a research leave lasting either one or two semesters for which a faculty member must have earned six years of institutional service to apply.

Additional sabbatical policy information can be found at:
CU System Administrative Policy Statements:  

Policy 5-A, Policies of the Regents:

Article 5.B.3.C, Laws of the Regents:


After six years of service to the University, a tenured member of the faculty shall be eligible to apply for a sabbatical assignment in the seventh year. It is expected that the faculty member will use the sabbatical assignment in a manner that will enhance his/her scholarly and/or teaching competence and potential for service to the University in addition to advancing departmental program goals. A sabbatical is a privilege granted by the University for the advancement of the University, subject to the availability of resources. A sabbatical assignment is an important tool in developing academic scholarship and is a time for concentrated professional development. University policy on sabbatical eligibility can be viewed by following the links above. 

Specific rules and procedures regarding the grant of sabbaticals:

  1. A tenured faculty member shall become eligible after six years of service to the University (i.e., in the seventh year). In order to be eligible for a subsequent sabbatical, a faculty member must serve for six more years. A tenured faculty member on a (minimum 50%) part-time appointment shall become eligible after six years of part-time service to the University on a prorated basis. (see G for details). In order to be eligible for a subsequent sabbatical, a faculty member must serve part-time for six more years.
  2. Eligible faculty members seeking approval for a sabbatical must submit a specific plan for utilizing the sabbatical. Each plan must be approved by the department chair or an appropriate departmental committee, by the dean of the college or school, and by the Provost.  This plan must:

    1.describe the project's academic objectives, including its contribution to the faculty member's professional growth and expertise;
    2.provide a clear work plan;
    3.demonstrate the congruence of the proposal's objectives to the academic   and/or pedagogical goals of the department;
    4.specify its contribution to enhancing the University's reputation; and describe its contribution to the educational experience of the students.

  3. If approved, the faculty member's request will be forwarded via the Chancellor's and President's offices for approval by the Board of Regents.
  4. If a faculty member on sabbatical assignment finds it necessary or desirable to alter substantially the work plan or academic objectives of the sabbatical project, he/she must inform the department chair/dean in writing as soon as possible of the reasons for the proposed change and secure the department chair/dean's written approval for the revised plan.
  5. During the first semester after returning to regular duties, the faculty member must file with the dean a substantive report of his/her work and accomplishments during the sabbatical. Both the plan for the sabbatical and the post-sabbatical report shall be public documents. Therefore, no proprietary information reflecting intellectual property issues should be included in these documents. Copies of the plan and the report must be kept on file by the appropriate dean. Deans will maintain annual records of the number of sabbatical requests refused as well as those awarded. A summary report of all sabbaticals will be compiled annually be each Chancellor and submitted to the Board of Regents.
  6. To be eligible for subsequent sabbaticals, faculty members must demonstrate that they substantially met the academic goals stated in their previous sabbatical plan.
  7. Remuneration for the sabbatical assignment for a full time faculty member will be full salary for one semester or half salary for two semesters. Remuneration for the sabbatical assignment for a part-time faculty member will be prorated, for example a faculty member on a 50% appointment will receive half pay salary for one semester and one quarter pay salary for two semesters.
  8. In accepting a sabbatical assignment, the faculty member shall agree to return to the University for at least one year thereafter. In case the faculty member is responsible for terminating his/her connection with the University within the period of one year after expiration of the sabbatical, the individual shall refund the sabbatical remuneration to the University on a prorated basis, except in exceptional circumstances, including permanent disability or death, wherein neither the individual not the heirs shall be obligated to refund any part of the amount paid while on sabbatical.
  9. If he/she chooses a one-semester sabbatical assignment with full-pay, a faculty member may not then receive an additional salary. If, however, the individual chooses to take a two-semester assignment at half salary, he/she may accept a part-time salary or fellowship, provided that the total stipend for this period does not exceed the academic year salary. (The one-sixth rule may be assumed to apply here as it does to regular employment.) It is expected that faculty members applying for sabbatical assignments will also apply for external funding to the extent that it is available. In the case that the faculty member obtains external funding, University support will be reduced so that the faculty member's total salary is within the guidelines stated above.
  10. In the event that two or more members of a department simultaneously become eligible for sabbatical assignments, and it becomes necessary to limit the number of sabbaticals in the department, the order of succession shall be determined by agreement within the department. Priority will be based upon the quality of the sabbatical plan, its immediate relevance to departmental goals, and the length of time since the last sabbatical. The Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will have the power to resolve special problems of eligibility.
  11. Leaves without pay shall pause the sabbatical clock to the nearest full semester.

Reference: Regent Action 2/24/68; amended 3/17/88, 1/20/94, 10/20/94, 3/16/95 and 11/3/05 at Policy 5A: Approval of Sabbatical Assignments  and the APS effective 7/20/12 at Approval of Sabbatical Assignments

Questions concerning the sabbatical or faculty fellowship policies should be addressed to the department chair or dean, as appropriate.
If your work involves export-controlled technology or collaboration with embargoed countries, the work you perform on sabbatical may be contingent upon obtaining authorization from the US Department of State, Commerce or Treasury.  The Office of Export Controls can assist in making this determination and applying for authorization. Contact: exportcontrol@colorado.edu.


Download the following files in Rich Text Format, then use a word processing program to view, complete, and/or print them. Application for Sabbatical Leave. 


  1. When someone sends the Office of Faculty Affairs a letter indicating s/he is simply not going to take a sabbatical, we mark it as withdrawn (for example, when someone goes to another university or when they get a faculty fellowship).
  2. When someone says s/he wants to postpone a sabbatical, we will request a new date for the sabbatical if that information is not already provided. If we do not receive a date, we will have to mark it as "withdrawn" and a new application will have to be made for a future sabbatical. If we have a date, we will report the sabbatical date as revised, and a new application does not have to be made; this date can be revised again if necessary.
  3. When a sabbatical is postponed for more than three semesters (that is, when it will not take place either within the same academic year that the sabbatical was to take place or the next academic year), we want to be certain that the sabbatical plan still reflects the faculty member's actual efforts; thus the faculty member should submit a new application for sabbatical indicating what s/he plans to do during the leave.