The purpose of a sabbatical leave is to promote research. Sabbatical leaves are usually devoted exclusively to carrying out a research project, but may also consist of a course of study designed to learn new research skills essential for future projects. Any teaching or other paid professional activity during the period of the sabbatical leave must be approved by the Provost in advance of the activity. Approval will be based on whether the activity complements the approved sabbatical project.

Source:  Faculty Handbook, section III.C.10.c


  • Tenured faculty are eligible for a sabbatical leave based on accumulated semesters of counted service. Leaves of absence do not count towards sabbatical eligibility. Since the award of a sabbatical is an investment which is meant to profit the institution as well as the individual, faculty are committed by the acceptance of a sabbatical award to return to Georgetown after a sabbatical to teach for at least one academic year. A report on research progress is expected upon completion of any period of sabbatical.
  • Semesters of eligibility towards sabbatical are accumulated at the rate of 1.25 weeks per semester. Semesters of eligibility are banked automatically up to a maximum of 24 semesters. No exceptions are granted to the 24 semesters maximum. Faculty can check their accumulated sabbatical balance by logging into GMS and clicking on the “Faculty Research Leave” icon.
  • Upon the accumulation of 12 semesters of credit toward sabbatical, faculty are eligible for:
    • (1) a full academic year of sabbatical leave at half pay, or
    • (2) one semester of sabbatical leave at full pay. Delaying one sabbatical need not delay eligibility for future sabbaticals for faculty on the Main Campus.
  • Faculty also may apply for periods of partial sabbatical. A partial sabbatical may reduce the teaching responsibilities to provide more time for research activities, and may be combined with periods of reduction in pay. For example, after 6 semesters (7.5 weeks) a faculty member may apply for:
    • (1) a half sabbatical of accumulated eligibility at full pay;
    • (2) a one course reduction at 50% salary (assuming a 2-2 teaching load), or
    • (3) a faculty member teaching two courses each semester might teach 2:1 every 6 semesters instead of 2:0 every 12 semesters.
  • Generally sabbatical leaves will be granted when the University will not suffer undue academic inconvenience and when the applicant uses the leave for research or for formal study. It is evident that the number of leaves granted in any academic year must be limited. Some sabbatical requests may not be approved. Please see the Guidelines for Approval of Sabbatical Applications for Tenured Faculty for more information. 


Faculty must use the GMS portal to apply for sabbatical.  Please refer to this job aid for help using the GMS portal. Before developing your sabbatical project make sure that you are eligible for a sabbatical leave by checking your status in GMS under “Faculty Research Leave” icon.  If you have not accumulated sufficient credit, your application will nonetheless be manually reviewed, but is unlikely to be approved. In light of this, please check your GMS account to verify your eligibility before submitting your application.  

The application for sabbatical leave requires a description of the work you plan to complete during this leave. Note that sabbatical leave cannot be used to teach in another college or university. In addition, you should provide a brief description (or attach the sabbatical report) from your last sabbatical leave if applicable.

Questions about a sabbatical proposal, report or related issues may be directed to the academic administrators listed below.

Georgetown College
Soyica Colbert, David Edelstein or Elena Silva

McDonough School of Business
Dennis Quinn

School of Foreign Service
Carol Benedict

McCourt School of Public Policy
Barbara Schone 

Submission Process

Sabbatical application materials should be submitted via GMS prior to December 1 of each year for the next academic year.  If you are eligible, your application will route automatically to the relevant reviewers.  If our records indicate that you are ineligible to take sabbatical when proposed, your application will be reviewed by our Faculty Affairs office to resolve any outstanding inconsistencies.

School deans approve applications for sabbatical by December 1, after which they are reviewed by the Office of the Provost. Faculty will be informed of the outcome of this final review by January 15th. 

For more information, please consult the following policies and guidelines: