Defer your offer

If you want to defer commencement of your course for one or two semesters (a maximum of two semesters or up to one year is permitted), you must indicate this in your application portal when you receive your offer, or alternatively email us at

If you’re a graduate research candidate and you want to defer the commencement of your course, you will be required to indicate this in your application portal and will then be sent an Application to Defer form to complete. This form can then be uploaded to your application portal, or emailed to

If the new commencement date is less than 28 days after the original commencement date you will not need to complete the Application to Defer form, just send a message via your application portal. Deferral may affect the availability of academic supervision and any scholarships awarded. This may need to be approved by the Board of Graduate Research.

If you have accepted your offer and your student visa has been granted, deferring your course may affect your visa. You must complete the Deferral of Course Commencement form [PDF 529KB], and provide evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances that are preventing you from enrolling in your course on time.

Acceptable circumstances include:

  • serious illness or injury (medical certificate required)
  • bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents (documentation required)
  • major political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country requiring emergency travel (evidence this has impacted on your studies required)
  • a traumatic experience, including: involvement in or witnessing of a serious accident (police or psychologists report required)
  • witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime, that has impacted on you, the student (police or psychologists report required)
  • La Trobe University was unable to offer a prerequisite subject
  • failure to meet the condition on your Letter of Offer
  • delay in the grant of a student visa (dated documentation required).

If your visa has been granted but your reason for deferring is not considered a compassionate or compelling reason, La Trobe University must report your status to the Department of Home Affairs as a 'non-commencement' (i.e. did not start studies). You will need to contact Department of Home Affairs for information on how this will affect your student visa.

If your application for deferral is approved, you will be issued with a new deferred offer and CoE.