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Sabbaticals are available to teachers to:

  1. Enhance their teaching skills
  2. Restore their health
  3. Achieve state certification in a shortage area

Members can apply for a sabbatical through SOLAS. See the current DOE sabbatical memo for additional guidance and deadlines. 

Regular sabbatical leaves for study or restoration of health

Eligible teachers who want to enhance teaching skills or restore health during illness may request a sabbatical leave.

All teachers are eligible for a one-year sabbatical (of either type) after 14 years of service. (For your first 14-year sabbatical, you can count up to three years of regular substitute service; the rest must be regularly appointed service.)

Spring semester study sabbaticals are available only for middle and high school classroom pedagogues, who are also eligible to take one-year study sabbaticals as well. 

School secretaries, laboratory specialists and technicians hired before July 1, 1985 are eligible for study and health sabbatical leaves. However, school secretaries, laboratory specialists and technicians hired on or after July 1, 1985 are only eligible for health sabbaticals effective September 1, 2007.

Before retiring or leaving service, you are required to return to your position for one year after a six-month sabbatical and for two years after a one-year sabbatical. Other rules apply. UFT borough offices hold sabbatical workshops in the fall and spring to guide prospective applicants.

Restoration of Health

After seven years of regularly appointed service, all teachers are eligible for a sabbatical leave of up to six months for restoration of health. All sabbaticals for restoration of health must be approved by the medical director. If your application is denied, you may go to medical arbitration.

Teachers earn 70 percent of salary during a full-year and 60 percent of salary during a six-month restoration of heath sabbatical. 


Study sabbaticals must be used for rigorous coursework related to your teaching assignment. You must submit an official transcript or final research project upon completion of a study sabbatical. If your superintendent does not approve your proposed course of study, you have the right to amend it.

During a study sabbatical, teachers earn 70 percent of salary.

Special study sabbaticals to achieve state certification

Teachers who are regularly appointed and want to be certified in a designated shortage area may apply for a special one-year or six-month sabbatical for study relating to certification (see list of current shortage areas below).

Any applicant applying for the special study sabbatical must meet all other requirements for state certification, in addition to being within 16  required credits. A minimum of eight credits are required for a six-month sabbatical and a minimum of 16 credits are required for a one-year sabbatical.

Shortage area licenses

Special sabbatical leave for study may be granted to complete certification in one of the following shortage license areas:

  • Deaf & Hard of Hearing – Monolingual and Bilingual (Bilingual for Spanish only)
  • Limited Vision – Monolingual and Bilingual (Bilingual for Spanish only)
  • Bilingual Special Education – (Spanish and Haitian Creole)
  • Spanish – Secondary
  • Mathematics – Secondary
  • General Science – Junior High Schools
  • Chemistry and General Science – High Schools
  • Earth Science and General Science – High Schools
  • Biology and General Science – High Schools
  • Physics and General Science – High Schools
  • Nursing – High Schools
  • Bilingual Mathematics – Secondary
  • Bilingual Sciences – Junior High & Day High Schools
  • Bilingual Social Studies – Junior High & Day High Schools
  • English – Junior High & Day High Schools
  • Physical Education – Junior High & Day High Schools
  • Special Education
  • English as a Second Language – Elementary and Secondary
  • Speech Improvement – Monolingual and Bilingual (Bilingual for Spanish or Haitian Creole only)

You are required to provide a letter from your college or university, or a statement from the New York State Education Department, confirming that you have met all requirements except the remaining 16 or fewer academic credits needed to achieve certification.

You must also submit the completed Application for Special Study Sabbaticals to Achieve Certification. Individuals awarded special study sabbaticals will be required to submit their documented proof of enrollment in an appropriate academic program at an accredited college or university. Documentation must be submitted prior to the start of the sabbatical, confirming that the employee has registered for 16 credits or less.

An individual who receives this special sabbatical leave of absence for study will commit to completing certification and will accept assignment to teach in the license area for a minimum of two years.

DOE documents