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Medical Leave of Absence FAQs

IMPORTANT: Withdrawing from the semester can affect a student in a variety of ways in which Counseling and Psychological Services is not able to counsel or advise. These include, but are not limited to: health insurance eligibility, Financial Aid status, scholarships, departmental standing for certain majors, athletics’ status, etc. The student should check with the applicable offices to clarify how his/her particular circumstances will be affected by withdrawal.

Types of Withdrawal

  1. Withdrawal – Is an option from dropping courses after the Add/Drop deadline date. A student may withdraw at any time before the last day of classes. Full-time students must consult the AcademicSuccess Center Director or a designee.

  2. Leave of Absence – Can be granted only by the Academic Dean of the student’s school in advance of the leave. The student must specify the semester in which they plan to return. A leave of absence is recorded on the student’s official transcript. Students on leave must contact the Registrar to receive an appointment for registration for the semester of their planned return. Failure to register for the approved return semester will result in withdrawal from the University requiring the student to apply for readmission.

  3. Medical Leave of Absence – Students are permitted to take voluntary leaves of absence for physical or mental health reasons. If a student so requests, Student Health Service or Counseling and Psychological Services will assist a student in determining whether to take a voluntary medical leave of absence and in arranging that leave. Students who are receiving medical or psychiatric services outside of the University will need to provide supporting documentation to either the Student Health Service’s or Counseling and Psychological Services Director or designee for review and determination of leave.

Common questions and answers regarding the process for a medical leave of absence

  • No. A medical leave of absence constitutes a complete withdrawal from all classes and school.

    Medical leave of absence cannot be granted for selected classes.

  • The medical leave of absence shows up on transcripts as “W” signifying “withdrawal.” Those individuals reviewing a transcript would have no way of knowing the reason for the withdrawal.

  • You need to get that information from the source of your financial aid and/or your academic advisor.

  • You will not be able to register for classes again or sign up for housing until you have met all the conditions necessary for clearance to re-enter the University. Please refer to the Post-Medical Leave of Absence Re-enrollment form.

  • It is in the student’s best interest to discuss the decision with family or those persons who provide financial support to the student and, therefore, may also be impacted by this decision. If the student is requesting a medical leave of absence for mental health reasons, the student will need to provide supporting documentation from their mental health practitioner providing the care. The initial step will require the student to have the Request for Medical Leave of Absence Physician/Health Care Professional Certification completed and returned to the Director of Counseling & Psychological Services for review. Once the student is granted the medical leave of absence, they will need to complete additional paperwork for clearance for re-enrollment.

  • Anyone who is granted a psychological leave of absence must remain out of school for a minimum of one semester and receive treatment during that time from a licensed mental professional (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, etc.). When the student is ready to return to school, they must have their treating mental health professional document the treatment history on the “Post-Medical Leave of Absence Re-enrollment Form” and submit it to the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services. The student’s mental health professional will need to address the following points:

    1. The student has complied with treatment;
    2. The student is stable and ready to return to the unstructured, and sometimes stressful, environment of the university;
    3. The student has addressed the issues that led him/her to take a medical leave of absence;
    4. It is in the best interest of the student to return to school. The mental health practitioner will also include a diagnosis, prognosis, and, if applicable, recommendations for follow-up treatment. Please note that students sometimes cease treatment shortly after being granted a medical leave and many mental health professionals are unwilling to complete our forms if they have not seen a client in months.  Students returning to campus after a medical leave of absence will need to participate in a face-to-face interview with the Director or designee of Counseling and Psychological Services before being cleared for registration.
  • No. Counseling and Psychological Services does not grant retroactive medical leave of absences. They are only given for the current semester.

  • Students taking a medical leave of absence will need to move out of their residence hall within 48 hours of leave being granted.

  • Typically students are provided with referrals for mental health services off campus; however, students are provided with pre-termination services until transitition is completed.
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