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Leave of Absence Policy

A student wishing to request a leave of absence (LOA) should meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who will discuss the implications of taking a leave, refer the student to appropriate campus resources as necessary, and assist the student in preparing a letter to the Dean. Leaves of absence may on occasion be required by the School of Medicine for purposes of academic remediation. A leave of absence may also be granted by the Dean at the request of the student for appropriate personal or professional reasons. The exact timing of a return to full student status may be contingent on current enrollment and capacity. At the time the LOA is granted, students will receive a formal letter stipulating requirements for return.

In general, a student is eligible for one LOA request during their tenure at the School of Medicine. Requests for a second LOA will be regarded with great scrutiny taking into account not only the reason for the request but the level of disruption to the student’s timely and orderly progression through the curriculum. If a student was granted a pre-matriculation deferment, he/she will be eligible to take an additional leave of absence after matriculation only under compelling circumstances with the approval of the Dean or his/her designee.

In general, a student will not be eligible for an LOA if they are currently on academic or disciplinary probation. If a student is under discussion by the Advancement Committee for academic or disciplinary probation, no decision regarding an LOA will be finalized until a decision about probation has been reached.

Students considering leaves of absence should consider that an LOA can have significant financial impact, and that the timing of the leave is therefore critical. A leave may affect financial aid, health insurance and malpractice insurance coverage. University health insurance is valid only through the last semester for which a student has been registered. Malpractice coverage is in effect only when a student is registered and participating in clinical activities that are approved as part of the curriculum. Therefore, clinical activities are not authorized by the school during an LOA. In addition, a student may not serve elected office or represent the school to another organization while on LOA unless the Dean has specifically granted an LOA with that provision. These factors should be carefully considered along with the timing and benefits of a planned LOA.

LOA Checklist

Last Revision: January 21, 2020