Medical Leave of Absence

Dean of Students Office

What is a Medical Leave of Absence?

A medical leave of absence is a period of time when a student is not enrolled in classes but typically intends to reenroll. It is granted to students who need to step away from their current academic experience for the remainder of the semester in order to focus more intensely on their physical or mental health. It does require the support of a licensed medical or mental health care professional.

Who needs a Medical Leave of Absence?

Students may want to consider a medical leave of absence if:

  • Physical or mental health is disrupting their ability to participate in academic and campus life, even with supports and accommodations.
  • They feel they are in crisis or that their level of distress is becoming intolerable.
  • They believe the stress and pressure of college is seriously disrupting their ability to focus on recovery.
  • An increased level of care is needed.

How do I know if I qualify for a Medical Leave of Absence?

Students who are already connected to a licensed medical or mental health care provider should talk with that person to determine if a medical leave of absence is something they would recommend and support with documentation for demonstrated need. If the student is not yet connected to a medical or mental health professional, then they should proceed with an appointment in the Dean of Students office (507) 933-7526 to evaluate their options and get appropriate referrals to on and off campus resources.

What happens to my student status with a Medical Leave of Absence?

If approved by the Dean of Students or their designee, the student will stop all courses and be granted grades of “W” in all enrolled courses (even if the normal deadline for withdrawal has passed), have course registration for any subsequent term cancelled, and be obligated to provide documentation from a licensed medical or mental health care provider that significant progress has been made in treatment before the student will be approved to re enroll. Students granted a medical leave of absence will not be permitted to continue living on campus. Students typically spend at least one full semester away from campus, though time away can be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Students returning from a medical leave of absence will receive a 10% tuition discount for the first semester they are back on campus, provided they return within one year of taking the leave. Students are encouraged to consult with the Financial Aid Office (507) 933- 7527 to determine if there are other financial impacts to their decision to take a leave.

If you would like to proceed with a Medical Leave or have any additional questions please contact: 

Heather Dale, PA-C 
Director of Health Service and Assistant Dean of Students
507-933-7630 or hdale@gustavus.edu