Students who wish to suspend their graduate study should apply for a leave of absence by filling out the appropriate leave of absence form. A student’s application for a leave of absence must be endorsed by the degree program and then approved by the Graduate School.
A leave will not be granted for less than one semester or for more than one calendar year. If a student requests a leave of absence beyond one year, the student’s status will be reviewed to determine whether an extended leave will be approved.
All international students should consult with the Office of International Students & Scholars before applying for a leave of absence.
A leave, with its loss of student status, may have implications in many areas which should be considered. These may include:
- Student Health Insurance
- Student loans and loan deferment
- Legal status for F-1 and J-1 student visas
- Student funding (fellowships, etc.)
- The right to rent University-owned housing
- Access to University facilities
Students requiring a leave of absence for family/dependent care, military service or other personal reasons should fill out the Leave of Absence form.
Students needing a medical leave of absence should fill out the Medical Leave of Absence form after consulting with the appropriate Health Services office their campus.
If students will need to use Olin Library during the leave, this can be arranged by having their department send an email to the Circulation Library requesting their access to the library for the period of the leave.
At the end of any leave of absence, a student is reinstated into the Graduate School under the conditions prevailing at the time the leave was granted.
All students returning from leave or medical leave must submit a Request for Reinstatement form to their department or program.
There will be no reinstatement fee for students returning from approved leaves.
The purpose of a medical leave (MLOA) is to allow students to suspend their studies for treatment of a condition which interferes with their ability to be successful in their graduate program. All medical leaves must be recommended by the Health Services serving your program . Once you have secured the recommendation, please fill out the Medical Leave of Absence form.
Procedures for Returning from Medical Leave
A clearance from your Health Services office is required for return from medical leave.
When you feel ready to return, please complete the two items numbered below to request consideration for reinstatement to Washington University. Health Services requires all documentation be submitted between November 1 and December 1 for Spring semester returns, and between June 1 and July 1 for Fall semester returns.
1. Complete and return a Request for Reinstatement form to your department or program;
2. Have the physician/therapist who treated you while you were on leave provide to the Director of your Health Services area, a detailed accounting of your treatment that includes:
a. your diagnosis;
b. medications, dosage, length of time on this medication, and how long you have been stable on that dosage;
c. why the physician/therapist feels you are ready to return to school;
d. knowledge of any classes you have taken or employment you have maintained while you were on leave.
This detailed accounting of your treatment is required so that the Director can best advise our office as to whether you are up to the rigors associated with your return to graduate studies. The information provided by your physician/therapist is a confidential communication with Health Services and is not shared with our office. Your physician/therapist may fax this information to either Student Health Services at (314) 935-8515 for Danforth campus students or to (314) 362-0058 for students on the Medical campus. After the information is received, further consultation with your physician/therapist may be necessary before the Health Services Director can make an accurate recommendation.
Please send your request for reinstatement consideration to our office, AND your physician’s/therapist’s detailed accounting of your treatment to the appropriate Health Services office. You must have clearance and a recommendation from Health Services for your return before our office can approve/deny your request for reinstatement. Our office will advise you of our reinstatement decision as soon as possible.
Full-time graduate students may request a new child leave, provided that they will serve as the new child’s primary caregiver and have the approval of their program. Unlike the leaves of absence discussed above, new child leave does not affect the student’s full-time status and will not appear on the student’s transcript. New child leave must be taken within the first year after the child’s birth or adoption. Students should contact their department to request a New Child Leave.
To whatever extent is possible, a new child leave’s beginning and ending dates should coincide with those of the academic term (fall, spring, or summer). Students on new Child Leave are eligible for relief from TA or RA duties for up to 60 calendar days while they receive their normal stipend payments. Additional time off without pay for up to a full semester will ordinarily be granted by the Graduate School if approved by the student’s Department. If longer periods of leave are desired, students will be expected to apply for a Leave of Absence. Students who receive support from external agencies should consult policies and guidelines of the sponsor.