Medical Leave of Absence

Cover of Medical Leave of Absence HandbookThe Office of the Dean of Student Life and the Case Management staff is committed to supporting undergraduate students throughout their time at Johns Hopkins. Occasionally, students may experience a disruption in their academic journey due to physical or mental health difficulties that are significantly impacting their ability to participate in academics and complete a semester. This typically means that the condition is impacting a student for a period of time longer than a week. In this case, a student may file for a Medical Leave of Absence, or MLoA. A MLoA is a temporary break from enrollment to allow students to devote their attention to medical treatment when their need for care prevents them from being able to be a successful student.

We have several staff members, who together form a CARE team, to support each student during their time here at Johns Hopkins. Each undergraduate student taking a MLoA is assigned a Case Manager to assist in their MLoA process. Our goal is to help students manage physical and mental health concerns, personal and family emergencies, financial issues, and other obstacles that may arise during their college experience.

For more information, please view the PDF Document: Medical Leave of Absence handbook, review the information below, or view answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, or contact a Case Manager.

Process for Requesting Medical Leave of Absence

Speak with a Case Manager

A student wishing to take a Medical Leave of Absence must discuss this request with a case manager, in person or over the phone. There can be many interventions that Case Managers can offer in lieu of a leave, if appropriate, or the case manager may ask the student to speak to other offices while the student considers if a MLoA is appropriate or the best option for them. Those offices may include Advising, Financial Aid, Counseling, or Student Health and Wellness.

If a MLoA is best, the case manager will discuss logistics and relevant concerns related to a MLoA, such as financial implications or changes to a student’s academic plan. The case manager may also ask for an acknowledgment from the parent/guardian of the student. Lastly, the student will complete the online MLoA form with their Case Manager as their official intent to leave.

Notify Faculty and Campus Partners

Once a student decides to take a Medical Leave of Absence, the Case Manager will contact the student’s faculty to confirm the last day that the student attended class. This is used to determine any tuition refund if applicable.

The Case Manager will then send a memo to the student and campus partners, including:

  • Student Accounts
  • Academic Advising
  • Housing
  • Financial Aid
  • Office of International Services
  • Student Health and Wellness Center
  • Counseling Center
  • J-Card

This email includes when the student has left and when they are expected to return, if known. This memo also indicates any refund that the student can expect to receive and will trigger the Registrar to place a hold in SIS to be removed upon reinstatement.

Contact Financial Aid and Student Accounts

The student should contact Financial Aid and/or Student Accounts for information about getting any refund and discussing how the leave may impact future semester aid.

Process for Reinstatement from Medical Leave of Absence

Connect with a Case Manager

The student should notify their Case Manager of their intent to return and fill out the online MLoA Reinstatement form.

Please note, it typically takes several weeks to process a reinstatement from medical leave. While the Office of the Dean of Student Life will attempt to process your return as quickly as possible, it is important to allow time for this process as students frequently need to communicate with many offices to make arrangements for their return (e.g. Student Health and Wellness or the Counseling Center, Financial Aid, Housing, Academic Advising, Disability Services).

You will not be able to register for classes until you are cleared for reinstatement by the Dean of Student Life office and have any relevant holds removed on your account (e.g. academic or financial holds).

If you receive Financial Aid, it is recommended you notify the Office of Student Financial Services of your intent to return. Students must complete all financial aid requirements (i.e. FAFSA, CSS Profile, submitting tax documents) by the returning undergraduate application deadline to be considered for aid for the next academic year. Institutional grant is available on a funds-available basis.

Provide Documentation

Each student, regardless of the originating concern initiating their MLoA, must fill out the following documentation, which is available PDF Document: online or through your case manager.

The documentation includes:

  1. Release(s) of Information
  2. Student Self-Questionnaire
  3. Treating Provider Letter.

Consultation with Counseling Center or Student Health and Wellness Center

After documentation is completed and submitted, the student will have a phone consultation with the Counseling Center or Student Health and Wellness Center to discuss treatment while on Leave and the student’s plan for continued health upon return to the university.

Counseling Center or Student Health and Wellness Center Makes Recommendation

The Counseling Center or Student Health and Wellness Center makes a recommendation to student and case manager within the Office of the Dean of Student Life. The recommendation will be one of the following:

  1. The student is cleared to return (with or without recommendations)
  2. The student is not cleared for return at this time and must apply again at a later date

Consultation with a Case Manager

After the recommendation is received, the case manager then reaches out to the student to schedule a meeting or phone call to discuss the student’s transition back, any ongoing support the student may need, and to provide guidance on any other steps the student may need to take with the university (for example, getting other holds lifted from the student’s account, or registering for disability accommodations).

Decision is Made Regarding Reinstatement

The Student Questionnaire, Provider Questionnaire, and the student’s consultations will all be considered to determine your readiness for reinstatement. The student will be notified by phone or email by the Office of the Dean of Student Life as to the decision regarding reinstatement.

If a student is cleared for reinstatement, the case manager will work with the student to complete the reinstatement process:

  • Notify Campus Partners
    • Case Manager sends memo to student and campus partners, confirming the student’s date of return.
  • Ongoing Support
    • Upon the student’s return, the Case Manager makes an appointment with the student to discuss strategies for success and coordinating any ongoing treatment needs.

If a student is denied reinstatement, they are encouraged to apply again the following semester.

  • In the event that a student objects the reinstatement decision made by the Office of the Dean of Student Life, the student may appeal the reinstatement decision in writing to the Senior Associate Dean or their designee within five (5) business days of the date of the notice of the decision. The student may not remain on campus during this time.
    • The appeal may be filed on the sole grounds of:
      • New information available
      • Incorrect facts were used to determine the decision
      • Unfair application of Johns Hopkins leave processes were applied
  • The student should provide documentation to support these statements. Any medical information used in the appeal must include signed releases for the student’s treatment team to discuss pertinent information with the Dean and/or designee
  • The Dean will review the record and any additional information submitted by the student and will render a written decision to the student within five (5) business days of receiving the appeal. The Dean’s decision will be final.

Deadlines for Reinstatement Applications

Typically, it takes several weeks to process reinstatement from medical leave. While the Office of the Dean of Student Life will attempt to process your return as quickly as possible, it is important to allow time for this process as students frequently need to communicate with many offices to make arrangements for their return (e.g. Student Health and Wellness Center, Counseling Center, Financial Aid, Housing, Academic Advising, Student Disability Services, etc.).

Please note: You will not be able to register for classes until you are cleared for reinstatement by the Office of the Dean of Student Life and have any relevant holds removed on your account (e.g. academic or financial holds). If your health allows it, it is suggested that you complete the reinstatement materials by the early submission dates so that you can be cleared to register for classes sooner. You are welcome to submit materials by the latest submission date, however, we are unable to get you into classes that are full.

Please see the table below to assist you in planning to submit your reinstatement materials. Please note, the Latest Submission Date is the date documentation must be received by the Office of the Dean of Student Life.

Semester of Return Earliest Submission Date Latest Submission Date
Fall March 1 July 15
Intersession* October 1 November 15
Spring October 1 December 1
Summer* February 1 May 1**

*It is generally recommended that you return in fall or spring, not intersession or summer, however, applications for those terms will be considered. Be sure to check with your academic advisor about whether the courses you need are offered during those terms.

**May 1 may be too late to begin the reinstatement process for summer session I courses, but still allow enough time for you to register for summer session II.

International Students

The time it takes to obtain a student VISA can vary depending on your home country. It is important to allow time for this process. Please communicate with the Office of International Services to discuss how much time will be necessary for you to obtain a student visa. OIS can be reached at 667-208-7001 or ois@jhu.edu.