Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Medical Leave of Absence. If you have a questions that is not answered below, please contact case managers Allison Leventhal (last names A-L) or Stephanie Baker (last names M-Z).

Going on a Medical Leave of Absence

What is a Medical Leave of Absence?

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. MLoA is granted for physical or mental health difficulties.

Who do I contact about discussing or requesting a MLoA?

A case manager can assist you with a medical leave of absence. It is a good idea if you are considering a medical leave to make an appointment to discuss this with a case manager — even if you aren’t sure it will be necessary.

If you’re working with a staff member in the Student Health and Wellness Center or Counseling Center, you may want to discuss the possibility of a medical leave with your provider.

How long do I have to be on leave?

  • A minimum of a full semester (summer and intersession do not qualify as full semesters). This is to allow you enough time to seek treatment so that you are well enough upon your return to be a successful student.
  • A Case Manager will discuss your individual circumstances with you and a timeline that makes sense for your return.
  • The earliest readmission date will be determined at the time of the leave.

Is there a limit to how long I can be on medical leave?

  • There is no limit to how long you can be on medical leave. However, JHU requires that undergraduates complete their degree within 10 years of matriculation.
  • Students who are placed on any type of leave are considered as not enrolled and are reported as withdrawn from JHU to the National Student Loan Database. Federal loans will go into repayment after a 6 month grace period (less time, if there has been a previous leave). As mentioned above, prior to going on a leave, it is recommended that students speak with their financial aid adviser to discuss the impact on financial aid and the potential for entering repayment on student loans.

How is MLoA different from a Leave of Absence?

Personal LoAs are offered through the KSAS and WSE advising offices. They are for students who want to take time away from the university to pursue an experience away from campus such as working on a political campaign, or caring for a sick relative. Personal LoAs are not for those needing medical treatment themselves.

Do I require permission from my parent/guardian prior to going on leave?

  • It is required that a parent or guardian confirm that they are aware of your plans to take medical leave. A case manager can assist you with understanding requirements if you have concerns about your family’s involvement.
  • For parents/families: We want to work with you and your student to solidify a treatment plan, to ensure that your student’s health needs are met and that s/he is set up for success to return in a future semester.

What will my transcript say?

“Leave of Absence.” You may also have W’s on your transcript for MLoAs that begin after the deadline to drop courses for a semester. Your transcript does not indicate any reason for the leave of absence.

Can I take classes at another institution while on a leave of absence?

Students who are on any Leave of Absence from Johns Hopkins may not take courses at another university to be transferred to their Johns Hopkins academic record.

What are the financial implications?

  • Depending on when the leave is put in place, students will be refunded between 0-100% of tuition (in accordance with the university’s refund policy). On campus housing and dining fees will be adjusted as well based on when the student vacates the room and terminates a dining contract.
  • We recommend that you reach out to the Office of Student Financial Services to determine the impact a leave might have on your financial aid, including federal aid, grants, and scholarships. Student Financial Services can be reached at (410) 516-8028 or fin_aid@jhu.edu.

I am an international student. Do I have to do anything for my visa?

Per the Office of International Services, all international students on F-1 or J-1 visas must see an advisor in the OIS to avoid potentially serious immigration issues, both concerning departure from the U.S. and return. OIS can be reached at (667) 208-7001 or or the OIS website.

Do I need proof of an illness or documentation from a medical provider before I go on leave?

  • While proof is not required, students are encouraged to provide some sort of documentation for their given situation. Documentation may include a letter from a physician, therapist or other medical professional. This can be helpful when the student was not being treated at the Student Health or Counseling Center prior to going on MLoA, so that a provider can best assist you upon your return.
  • To do so, please email your case manager or deanofstudentlife@jhu.edu.

What do I have to do when I am on leave?

  • The only requirement of you when on MLoA is to pursue treatment for the health issue that necessitated your leave. A case manager can assist you with finding referrals for treatment close to home.
  • Some students choose to volunteer or work a part-time job. Structure can be helpful for most students while on medical leave; while your first priority should be your health, it is recommended that you consider getting involved in an activity while away if your health permits this.

How do I come back from medical leave?

You can read more about the readmission process in the MLoA section of the Office of the Dean of Student Life website.

Will I have to live on campus when I return from medical leave?

  • If you have not met JHU’s two year on-campus housing requirement prior to leave, then you should plan to live on campus when you return from leave. If you are unsure as to whether you have fulfilled the residence requirement, feel free to reach out to Housing directly to inquire.
  • Signing a lease off-campus will not exempt you from the housing requirement. Please do not sign a lease until you have confirmed that you are not required to live on campus
  • If you have not met the residence requirement and opt not to take occupancy of your assigned room on campus, you will be billed for housing and board for the entire applicable term. You cannot complete your residence requirement in the middle of the academic year. For example, if you are a freshmen returning for the spring semester, you must reside in the residence halls your entering semester and the following entire academic year.

Is there a chance that I won’t be readmitted from a medical leave of absence? Why do I have to go through a readmission process?

  • The Dean of Student Life office requires proof of readiness to return from a medical leave of absence because we want to ensure that you are set up for success upon your return.
  • Most students who take a MLoA are cleared for readmission. However, if you don’t participate in adequate treatment related to your health while on a medical leave, you will not be readmitted until this requirement is met and you are healthy enough to return.
  • You are not required to be “cured” of all illnesses in order to return from a medical leave. Many students return from a medical leave and continue treatment in some manner while pursuing their JHU education. The goal of the medical leave and readmission process is to allow you to be healthy enough to continue your JHU education. The Dean of Student Life office is eager to support students transitioning back from a medical leave to ensure that any ongoing health needs are met.

How will going on medical leave affect my planned graduation date?

  • Please contact your advisor to discuss your remaining courses required for graduation.
  • Sometimes students are able to take a medical leave and still graduate at their planned graduation date. This may require taking summer courses, if relevant courses are available. Other times, graduation dates are pushed back by the length of time of the leave.
  • For students in majors that are heavily sequenced, where courses may only be offered in one semester each year, it may be worthwhile to consider a leave for a full academic year rather than a semester.

Why do I still have tuition/fees charged if I was unable to complete the semester?

Tuition and fees are used to give you access to university resources for the time that you participated in the semester. Depending on the date of your departure from campus, you may be entitled to a partial refund. Some charges may still apply to cover the cost of you participating in classes, housing, or other resources on campus for the time that you were enrolled.

Please refer to the university’s Tuition Refund Policy, available in the Undergraduate catalog, for further information on tuition refunds. Please contact Housing and Dining regarding cancellation of your room and board plan. Refunds are determined based on your contact.

Readmission from a Medical Leave of Absence

When can I return from my Medical Leave of Absence?

  • When you left you should have discussed your earliest readmission date with your case manager. If you are unsure, contact your case manager.
  • Please be aware that you must be within the window in which we accept requests for readmission. View readmission deadlines.
  • Your medical provider must be able to attest to your readiness to return, and any ongoing treatment needs. While a case manager would discuss an earliest readmission date when you leave, ultimately, returning is about when you are healthy enough to participate in the academic environment at JHU.

Who do I contact about returning?

You may direct any questions to the case managers.

Is there a chance that I won’t be readmitted from a medical leave of absence? Why do I have to go through a readmission process?

  • The Office of the Dean of Student Life requires proof of readiness to return from a MLoA because we want to ensure that you are set up for success upon your return.
  • Most students who take a MLoA are cleared for readmission. However, if you do not participate in adequate treatment related to your health while on a medical leave, you will not be readmitted until this requirement is met.
  • You are not required to be “cured” of all illnesses in order to return from a medical leave. Many students return from a medical leave and continue treatment in some manner while pursuing their JHU education. The goal of the medical leave and readmission process is to allow you to be healthy enough to continue your JHU education. The Office of the Dean of Student Life is eager to support students transitioning back from a medical leave to ensure that any ongoing health needs are met.

How long does it take?

  • The process can take approximately six weeks from the time the forms are submitted to when the student is cleared. This also depends on the time in the semester such as over Winter Break.
  • If you still have some of your residency requirement or want to live on campus, you should allow eight weeks. See more about Housing below.

What documentation do I need?

  • For leaves related to your mental health view the Counseling Center forms page.
  • For leaves related to your physical health: Please contact a case manager for instructions on returning from a leave for physical health.

What happens after I submit the required forms for readmission?

  • The Counseling Center or Student Health and Wellness Center will review your readmission forms, and complete a readmission interview/evaluation before making a recommendation on your readmission to the Office of the Dean of Student Life.
  • A case manager from the Office of the Dean of Student Life will discuss your readmission plans with you and any support or accommodations you may need from JHU upon your return.
  • A case manager will then make a recommendation to the Office of the Dean of Student Life on your readmission, who will make a final decision. When you are cleared for readmission, the registration hold will be lifted on your account. However, if you have any outstanding holds (e.g. financial, academic advising) you will need to resolve these with the appropriate office before you can register for classes.

I still have a residency requirement but I want to live off campus. What do I do?

You must complete four full semesters in on-campus housing to satisfy the residence requirement. In some cases, Housing will release a student from the residence requirement if they have resided on campus for three full semesters prior to their leave. Please contact Housing directly before signing any leases off campus. Signing an off-campus lease will not make you exempt from your housing requirement. If you have not met the residence requirement and opt not to live in your assigned space on campus, you will be billed for housing and board for the entire applicable term.

Can I register for classes before I am cleared?

There are no exceptions to this policy. Students who wish to register with their class should begin the process at least six weeks before their registration date.

What about my financial aid?

  • We recommend that you reach out to the Office of Student Financial Services at fin_aid@jhu or 410-516-8028 to ensure that you’ve completed all of the necessary forms for the coming semester. They cannot renew your aid until you are cleared for readmission.
  • Returning student aid application procedures and deadlines can be found on the Financial Aid website.

I am an international student. Do I have to do anything for my visa?

Per the Office of International Services, all international students on F-1 or J-1 visas must see an advisor in the OIS to avoid potentially serious immigration issues, both concerning departure from the U.S. and return. OIS can be reached at (6767) 208-7001 or the OIS website.

How can I get the accommodations I need when I return?

  • If you have a disability and need accommodations, you should register with Student Disability Services. You will need documentation from a treating provider in order to do so.
  • A case manager can also work with you to identify any other relevant support you may need on campus.