Medical Leave of Absence
Medical Leave of Absence Process
In certain circumstances, where a student’s health condition impedes their academic progress, a student may decide they need to temporarily leave the university to focus appropriate attention and effort on the treatment and recovery necessary for a healthy return to their academic pursuits. In these cases, the student may petition the Dean of Students (DOS) office in the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for a medical leave of absence (MLOA) from all courses prior to the last day of classes per the VCU Academic Calendar, and before a final class grade has been assigned and/or posted to their academic record. The DOS office recommends that you read the MLOA policy in the Undergraduate Bulletin before submitting a MLOA Form.
In order to petition for a MLOA with the DOS office at VCU, any interested student must go through the following three- step process.
Step 1 - Complete the Medical Leave of Absence Form (Google Form)
A student can petition the DOS office for a medical leave by filling out the MLOA Form. Upon request, a paper version can be made available. This step provides students an initial opportunity to describe their medical necessity for leaving the VCU in their own words, indicate which semester(s) they will be on leave, and provide contact information. This information helps guide the MLOA meeting (Step 3).
Step 2 - Medical Leave of Absence Form Review
Once the DOS office has received an MLOA Form from a student, it will be reviewed by a staff member. If it is determined that documentation does not meet criteria for a MLOA or if additional information is needed, the staff member will contact the student to discuss next steps. If the MLOA form meets MLOA criteria then the staff member will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss their medical leave.
Step 3 - Medical Leave of Absence Meeting
A staff member in the DOS office will meet with the student to discuss their need for a MLOA and the extent to which reasonable academic accommodations may enable the student to remain enrolled. The staff member will provide information regarding the MLOA and reinstatement processes, including any reasonable conditions the student will be required to satisfy in order to be reinstated.
Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) Reinstatement Process
Undergraduate students requesting and approved for a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) are eligible to re-enroll at VCU once they have completed the medical leave of absence reinstatement process. The goal of the reinstatement process is for the student to demonstrate that they are ready to return to the university environment and resume study in their academic program. The student must provide evidence of their readiness to return, including documentation from a qualified health care professional who treated the student during their leave. More information regarding the reinstatement process including all forms and documents can be found on the Dean of Students (DOS) office website.
In order to petition for reinstatement with the DOS office at VCU, any interested student must go through the following three- step process.
Step 1 - Complete the Medical Leave of Absence Reinstatement Form - Student (Google Form)
A student can petition the DOS office to be reinstated after taking a medical leave by filling out the reinstatement form. Upon request, a paper version can be made available. This step provides students an initial opportunity to describe their readiness to return to VCU in their own words, indicate which semester they are petitioning to return, and provide contact information.
Step 2 - Medical Leave of Absence Reinstatement Form - Provider
VCU recognizes that every person has their own unique path to treating their health. This may involve working with various medical, psychological, and educational professionals. We accept documentation from a wide range of professionals and in many different forms. We do, however, have some minimum criteria that all documentation must meet in order to be considered. Students can provide the this letter to their provider which outline the minimum criteria that needs to be included.
Step 3 - Medical Leave of Absence Reinstatement Review
Once Step 1 and Step 2 have been completed a staff member in the DOS office will review the student’s request for reinstatement and determine whether the student has completed all conditions for reinstatement, in consultation with Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity, the Division of Academic Success, University Student Health Services, and/or University Counseling Services, as appropriate. Such review will consider any medical or other relevant information submitted by the student and will be based on an individualized assessment of each student, including consideration of current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence of the student’s ability to function academically at the university with or without accommodations. Careful consideration will be given to the available opinions and recommendations of a qualified health care professional who treated the student. Students will be notified the outcome of their review through their VCU email address.
Printable Checklist for Leave
Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA)
Checklist for Leave
The Dean of Students (DOS) office strongly recommends that all undergraduate students who may be thinking about taking MLOA from VCU review the checklist below to make sure that they are well informed prior to petitioning for a MLOA.
- Review the MLOA policy
The university’s MLOA policy can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin: http://bulletin.vcu.edu/academic-regs/ugrad/medical-leave-absence/.
- Review MLOA website
The MLOA website outlines the steps needed for petitioning for MLOA and for reinstatement to VCU after being granted a MLOA.
- Meet with Academic Advisor
Students are strongly recommended to meet with their Academic Advisor before being granted a MLOA. An Academic Advisor is the best person to speak to about how the MLOA may impact academic progress. An Academic Advisor can also discuss credits taken outside of VCU while on leave.
- Meet with Financial Aid Counselor
Students are advised to meet with their Financial Aid Counselor to discuss how their MLOA may impact their financial aid. Student in the College of Health Professions and School of Nursing can call (804) 827-2702. Students in the School of Dentistry can call (804) 828-9953. All other students can contact Financial Aid to setup a meeting by phone at (804) 828-1550 or by email at:
- Check to see if student account is in good standing
Check eServices or contact Student Accounting by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (804) 828-2228.
- Students who live on-campus
Students who take a MLOA must check out of their on-campus residence hall within 48 hours of being granted a MLOA. Students are advised to schedule a checkout time with their hall director. Students can contact Residential Life & Housing to setup a checkout time by phone at (804) 828-766 or by email at email@example.com
- Students with a Dining Plan
Students are advised to contact Dining Services by phone at (804) 828-1148 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how their leave will impact their plan
- International Students
International students are strongly recommended to speak with the Global Education Office (GEO) before being granted a MLOA to discuss how their leave may impact their status. Students can contact GEO by phone at (804) 828-8471 or by email at email@example.com