Leave of Absence Policy

Students are expected to proceed through the McGovern Medical School curriculum to graduation, in a continuous, uninterrupted fashion. However, a student may temporarily separate from the curriculum via an approved Leave of Absence for academic, personal, or other reasons.


A student may request a LOA for medical reasons, academic opportunities or personal reasons.  Examples include:

  • Medically related: maternity leave, surgical procedure requiring a certain amount of recovery, treatment for a chronic medical condition, rehabilitation, etc.
  • To conduct formal, independent research
  • To complete graduate coursework in a degree seeking program or as part of a dual degree program
  • Other: approvals considered on a one-on-one basis

The decision to approve or deny a request for a leave of absence will be at the discretion of the Vice Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs or designee.

A leave of absence will require:

  • Submitted Leave of Absence request via the Student Affairs Portal.
  • Student must be in good academic standing.
    • A student with an un-remediated BP or F grade or one who is not passing coursework in progress as determined by the course director is not in good academic standing.
    • A request by a student who is not in good standing will only be granted if approved by both SEPC and the Vice Dean for OASA (or designee).
  • A Leave of Absence is granted for no longer than a year. Exceptions for a LOA for more than 12 months may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Students granted a leave in the course of the first or second year are expected to return at the beginning of the next academic year unless the Student Evaluations and Promotions Committee (SEPC) has specifically permitted them to do otherwise.
  • When a Leave of Absence is granted during the course of an academic period, all course work in the period during which the leave is begun must be repeated.
  • In the event conditions are imposed on the leave, the Committee will review the student’s record before he or she is permitted to return from the leave.
  • Leaves of Absence will not interfere with the requirements that:
    1. Students must be eligible to begin the core clerkships no more than three (3) years after matriculation.
    2. Students must graduate within no more than six (6) years after matriculation, with the exception of MD/PhD students.
  • Students may appeal to the SEPC to request a waiver of these policies or re-consideration of denials of Leave(s) of Absence. For appeal of the SEPC decision, refer to appeals procedure in the Student Policies Handbook.

Return from a Leave of Absence will require:

  • Contact with OASA at least 30 days in advance, to ensure scheduling and enrollment clearance; and
  • Documentation that all conditions of return have been satisfied.

Any student who fails to return from a Leave of Absence by the designated date shall be considered to have resigned from McGovern Medical School. Any Leave of Absence will be noted on the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) – Dean’s Letter.