Change in Student Status

For any of the following categories of student status, it is a student’s responsibility to contact the associate dean for student affairs at least once a year to report on his or her activities and progress. Under certain circumstances, a student’s status may be changed from Extended Study to Leave of Absence or In Absentia to Submit by the associate dean in consultation with the Progress Committee and with notification of the student.

Extended Study

A student who is in good standing at the medical school may choose to take an additional year of medical school for research, pursuit of a joint degree, electives, or for academic or personal reasons, provided that a sufficient portion of the year is related to medical education. Such a student will be classified as being on “extended study” and will be required to register each term, pay a registration fee and show evidence of medical insurance including mental health coverage equivalent to full coverage by the Yale Health Plan. The Progress Committee must approve any extended study time beyond one year. A student on extended study is considered a full-time student in good standing. Therefore, a student on extended study has the same privileges as any other enrolled medical student, including loan deferrals and continuation of medical malpractice and disability insurance. Students may elect to handle their tuition payments in one of three ways: 

1. You may pay full tuition for four consecutive years and a registration fee for the fifth year and beyond. Health insurance will be provided at the student rate by the Yale University Health Services while you are paying the full tuition. You are responsible for your own health insurance during the fifth year and beyond. You have the option of using the Yale Health Plan at the self-pay rate or using another insurance carrier that offers equivalent coverage. Equivalent coverage means that it must include coverage for mental health. You are required to provide documentation of health insurance coverage at registration. 

2. You may pay full tuition for each year you are enrolled in full-time study at the School of Medicine and pay a registration fee during the year you are not in the standard curriculum. In this case, the same eligibility and requirements for health insurance apply as in 1 above. For students who have not yet paid 3 full years of tuition, this option may not be allowed. 

3. You may split your tuition and registration fee over a two-year period usually years 4 and 5. You may pay one-half of the current rate of tuition and one-half of the registration fee each year. The total amount will be charged in two installments, for each semester. In this case, your health insurance will be provided at the student rate by the Yale University Health Services for both years that split tuition is being paid. 

All students who do an extended study year must confer with the associate dean for student affairs and the director of financial aid. For students who need to obtain health insurance, the Yale Health Plan at the self-pay rate provides cost-effective, local coverage of a tremendous range of services. The fall-term deadline for applying for the Yale Health Plan is September 15; the spring-term deadline is January 31. Every Yale medical student must be covered adequately by health insurance during the entire time that he or she is a student. 

Students are required to have the year of extended study approved by the associate dean for student affairs and must complete the change of status form and tuition specification form with the registrar and office of financial aid. Because tuition is billed on May 15, the forms should be completed and returned to the registrar prior to that date. 

Questions regarding a year of extended study should be directed to the associate dean for student affairs; any questions regarding tuition options should be directed to the director of financial aid.

If the student is an MD/PhD candidate, the following criteria must be met: (1) all medical school requirements have been completed; (2) the PhD has been awarded; and (3) prior to the approval of the Progress Committee, the Director of the MD/PhD Program has approved the request. MD/PhD students who are approved will not receive stipend support and must pay the continuous registration fee.  The MD/PhD Program will, however, provide single health insurance coverage.

Sixth Year of Study

Requests for a sixth year of study in medical school must be made in writing to the Progress Committee, and will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances.  For MD/PhD students who have completed the requirements for both degrees, an additional year must be approved by the director of the MD/PhD Program before the request is made to the Progress Committee.

Leave of Absence

Students are expected to follow a continuous course of study at the School of Medicine. However, a student who wishes or needs to interrupt his or her study temporarily may request a leave of absence. There are three types of leave—personal, medical, and parental—all of which are described below. The general policies that apply to all types of leave are:

1. Any student who is contemplating a leave of absence should see the associate dean for student affairs to discuss the necessary application procedures. 


2. All leaves of absence must be approved by the associate dean. Medical leaves also require the written recommendation of a Yale Health physician, as described below. 


3. A student may be granted a leave of absence of one year with possible extension for one additional year. Any approved leave will be for a specified period. 


4. International students who apply for a leave of absence must consult with OISS regarding their visa status. 


5. A student on leave of absence may complete outstanding work in any course for which he or she has been granted extensions. He or she may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave.

6. A student on leave of absence is not eligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases, student loans are not deferred during periods of nonenrollment.

7. A student on leave of absence is not eligible for the use of any University facilities normally available to enrolled students.

8. A student on leave of absence may continue to be enrolled in Yale Health by purchasing coverage through the Student Affiliate Coverage plan. In order to secure continuous coverage from Yale Health, enrollment in this plan must be requested prior to the beginning of the term in which the student will be on leave or, if the leave commences during the term, within thirty days of the date when the leave is approved. Coverage is not automatic; enrollment forms are available from the Member Services department of Yale Health, 203.432.0246.

9. A student on leave of absence must notify the associate dean of student affairs in writing of his or her intention to return at least eight weeks prior to the end of the approved leave. In addition, if the returning student wishes to be considered for financial aid, he or she must submit appropriate financial aid applications to the School’s financial aid office to determine eligibility.

10. A student on leave who does not return at the end of the approved leave, and does not request and receive an extension from the associate dean, is automatically dismissed from the School.

Personal Leave of Absence

A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies may request a personal leave of absence. A student who is in good standing is eligible for a personal leave of absence. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above.

To request a personal leave of absence, the student must apply in writing, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave and the address at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. If the associate dean finds the student to be eligible, the leave will be approved. In any case, the student will be informed in writing of the action taken. A student who does not apply for a personal leave of absence, or whose application for a personal leave is denied, and who does not register, will be considered to have withdrawn from the School.

Medical Leave of Absence

A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the associate dean, on the written recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief psychiatrist. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is in good standing is eligible for a medical leave any time after matriculation. The final decision concerning a request for a medical leave of absence will be communicated in writing by the associate dean.

The School of Medicine reserves the right to place a student on a medical leave of absence when, on the recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Department of Mental Health and Counseling, the associate dean for student affairs determines that the student is a danger to self or others because of a serious medical problem. A student who is placed on medical leave during any term will have his or her tuition adjusted according to the same schedule used for withdrawals (see Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy). Before re-registering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission to return from a Yale Health physician.

Leave of Absence for Parental Responsibilities

A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, maternity care, or paternity care may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is in good standing is eligible for parental leave any time after matriculation.

Any student planning to have or care for a child is encouraged to meet with the associate dean for student affairs to discuss leaves and other short-term arrangements. For many students, short-term arrangements rather than a leave of absence are possible. Students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contract and the related polices of the Graduate Housing Office before applying for a parental leave of absence. Students granted a parental leave may continue to reside in University housing to the end of the academic term for which the leave was first granted, but no longer.

U.S. Military Leave Readmissions Policy

Students who wish or need to interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave readmissions policy. In the event a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from Yale School of Medicine to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed readmission under the following conditions:

1. The student must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days;

2. The student must give advance written or verbal notice of such service to the associate dean for student affairs. In providing the advance notice the student does not need to indicate whether he or she intends to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this notice requirement can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks readmission, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.

3. The student must not be away from the School of Medicine to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from the School of Medicine to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, the student should contact the associate dean for student affairs to determine if the student remains eligible for guaranteed readmission.

4. The student must notify the School of Medicine within three years of the end of the U.S. military service of his or her intention to return. However, a student who is hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service has up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify the School of Medicine of his or her intent to return; and

5. The student cannot have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.

A student who meets all of these conditions will be readmitted for the next term, unless the student requests a later date of readmission. Any student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be readmitted under the general readmission policy but is not guaranteed readmission.

Upon returning to the School of Medicine, the student will resume his or her education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. The student will have the same enrolled status last held and with the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which the student left the institution. The School of Medicine may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees other students are assessed, however, if veteran’s education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left.

In the case of a student who is not prepared to resume his or her studies with the same academic status at the same point at which the student left or who will not be able to complete the program of study, the School of Medicine will undertake reasonable efforts to help the student become prepared. If after reasonable efforts, the School determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program or after the School determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, the School may deny the student readmission.

In Absentia to Submit

A student who has failed to complete a requirement in the usual amount of time that is allowed to graduate (5 years for most students) and that is needed to receive the M.D. degree, will be placed on In Absentia to Submit (IAS) status. These students are no longer in residence because they have failed to complete a dissertation, have not passed a required clerkship, have not passed a USLME examination, or have not completed another requirement for graduation. After three years, a student on IAS will be dismissed if he or she has not completed the requirements by that time, unless he or she has successfully petitioned the Progress Committee for an extension. The student is not charged a tuition fee and is not eligible for any financial assistance, university services, loan deferrals, or insurance coverage. If the student completes all of the requirements for graduation in the three year period, his or her name will be presented to the Yale Corporation for the awarding of the M.D. degree.

Additional Time for Family Reasons

In recognizing the special needs of students who take on the responsibility of bearing and raising children, students may elect to take a full year or partial year extended study or an official leave of absence for this reason during their medical education. If a student wishes to continue with his or her education while devoting increased time to family needs, the medical school will be very flexible about scheduling clinical rotations at times and locations consistent with the student’s family responsibilities. Furthermore, the school will be flexible in considering need for extra time overall to complete requirements. We encourage you to consult with the associate dean for student affairs early in planning for family contingencies. Information on childcare arrangements is available in the Office of Student Affairs and in the Office for Women in Medicine. The Phyllis Bodel daycare center for children birth through kindergarten, located in the Harkness Dormitory building, accepts children of medical students. Applications for daycare slots must be made as early as possible. Students’ applications are considered equally with all other applications and are not given any weight or preference. Present students and graduates of the school who have had or raised children during medical school can be a wonderful resource as well.