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.