Leave of Absence

Students who wish or need to interrupt their study temporarily may request a leave of absence. There are three types of leave—personal, medical, and parental—each of which is described below. In all cases, students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contracts and the related policies of the Yale Housing Office before applying to YDS for a leave of absence. The general policies that apply to all types of leave are:

  1. Leave of absence application forms may be obtained by contacting the registrar’s office at YDS.
  2. All leaves of absence must be approved by the senior associate dean of academic affairs. Medical leaves also require the written recommendation of a chief physician or designee on the staff of Yale Health, as described below.
  3. A student may be granted a leave of absence for one, two, or three terms. Students may not normally be granted more than three terms of leave total during their study at YDS, but under extraordinary circumstances the academic dean may grant a student a fourth term of leave.
  4. A student is not normally granted a leave of absence to take on a professional commitment.
  5. International students who apply for a leave of absence must consult with OISS regarding their visa status.
  6. A student on leave of absence may complete outstanding work in any course for which the student has been granted extensions. The student may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave.
  7. A student on leave of absence is ineligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases, student loans are not deferred during periods of nonenrollment.
  8. A student on leave of absence is ineligible for the use of any University facilities normally available to enrolled students.
  9. 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 of determination. Coverage is not automatic; enrollment forms are available from the Member Services department of Yale Health, 203.432.0246.
  10. Students on leave of absence do not have to file a formal application for readmission. However, no later than July 30 for a fall-term return or December 15 for a spring-term return, they must notify the registrar and obtain approval to return from the senior associate dean of academic affairs using a form provided by the registrar’s office. In addition, returning students who wish to be considered for financial aid must submit appropriate financial aid applications to YDS’s Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility.
  11. A student on leave of absence who does not return at the end of the approved leave, and does not request and receive an extension, is automatically dismissed from YDS.
  12. Leaves of absence shall not be granted retroactively after a term has ended.

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 with the approval of the senior associate dean of academic affairs. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. Students who are current with their degree requirements are eligible for a personal leave after satisfactory completion of at least one term of study. Personal leaves cannot be granted retroactively and normally will not be approved after the tenth day of a term.

To request a personal leave of absence, the student must complete the form available in the registrar’s office before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave, and the address (both physical and electronic) at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. If the senior associate dean of academic affairs approves, the leave is granted. 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 leave is denied, and who does not register for any term, will be considered to have withdrawn from YDS.

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 senior associate dean of academic affairs, on the written recommendation of a chief physician or designee on the staff of Yale Health. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. Students who are making satisfactory progress toward their degree requirements are 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 senior associate dean of academic affairs.

YDS reserves the right to place a student on a mandatory medical leave of absence when, on recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, the dean of the School determines that, because of a medical condition, the student is a danger to self or others, the student has seriously disrupted others in the student’s residential or academic communities, or the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health and the dean to make such determinations. Each case will be assessed individually based on all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the level of risk presented and the availability of reasonable modifications. Reasonable modifications do not include fundamental alterations to the student’s academic, residential, or other relevant communities or programs; in addition, reasonable modifications do not include those that unduly burden University resources.

An appeal of such a leave must be made in writing to the dean of the School no later than seven days from the effective date of the leave.

An incident that gives rise to voluntary or mandatory leave of absence may also result in subsequent disciplinary action.

Students who are placed on medical leave during any term will have their tuition adjusted according to the same schedule used for withdrawals (see Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy under Tuition and Fees). 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. Students who are making satisfactory progress toward their degree requirements are eligible for parental leave of absence any time after matriculation.

To request a leave of absence for parental responsibilities, a student must complete the form available in the registrar’s office before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave, and the address (both physical and electronic) at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. If the senior associate dean of academic affairs approves, the leave is granted. In any case, the student will be informed in writing of the action taken.