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Medical Leave of Absence

Purpose and Procedures

Fordham University is concerned about its students' health and well-being, and is interested in students receiving appropriate physical or mental health care when necessary. A student experiencing physical or psychological conditions that significantly impair his/her ability to function successfully or safely as a student may decide that a period of time away from Fordham University for treatment or recovery is warranted.

This time away from the University may help to restore functioning to a level that will enable the student to return and perform successfully in the classroom and within the campus community.

When to Request a Medical Leave of Absence

A student may request that a medical leave of absence start during a semester in which a student is currently enrolled, or start with the next semester on the academic calendar. In the event that a student starts a medical leave of absence during a semester, all courses on the student's transcript for that term will be assigned grades of "W" to indicate a withdrawal from those courses. The transcript will also indicate "Leave of Absence" for the term in which the grades of W appear.

When a medical leave of absence applies to or encompasses a forthcoming semester, no grades will be applied and the student's transcript will indicate "Leave of Absence."


It is expected that a student on a medical leave of absence from the University will use the leave for treatment and recovery. Fordham University has established criteria regarding the student's eligibility for returning to the campus community.

These criteria include, but are not limited to, evidence that the condition which precipitated the medical leave of absence has been treated or ameliorated and will no longer adversely affect the student's ability to participate as a student in the University. Compliance with the treatment expectations is primary in the University's decision to approve the return of the student to Fordham.

In special cases, a student on a medical leave may be permitted to take one or two courses at a college/university near his or her residence for transfer credit. Students interested in doing so should contact his or her Class Dean to review the appropriateness of this option. Some students who are on medical leave in the spring semester opt to take summer courses at or outside of Fordham to catch up on credits. The student's Class Dean can also review the appropriateness of this option with individual students.

How to Request a Medical Leave of Absence

A student requesting a medical leave of absence must complete the Medical Leave of Absence Request Application, submit it to the Class Dean of his/her college, and provide supporting medical documentation.

A medical leave of absence may be requested for up to two semesters, including a semester during which a student is enrolled in courses. Students seeking additional 
semesters of medical leave will need to complete a new Request Form and provide updated documentation to the appropriate Class Dean.

In cases where the leave is taken for mental health reasons, it is strongly recommended that, prior to the start of an approved medical leave of absence, the student meet with a member of Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) for consultation.

In cases where the leave is related to a physical condition, it is strongly recommended that, prior to the start of an approved medical leave of absence, the student meet with a member of Student Health Services (SHS) for consultation.

CPS and SHS will make every effort to assist the student prior to the start of the leave.

How to Return to the University after a Medical Leave of Absence

The student who wishes to return to Fordham after a medical leave of absence must first be cleared through the University's Mental Health and Medical-Related Re-Entry Process. Students and families seeking more information can visit the Mental Health and Medical-Related Re-Entry Process webpage. When the student initiates the re-entry process, re-entry staff will communicate with a student's class dean to confirm academic eligibility for the student to return to the University. Once academic eligibility is confirmed, the student will proceed with re-entry, including submitting appropriate medical documentation. For additional questions, please contact Dr. Jessica Ballou ( in the Office of Residential Life.

In order to return, the student must follow the re-entry process as summarized in the University Regulations section of the Student Handbook. This process may require that the student present documentation verifying readiness to return and participate in an evaluation conducted by University staff.