Leave of Absence and Withdrawal

Leave of Absence

Students may request a Leave of Absence due to medical conditions, military service, or personal issues that necessitates a prolonged absence from academic (didactic and clinical) work. A Leave of Absence disrupts a student’s progression through a highly structured curriculum. It therefore may result in a delay in graduation. A student on leave may return to Mary Baldwin University at the end of the stated period without reapplying through Admissions. Upon re-entry, the student continues under the graduation requirements in effect at the time of original entry.  A student who does not return at the end of the agreed leave period must reapply through Admissions. Such a student must meet the criteria of the Office of Admissions and is subject to the catalog and university requirements in effect at the time of re-entry.

At the time the leave of absence is granted, all academic work in progress is given a final grade, including W (Withdrawal), as appropriate. The student is neither allowed to finish “Incompletes” while on leave of absence nor to enroll in new Mary Baldwin credit work.

The dean or program director may set conditions that must be met during the leave in order for the student to return. This may include a plan to address any medical/personal/behavioral concerns during the time away from the program, and a plan of how to return to the program/school. In such a case, the student may be required to provide information concerning those conditions for review by the dean or program director prior to reentry.

If the terms set out under the leave are not fulfilled within the specified time period, the student will be academically withdrawn from the program. The dean may grant an exception for extreme circumstances beyond the control of the student.

Medical Leave

A student (or a family member for whom the student is responsible) may develop a physical or mental health condition that necessitates a medical leave of absence from the program. The student is required to provide documentation from a physician or other healthcare professional regarding the need for a medical leave. This will be provided to the dean or program director for evaluation. 

Withdrawing From a Course For Medical Reasons

Students may withdraw from courses for documented medical reasons at any time within the current term. All requests follow the leave of absence procedures.  In extenuating circumstances, a class withdrawal may be awarded retroactively, if requested with documentation in the semester immediately following, upon approval of the program director and university registrar.  All course withdrawals will be awarded grades of W. 

Required Medical Leave Under Extreme Circumstances

Any student who (a) states an intent or desire to harm themselves or another, (b) attempts to harm themselves or another, (c) harms themselves or another, or (d) exhibits behavior that indicates the student could be a danger or risk to themselves or another may not participate in MBU academic programs or other MBU activities until cleared by a licensed healthcare provider with specialty/credentials appropriate for the condition of concern. The student will be responsible for any cost incurred by the evaluation. The student shall sign a release permitting two-way communication between the provider and MBU representatives, and allowing all relevant information to be provided to the MBU representatives who are involved in the decision-making and review process. The healthcare provider must provide an assessment of current functioning of the student and provide written recommendations regarding: a) given the precipitating events, the student's readiness to return to the academic and co-curricular demands of health sciences programs; b) ongoing treatment or testing needs; d) any conditions, restrictions or accommodations MBU should impose. These records will be retained by the Health Center. The necessity of a required medical leave will be determined by the program director and dean.

Military Leave

Military leave is granted to students whose military reserve obligations require a period of absence from the academic program when they are called to extended active duty. Readmission is guaranteed. 

Personal Leave

Students may request a personal leave of absence for compelling problems of a personal nature (such as a death of a loved one or marital breakdown). Students should discuss their intentions with the program director and/or dean of the program in which they are enrolled to ensure they understand all implications of taking a leave of absence which is likely to include a delay in graduation. 

General Parameters For All Leaves of Absence

  • Submit the request to their program director, explaining the reason for the request and all the activities that the student intends to undertake while on leave.
  • Any relevant supporting documentation should be included, such as a healthcare provider's note in case of illness or injury.
  • Leaves of absence may be subject to rules and regulations which will be delineated in a document signed by the student and their Program Director.
  • Participate in a meeting with the program director to discuss the implications of their decision. 
  • Participate in an exit interview with the dean or other designee. 
  • Approval of any leave will be at the discretion of the program director with the consultation of the dean.
  • Leaves of absence are not granted in the last two weeks of the semester.
  • All leaves of absence (except Military Leave) during the clinical phase of a program must be approved by the program director and Assistant Program Director.
  • If a leave of absence will extend beyond 12 months, the student may not be able to complete the program. If a Leave of Absence extends beyond 12 months, the student maybe required to reapply to the program/university through the regular admissions process and meet all criteria in place at the time of reapplication (exception – military leave).
  • At the time the leave of absence is granted, all academic work in progress is given a final grade, including W (Withdrawal), as appropriate.
  • If the student is on academic probation at the time a Leave of Absence is granted, that probation would continue upon return to the university.
  • The student is neither allowed to finish “Incompletes” while on leave of absence nor to enroll in new Mary Baldwin credit work.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Financial Aid Office, finaid@marybaldwin.edu, to discuss the implications of the leave on their financial aid. 
  • In all cases of leaves of absence, please refer to the Credit and Refund Policy for information regarding financial arrangements.

Returning From a Leave of Absence

  • The student will inform the program director in writing no later than eight weeks before the beginning of the term in which the student intends to return.
  • The student should work with the program director to address sequencing of course work and the appropriate return date to allow for a smooth transition back into the program. 
  • If the student does not supply the required documentation, does not fulfill the requirements during their leave, or does not notify the program of their intent to return, the university reserves the right to deny the return and officially withdraw the student from MBU.
  • A student who does not return at the end of the agreed leave period will be withdrawn from MBU and must reapply through the admissions process and meet all criteria in place at the time of reapplication. Such a student is subject to the catalog and university requirements in effect at time of re-entry.

Return from Medical Leave

 In addition to the above procedures for returning from a leave, the student is required to provide written documentation from a licensed healthcare provider with specialty/credentials appropriate for the condition of concern that they are mentally and/or physically able to return to classes. The student will be responsible for any cost incurred by the evaluation. Additional form(s) may be required by the student's program director or dean. All information provided will be reviewed and a decision made by the dean or other designee regarding the students' participation readiness. 

Appeals

Students may appeal a leave of absence decision. 

Withdrawal

Students may withdraw for financial, medical, or personal reasons.  To initiate a withdrawal, students must contact their faculty advisor and/or program director in writing requesting withdrawal. Students may also be prompted to meet with their faculty advisor and/or program director. Students may be withdrawn from MBU for academic and/or unprofessional behavior. If a student is on academic probation at the time of withdrawal, that status will apply if the student should subsequently return to the university. Students who withdraw, or are suspended must reapply through the admissions criteria and procedures in place at the time of reapplication.

Academic Withdrawal

Students may be required to withdraw from the university for academic reasons under the requirements for suspension or dismissal. (See Academic Standards Policy). 

Voluntary Withdrawal

A student may voluntarily withdraw from a program for financial, medical, or personal reasons. 

Disciplinary Withdrawal

Students may be required to withdraw from the university for disciplinary reasons. 

Effect of Withdrawal, Suspension, or Dismissal

  • When students withdraw, are suspended, or are dismissed, all outstanding temporary grades (NR or I) will be converted to permanent grades based on the instructors’ assessments of work completed as of the date of withdrawal.
  • Current work in progress will be dropped or changed to W (Withdrawal), depending on the effective date of withdrawal.
  • Students who withdraw receive a refund in accordance with policy for the semester in which the withdrawal is processed, and subject to an administrative fee. Students will not be charged for subsequent semesters.
  • Students who withdraw, or are suspended must reapply through the admissions criteria and procedures in place at the time of reapplication.
  • Student who are dismissed from one program are not eligible to readmission into Mary Baldwin University.
  • Students will be withdrawn after their Mary Baldwin academic record has been inactive for one calendar year from the last additions to the academic record.