If you experience a life event that disrupts your schooling — particularly if it takes you away from campus for a week or more — please contact the Office of Student Support Services to inform us of your absence, let us know your plans, and allow us to assist you.
Some possible emergencies include:
- Serious illness or accident
- Illness or accident affecting a family member
- A death in the family
While you will have to work individually with professors in order to complete your coursework, we can help by contacting your advisor and all your professors to let them know of your absence and/or need for assistance. We can also counsel you on your options concerning incompletes, late withdrawals from courses, and leaves of absence.
If your circumstances leave you on campus but temporarily impaired (concussed, on crutches, etc.), we can arrange temporary accommodations to help you complete your work effectively.
Leaves of Absence
A student may take a leave of absence from the College at any time during the semester on or before the last day of classes, provided the student is not under suspension or has a pending conduct case or Title IX investigation.
Applying for a Leave of Absence
To take a leave a student must fill out the Leave of Absence Form and have an exit interview with the Associate Dean for Retention and Student Success, the Interim Dean of Students, the Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, the Registrar, or (specifically for Medical Leaves of Absence) the Assistant Director or Director of the Wellness Center.
Any degree-seeking student may be granted leaves of absence up to a total of three semesters during his or her College career, including the semester in which the leave is initially taken. In cases of unusual need, students may be granted additional leaves of absence by the Associate Dean for Retention and Student Success or (specifically for additional Medical Leaves of Absence) the Assistant Director or Director of the Wellness Center. If such permission is not granted, and the student fails to return from the leave, he or she will automatically be withdrawn.
If a student submits the leave of absence paperwork after the tenth week of classes, he or she must remain on leave for at least the following semester as well.
To return from a leave of absence, a student should ideally notify the Office of Student Support Services in writing by February 15 for a fall semester return or October 15 for a spring semester return (to participate in class registration and room selection). If a student submits a request after these dates, we will, of course, assist them with getting enrolled in classes and housing (although options may be fewer), reinstate financial aid, etc. A student returning from a medical leave of absence, must submit documentation from the treating clinician(s) to the Assistant Director or Director of the Wellness Center. The documentation must include:
- A diagnosis
- Summary of the treatment you received since starting the MLOA
- Recommendations that will assist your transition back to the college
You should sign a Release of Information form with your treating clinician(s) so the Wellness Center staff can speak directly with your treating clinician(s) if they need clarification, additional info, or have any questions. Once our staff member(s) has all the info they need, they will make a recommendation to the Interim Vice President of Student Affairs or the Interim Dean of Students. Once the Interim VP or Interim Dean of Students determines that you are ready to return, they will send you a letter by email. After you receive that letter, the Associate Dean for Retention and Student Success will work with you to get you enrolled in classes, assigned to housing, etc.
If a student wishes to live on-campus upon returning from a leave of absence, the student must submit a written request to the Office of Residence Life, ideally by February 15 for fall semester housing or October 15 for spring semester housing. If a student submits a housing request after these dates, the student will be placed on the waitlist and will be housed if space is available. This may be after the new students are housed in June (for the fall semester) or January (for the spring semester).
Credit earned at another institution during a leave of absence will be transferable to St. Mary’s under the same provisions as other transfer credit.
If you wish to take a leave of absence, please read the instructions accompanying the leave form carefully, to familiarize yourself with your responsibilities concerning tuition, financial aid, and housing.
Changing from Leave of Absence to Withdrawal
If a student wishes to withdraw from the College while on a Leave of Absence, official notification must be submitted in writing. Please submit the Withdrawal Form and schedule a new exit interview with the Associate Dean for Retention and Student Success or (specifically for additional Medical Withdrawals) the Assistant Director or Director of the Wellness Center.
Any student who does not return to the College after the third semester of Leave of Absence will be automatically changed to Withdrawal.