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What to Expect – Re-entry from Medical Leave of Absence

How do I apply for re-entry?

Re-entry from a medical leave requires receipt of the Re-entry request form and supporting documentation to UHCS one month prior to the planned re-entry to classes. Please review the Important Dates page for a guide on when to begin the re-entry process.

Documentation must include a completed Re-entry Request Form and supporting letters from all your treating clinicians recommending your return to classes.

Each supporting letter must include:

  • Description of care given
  • Diagnosis
  • Medications (if applicable)
  • Support for your return to academics
  • Confirmation of an appointment with a local provider, outside of UHCS, for after the start of the term you are seeking to re-enter.

All supporting documentation must be submitted on letterhead via fax 617.373.2601 or email mloa@northeastern.edu.

The Care Coordinators will contact you if there is missing documentation or information. Once all documentation is received by the Care Coordinator, it will be reviewed and you will be notified of the decision.

If you need assistance with identifying a community referrals the Care Coordinators can assist. They can be reached at (617) 373-2772, option #4 or by email to mloa@northeastern.edu.

The re-entry process needs to be completed by the start of academic classes. Once classes begin, students who have not been re-entered will have their classes dropped from registration.

When should I begin the re-entry process?

You should begin applying for re-entry one month prior to the first date of class each term. We recommend you begin talking with your treatment providers well in advance to explain the re-entry process and discuss your readiness to return.

Can I start the re-entry process earlier than one month before the term begins?


No clinical documentation can be reviewed prior to one month before the intended return term. This is to ensure that you remain in treatment for the duration of the Medical Leave of Absence, and do not stop treatment prematurely. If you are interested in beginning the conversation about re-entry, you can reach out to the Care Coordinators at any time for further guidance.

How long do I need to be on Medical Leave of Absence before I can re-enter?

You must be on medical leave for at least one full semester before applying for re-entry. The purpose of medical leave of absence is to allow you to take time to focus on your health and well-being, and to address whatever condition is impacting your ability to attend to your academic pursuits. In order to fully address your medical concerns and provide sufficient time for clinical assessment and treatment, students are expected to be on medical leave for one full term. This distinction is to ensure that each students has a minimum of one term to understand and address the condition, such that it does not interfere with academics upon re-entry.

I am returning from Medical Leave but I don’t feel comfortable taking a full course load, is it possible to take fewer classes?

Yes. If you are returning from Medical Leave of Absence have two options regarding returning with a reduced course load. These options are only available if it is clinically indicated and supported by your treating clinician. Reduced course loads (RCL) must be requested prior to the start of the term. Retroactive reductions in course load are not available. To be considered for a reduced course load, you must submit all related documentation prior to the second week of the term.

Reduced course load through UHCS is available, as a one time option, during the first term back from medical leave.  This reduced course load will reduced the course load to 8 credits. To be considered for a reduced course load through UHCS, your clinician needs to express the need for a reduced load. This should be done in the supporting documentation submitted for re-entry. Please have your provider include a statement and clinical reasoning to support the reduced course load. Any additional terms where a reduced course load is needed, you will work with the Disability Resource Center (DRC).

Reduced course load through the Disability Resource Center. If you are interested in reducing your course load to 12 credits, you should proceed with the process outlined on the DRC website. This includes a student disclosure form as well as documentation from treatment providers that clearly outline the need for a reduced course load or other accommodations. Questions regarding documentation guidelines may be directed to the DRC via email DRC@northeastern.edu, or phone 617-373-2675.

Please note, accommodations are not retroactive and will need to be done at the start of, or prior to the beginning of a term.

In addition to the above processes students you will need to fill out the Petition to Reduce Load after registering for classes. The Petition to Reduce Load becomes available in your student portal 24 hours after officially registering for classes in the term.  See: Services & Links > Courses & Registration section > Registrar Forms > Select the term > Petition to Reduce Load request. We recommend speaking with your Academic Advisor to learn how a reduced course load will impact your academic progress to degree.

I would like to apply for other accommodations, who should I contact?

If you would like to learn more about or request accommodations are encouraged to reach out to the Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC can review the process, answer any questions and provide guidance around the reasonable options. To learn more please visit the Requesting accommodations page on the DRC website.

Can I return to co-op, rather than classes?

The University catalog states that students returning from medical leave of absence, return to classes not co-op. Please see the university catalog for this policy.

I have been re-entered but can’t access Snell Library, what do I do?

Once a re-entry has been approved, and you receive official email notification, full access to the university and its facilities typically occurs within 24-48 hours (2 business days) of the re-entry. During peak periods there may be a delay in the reactivation. UHCS and its partners work to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken in a timely manner. If you have any questions, or if it has been longer than 48 hours, please reach out to the UHCS Care Coordinator mloa@northeastern.edu

Are there situations where I may not be able to re-enter?

Yes these situations include but are not limited to:

  • The clinical recommendations and treatment, established at the time of your medical leave of absence request, and directly addresses the medical condition(s) described in medical leave documentation, is not followed.
  • Treatment recommendations by providers during Medical Leave of Absence were not followed.  
  • The application for re-entry occurs after the first day of class.
  • Treating providers do not support a return from medical leave or have not seen you long enough to provide a clinical recommendation.

My medical documents are in another language, can I translate them?

Translation must be done by your provider or a professional translation service, only. All documentation must be in English.

Can I register for classes in the upcoming term while on Medical Leave of Absence?

If you are on a leave of absence (for one year or less) you are considered active and are able to register for classes for an upcoming term. Often times, students who are unable to register for an upcoming term either have a block on their account, or have been on medical leave of absence for longer than one year. To learn more about holds/blocks on your account, please visit your student portal to learn which office has placed the hold on your account.

Students who are withdrawn and are applying for Commencement may be re-entered on a leave of absence, pending the college’s approval, prior to the term in which they will graduate.

International students returning from a leave of absence should contact OGS regarding the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) procedures three to four months prior to anticipated return date.

Students who have not completed the re-entry process by the first day of classes, registration for classes will be dropped.

My account is blocked, what do I do?

There are different types of holds possible on a student account. We recommend that review your student portal to understand the type of hold that is on your account and outreach to the office for which the hold is associated.

How does the Tuition Adjustment work?

The university’s medical leave of absence and emergency leave policy states that all tuition charged for the term in which the leave has been granted will be held by the university for one year and applied toward future tuition charges in the same academic program.  If you choose not to return to the university, for any reason, this future term adjustment will not be refunded.  This does not include housing and other fees. Outstanding balances (including unpaid balances) for the academic term in which the leave is taken are still due the university.

 Tuition adjustments are made depending on the timing of the leave (your last date of attendance). The adjustments would follow the same schedule as the official withdrawal adjustments. See the schedule for “Refunds for Complete Withdrawal from the University.”

How will my financial aid be impacted?

Financial aid recipients must contact their financial aid counselor to understand the effects on aid received. If the leave extends more than six months, your loans may go into repayment. Please reach to your financial aid advisor to discuss the financial implications of taking a medical leave.https://studentfinance.northeastern.edu/contact-us/