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Medical Leave of Absence Policy

A student may apply to the Office of Student Life for a medical leave of absence from the University for one full semester. Student must complete a Request for Medical Leave of Absence form, attach a letter explaining their request and provide supporting documentation from a treating health care provider.  When students are approved for a medical leave they receive grades of W, withdrawn, for enrolled classes.  Applications are due no later than December 1 for the fall semester and May 1 for the spring semester.  The request must be supported by documentation from a physician or psychologist.  The physician or psychologist responsible for treatment must provide a recommendation supporting the reinstatement of the student.

The Dean of Students is available to meet/discuss with students the details for the leave. Students on financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office to understand implications of the leave.  Students are also encouraged to look into any possible implications for health insurance.  The Dean of Students can be reached in the Office of Student Life at (401) 254-3042.

Medical leaves are granted for medical issues that occur during the course of the semester.  Students requesting a leave before the semester begins should not apply for a medical leave; they should apply for a Leave of Absence through their Academic Dean.  Medical leaves are granted for one full semester. Students are only eligible for one Medical Leave of Absence during their academic tenure at RWU.


Reinstatement from a Medical Leave of Absence:

A student requesting to return from a medical leave of absence must demonstrate that they were in treatmet for the condition(s) for which they were granted the medical leave througout the duration of the leave.  When ready to request reinstatement, they will need to complete: (1) the Request for Reinstatement from Medical Leave of Absence form, (2)  a letter to request reinstatement and explaining how they spent the time away preparing to return to RWU, and (3) a written recommendation from the treating health care provider(s) supporting the student's reinstatement, including specific notation that the student is ready to resume academic coursework and/or residential status (for those requesting campus housing).  The health care provider will be contacted by a university health care provider before reinstatement occurs.  It is strongly advised that the doctor recommending the student’s return from the leave of absence be the same doctor who had been actively treating the student during the time of their leave. Documentation from the health care provider must be signed and on letterhead. RWU reserves the right to request a specific health care provider’s opinion before considering a student’s request for reinstatement. All documentation must be sent to the Office of Student Life. The request will then be reviewed and the student will be notified of the decision in writing. The University reserves the right to place restrictions on a student’s reinstatement. 

Students requesting reinstatement from a medical leave will not be eligible to register for classes until they are approved for reinstatement. After reinstatement is approved, students are encouraged to reach out to their academic advisor or academic dean's office for assistance with registering for classes.  Students who would like to live on-campus upon their return from medical leave must request housing by emailing the Department of Housing directly at  They are encouraged to do so as early as possible, as housing is not guaranteed.  Students do not need to wait for approval of their reinstatement to request housing. However, housing will not be assigned until a student is granted reinstatement and enrolls as a full-time student. Students in need of financial aid must contact the Financial Aid Office directly.