Absence and Leave of Absence Policy

Absence and Leave of Absence Policy

Last updated: July 14th, 2022 at 11:11 am

Students must immediately notify the unit director and the OSA in the instance that academic experiences may be missed. An approved leave of absence (LOA) is defined as a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study for a period of greater than five (5) consecutive days. An approved leave of absence is limited to a temporary absence from the curricular program with reasonable expectations that the student will return from the leave of absence. A leave of absence requires pre-approval, and the student must follow university policies in the leave application process.

Students should be aware that their return and reintegration into the curriculum may require repeating or auditing of classes or rotations already taken. Students should also understand that, depending upon the length of the leave of absence, graduation may be delayed.

Students must complete and submit the Leave of Absence Approval Form, found on the WAUSM Student Hub Canvas Course, to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs (SADSA). Upon approval from the SADSA, all LOA requests must then be reviewed and approved by the Student Progress Committee (SPC).

In emergency situations, SPC, in the exercise of reasonable judgment, may bypass some or all of the below steps to ensure campus safety or patient safety in the clinical sites, and/or the safety of other students, Faculty and staff. Nothing in this or other policies shall be construed to prevent WAUSM from requiring students to always meet the university/program essential eligibility requirements and technical standards, and the policies and procedures that assure campus safety.

A student who takes repeated unapproved absences may be administratively withdrawn, or dismissed, at the discretion of the University without the ability to reapply for admission.

For more information, please refer to the Absence and Leave of Absence policy section in the Student Handbook located on the WAUSM Student Hub Canvas Course for students.


a. An administrative leave of absence (ALOA) is one that is granted by the SPC or the SADSA for a student who requires greater than five (5) days away from the curriculum. Reasons for an Administrative Leave of Absence include, but are not limited to:

i. Severe circumstances the SPC or SADSA believe warrants an interruption in the student’s education

ii. Participation/completion of a required program or activity set forth by the SPC or SADSA, or the Campus or Executive Deans for a behavioral/professionalism infraction.

b. Upon return from the ALOA, the SPC or SADSA, in consultation with all pertinent parties will determine the student’s placement within the curriculum. The return may require repeating, or auditing of classes or rotations already taken.

c. WAUSM is concerned for the general safety, health, and well-being of the campus community including students, faculty and staff and the safety and well-being of patients. On occasion, a student may experience a medical situation that significantly limits their ability to function safely or successfully as a student, or the student may, because of the condition, no longer meet the minimum technical standards of the program. In some cases, the student may be so severely disruptive as to interfere with the academic pursuits and other activities of the academic and/or clinical community or to be considered to pose a threat to the care of patients. Although a voluntary medical leave of absence is preferable, a Campus Dean (or designee) may place such a student on an Administrative Leave of Absence.


An Educational Leave of Absence is generally not granted for a period beyond one year. The Educational Leave of Absence may exceed 180 days within a 12-month period if the student is actively enrolled in a program. The 12-month period begins on the first day of the student’s leave of absence. An Educational Leave of Absence may only be granted by the SPC and may only occur during semesters 6-10.


The SPC may grant a personal leave of absence. If the leave is due to medical reasons, the student must provide the appropriate medical documentation, including but not limited to, a letter from the treating physician clearly stating the nature of the medical condition and reasons it requires a leave of absence. The SPC may require additional information to determine the appropriate timeframe for return. The SPC reserves the right to require a second opinion if the reason for the medical leave is not common for the medical condition or to confirm that a medical condition exists or if the SPC believes a second opinion is warranted.

Note: A student who is granted a Leave of Absence for which the effective date for the leave is on or after the first day of the semester and they are enrolled in the WAUSM Healthcare insurance will remain enrolled for the semester when the leave was taken.



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