Medical Leave of Absence

A medical leave of absence (MLOA) is an action initiated by a student to leave the College for physical, psychological, and/or substance abuse-related conditions when the conditions are impacting their ability to function safely or successfully in the College environment. Medical documentation will be required to support the request. 

This documentation must include a summary letter from your licensed health provider indicating a diagnosis (or in the absence of a diagnosis: a description of the medical concern), a statement directly supporting your need for a medical leave, and a date that your condition made it necessary for you to leave the College.  This documentation must be received within 30 days of student departure. Please send documentation to studentsupport@hamilton.edu 

Note: If student fails to submit medical documentation within the 30 day timeline, MLOA status will be changed to personal LOA.

A student wishing to request a MLOA must discuss their request with the Student Support Care Team (SSCT) by calling 315-859-4463 or emailing studentsupport@hamilton.edu.

Important to note:

The request for a MLOA must be submitted by the last day of classes of the semester in which the medical leave is effective. Exceptions to this deadline will only be considered in extraordinary circumstances in which a student is unable to make the request prior to the deadline (e.g., inpatient hospitalization or documented incapacitation).  Requests after the deadline must be made in writing and submitted with subsequent medical documentation to the SSCT, will be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Student Support, the Associate Vice President for Student Life, and any appropriate on campus medical provider.  

If a request is submitted for MLOA after November 1 for the fall semester or April 1 for the spring semester, the medical leave will extend through 2 semesters (the effective semester and subsequent semester).

Please note that while on leave, students are not allowed to be on campus. Students may request to visit campus for academic reasons that may not be resolved via email or a phone call. In this circumstance, students must request prior permission from the Dean of Students Office. In addition, students may not participate in campus activities (including clubs, organizations, committees, or academic programs) while on leave.  

Return from Medical Leave

  1. Send a Letter of Intent to Return (November 1 for the spring semester and April 1 for the fall semester) to studentsupport@hamilton.edu. This letter should state your intent to return to Hamilton for the following semester and that you feel ready to do so.  Briefly describe the reason for your MLOA, what you have done to address these concerns, and in what ways you feel ready to return to the responsibilities of a full-time college student.
  2. Once you have received an email stating that you have been granted provisional return from medical leave, you should then be on the lookout for information from Community Living regarding housing selection.  If you have any specific questions, please contact Community Living (315-859-4023 or living@hamilton.edu). Also, contact your faculty advisor and the Registrar’s Office (315-859-4637 or regofc@hamilton.edu) about registering for classes.

*If you do not clear any holds on your account and register for a full course load by the last day of the upcoming course registration period (coincides with the last day of classes, see academic calendar), you will forfeit your housing assignment and any class registration will be dropped, extending your leave of absence through a future semester .*

  1. If appropriate, contact the Financial Aid Office (315-859-4413 or finaid@hamilton.edu) to confirm that you intend to return to campus for the following semester and to take any action necessary to apply for aid.
  2. Submit all required documentation supporting your return by November 15 for the spring semester and June 15 for the fall semester. Each of the following items should be sent together in 1 email, attached to studentsupport@hamilton.edu and should include:
  • A written letter from your licensed health care provider describing your treatment while on MLOA, verification that the reasons for MLOA were addressed, any ongoing treatment needs/concerns upon your return to Hamilton College, and a statement that specifically supports your return to full-time study.
  • Signed and dated Release of Information which gives your provider permission to speak with Hamilton College SSCT, Counseling Center, and/or the Health Center regarding your MLOA.
  • Provider Return Form
  • Care Plan with your provider. See below for more information about developing a Care Plan.

*If you do not submit all required supporting medical documentation by June 15th, you will forfeit your housing assignment and any class registration will be dropped, extending your leave of absence through a future semester.

*Provider Phone Call:

In some cases, we may need to speak with your provider before you are granted a full return to Hamilton. This phone call will be with Associate Dean for Student Support, and/or Director of the Counseling Center and/or Director of the Health Center and your provider. You will need to sign a consent form at your provider’s office giving us permission to have this conversation. Once this permission has been granted, please email studentsupport@hamilton.edu with the contact information and a copy of the consent form attached.  This is an important part of the return process and must be done before your return can be approved.

If a student fails to submit all required documentation by the above deadlines, consideration of their request to return will likely be postponed until a later semester.

Hamilton Care Plan:

As part of the return from MLOA process, we require students to create a Care Plan in conjunction with their provider.

A Care Plan, helps you to access support and resources while at Hamilton to ensure your safety and success.  This Care Plan will be a useful tool for you to reference during your readjustment to campus life. This can include things like exercise, individual and group counseling, seeing your psychiatrist for medication management, participation in social activities, and having a structured schedule so that basic self-care such as eating and sleeping are attended to.  For some students, regular meetings with their faculty advisor, receiving tutoring or help at the QSR, and a commitment to reach out to their professors for academic feedback and support may be an important part of not getting behind or overwhelmed in their courses.

Every student returning from MLOA is required to meet with a member of the SSCT upon their return and thereafter on an as-needed basis. Your Care Plan will be important to guiding your ongoing discussions with your case manager throughout your transition back to campus.

Registering for Classes and Other Coursework Questions:

For your classes, please contact your faculty advisor and/or the Registrar's Office (315-859-4637 or regofc@hamilton.edu). They can help you select classes and delineate a plan of action to meet all of your credit and major requirements.

Housing Questions:

The Office of Community Living can answer your questions about housing, including using your Hill Card, belongings, when you can be back on campus, potential room changes or roommate issues, and other residence hall questions (315-859-4023 or living@hamilton.edu).

International Students:

Please contact Omobonike Odegbami, Director of International Student Services ( 315-859-4288 or oodegbam@hamilton.edu) by November 1 for return in the spring and April 1 for return in the fall to go over the necessary documentation for your return to campus.

Other Questions:

Please contact the Student Support Care Team (315-859-4463 or studentsupport@hamilton.edu) with any questions that you might have about your Medical Leave of Absence and return.


Office / Department Name

Dean of Students Office

Contact Name

Dean of Students Office

Office Location
Elihu Root House
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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