Personal Leave

Personal Leave

A personal leave of abscence is a voluntary leave from the College to attend to personal matters such as employment, travel, family, and financial concerns.  Students interested in taking a leave to address their own physical or psychological health concern should refer to the section on medical leave of abscences.

Students interested in taking a personal leave of absence must complete the following steps:

1. Set up an appointment to speak with their academic dean in person or via phone about the timing of the leave, the reasons for requesting the leave, plans for time away and for returning to the College, the impact on their academic program, and how the leave will figure into an overall graduation plan. Students who are away from campus can request a leave of absence by arranging a phone or virtual appointment.

2. Complete the Personal Leave Form (pdf) or the Personal Leave Form (docx), following the initial meeting, which requires an academic dean’s signature and includes the anticipated date of return.

3. The Office of Academic Deans will review and process personal leaves upon receipt of the Personal Leave Form. Once the leave has been processed, students will receive a written confirmation from the College in their MHC email account, stating the terms and conditions of the leave. Students are responsible for reading all materials that are sent to them concerning their leave and for complying with the terms and conditions of the leave.

4. Students are not eligible for personal leaves when they have taken more than four sequential semesters away from the College. If leave is denied, the student remains responsible for all academic requirements.

Important additional information on Personal Leave:
  • A personal leave of absence can be no less than one semester and no longer than four consecutive semesters. The College withdraws students after four consecutive semesters away unless they have requested and received an extension of their leave from the Office of Academic Deans. If an extension request is denied, an appeal may be made to the Dean of Students (or designee).

  • Students are encouraged to request a planned personal leave of absence by the dates listed below, although the College recognizes that situations may arise requiring a request after the suggested deadlines.

  • The preferred deadline for requesting a personal leave for the upcoming spring semester is November 15; however, leave requests will be honored if they come in after that date.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, leaves either personal or medical taken after the 50th day of the semester will carry forward to the following academic semester.

  • When a personal leave is authorized on an immediate basis during a semester, students are withdrawn from the courses in which they are enrolled and receive W’s in place of credits and grades.

  • The College will provide up to three days to remove belongings and vacate the residence halls when a personal leave is approved on an immediate basis. If additional time is needed, the student should speak with the director of Residential Life. Extending time in the residence halls may affect the amount of any refund, if applicable, or result in a late-stay charge. The College has a list of vendors who provide storage and shipping services.

  • In extraordinary circumstances, an incomplete (extension) for a course or courses may be considered in consultation with an academic dean and the professor before the official leave is processed. The College has sole discretion to provide this option. In such cases, a deadline is established by the professor and dean, and an “I” for “incomplete” is recorded until the deadline has been met for completion of the course. An “I” in a course allows a student to complete work approved by the course professor during the student’s absence. 

Note: A withdrawal from all classes or request for a leave of absence after the 50th day of classes in a given semester, absent extraoridnary circumstances, will typically result in a leave of absense as of the date of the request and will continue through the following semester as determined by the College at its sole discretion.

  • International students should be aware that their immigration status may be affected by taking a personal leave and should therefore consult with the immigration specialist in the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives before applying for a personal leave.
  • During the student’s approved personal leave, the Office of Academic Deans will send an official email outlining the steps needed for a return to campus. The email will be sent to the student’s MHC email address. Students on leave must follow the steps outlined in the email for a successful return to campus.
  • During a leave, a student may decide to take courses at an accredited institution. See Transferring Credit for information about this option and consult with the registrar’s office.
  • If a leave is approved, the College will alert various offices across campus of the leave. This notification will prompt a change in certain College privileges, which may include, without limitation, campus employment, borrowing from the library, access to Kendall, health and counseling services, and campus dining. The approval will also prompt Student Financial Services to perform required calculations according to the College’s refund policy. Students should connect with Student Financial Services directly regarding refund requests. 

Returning from a Personal Leave of Absence 

Students will be expected to return to campus after the requested leave ends. An email will be sent to returning students outlining the steps to take for financial aid, housing and course registration. A student will be billed for the semester of expected return unless an extension of the leave is requested by submitting another Personal Leave Form (pdf) or Personal Leave Form (docx).