Return from Medical Leave

We understand that returning from medical leave involves both coordination and planning. The Dean of Students Office is here to help students rejoin the Tufts community and will assist in navigating the steps for re-entry. The overwhelming majority of students who take a Medical Leave return to the University and complete their degree. 


Completing the process to return from medical leave by the appropriate deadline is an important step in demonstrating readiness to return to Tufts. You must complete the return process by submitting all re-entry materials and meeting with the necessary staff members before the following deadlines:

Semester of Desired Return Date
Summer Session March 1
Fall Semester July 1
Spring Semester November 1

If you believe you have an extenuating circumstance that impacts your ability to meet the deadlines above and would like to request an exception to the deadlines, please first submit your request and rationale for an exception to Please note that exceptions to the above deadlines are rare.

Steps to Return

There are three steps required for all students returning from Medical Leave. The tabs below outline the general requirements for each step. Students may receive additional, personalized instructions based on individual circumstances, and the Dean of Students Office will communicate any additional conditions in writing.

Step 1: Complete the Return from Medical Leave Form

Complete the Return from Medical Leave Form. The online form will prompt you to upload your Personal Statement, as well as any additional documentation, if applicable (unofficial transcripts and/or letters of reference). Please note: for official transfer of credits please follow the process as outlined by the Registrar

Step 2: Have Your Provider Compete the Clinical Documentation Form

Once you have completed Step 1, forward the Clinical Documentation Form to your primary treatment provider and request that they complete it.

Step 3: Meet with Appropriate Staff

Upon submitting materials, students returning from Medical Leave will be required to speak with the appropriate Tufts administrators attending to health and academics. Your resource in the Dean of Students Office will work with you to coordinate necessary meetings based on individual circumstances. This may include:

  1. Your contact in the Dean of Students Office.

  2. Counseling and Mental Health Service clinician for re-entry evaluation, if applicable. This appointment can be made only after all clinical information has been received by the stated deadline. 
  3. Medical Director of Health Services or clinical designee for re-entry evaluation, if applicable. This appointment can be made only after all clinical information has been received by the stated deadline. 
  4. The appropriate undergraduate Advising Dean (Liberal Arts BA/BS, Liberal Arts BFA, or Engineering), or graduate faculty advisor or academic department designee. 

Once You've Been Approved to Return

Once a student has been approved to return from Medical Leave, they will receive a letter via email confirming the return from Medical Leave, as well as an individualized care plan. The Dean of Students Office will notify the Registrar to remove the Medical Leave hold.

Checklist: Once You've Been Approved to Return

  1. Register for courses: Once active on SIS, the student will be able to register provided there are no other holds on the account. For any financial holds, contact Student Services. For any advisors hold, please contact your undergraduate Advising Dean (Liberal Arts BA/BS, Liberal Arts BFA, or Engineering).
  2. Contact the Office of Residential Life and Learning to pursue on-campus housing. Students will complete a housing waitlist form to provide their list of preferences. (Preferences are not guaranteed as space is limited. The Office of Residential Life and Learning will make a best effort to accommodate students returning from Medical Leave, but cannot guarantee a space in the case of extraordinarily high demand.)
  3. Be in touch with Financial Aid if you have received financial aid in the past.
  4. Contact the International Center to obtain appropriate travel visa documents if you are an International student.
  5. Visit Student Accessibility Services if you have accessibility needs and wish to request accommodations.
  6. Set up an appointment with the appropriate Dean of Students staff member to discuss the individualized care plan.
  7. Contact Mail Services to let them know how to handle the mail upon return.

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Dean of Students Office reviews a student's petition to return from a Medical Leave in coordination with the Medical Director of Tufts Health Service and/or Director of Counseling and Mental Health Services or their designees. As necessary, the Dean of Students Office may also consult with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Office of Residential Life and Learning, and Student Accessibility Services.

  • In the event that a student objects to the decision made by the Dean of Students Office, or other formal decision made by the University under this process, the student may appeal that decision in writing to the Dean of Students or the designee. Appeals based on concerns about disability or other types of discrimination may also be made to the Office of Equal Opportunity c/o Jill Zellmer, Director and Title IX/504 Coordinator.

    Deadline: Appeals must be made within 7 calendar days from the date of the decision and the student may not remain on campus during the appeal period.

    Appeal Documentation: Appeals should specifically cite incorrect facts or unfair application of Tufts leave procedures and provide information to support these statements. Any medical information submitted as part of the appeal must include signed releases for the student's treatment team to discuss pertinent information with the Dean of Students, designee, or clinician assigned to review medical information.

    Final Decision: After receiving the appeal, the Dean of Students or a designee will respond in writing to the student. The response will provide a conclusion as to whether or not the Committee’s decision is appropriate upon a thorough review of relevant facts and information. 

  • A student who has been placed on an involuntarily leave of absence from the University may appeal this decision. The student must submit an appeal letter and include the reason(s) for the appeal within five (5) business days of notice of the involuntary leave of absence. The appeal letter and any additional supporting documentation, the student wishes to provide, must be submitted to the Dean of Students Office

    In making a decision, the Dean or her designee will review the documentation provided and may consult with other departments. The decision on the appeal will be communicated to the student as soon as possible. During the appeal period, the student will remain on leave and may not be on campus, attend classes or participate in university activities without authorization from the Dean of Students Office. If an appeal is denied, the decision is final and no further appeal is permitted.  

    If a student believes that they have been discriminated against in connection with any University program or activity because of a disability, they have the right to seek a review by Tufts University Office of Equal Opportunity.