Student Affairs - Dean's Office

Medical Leave Policy

During the course of their enrollment at Wesleyan, some students will need to take a medical leave because a medical and/or psychological issue temporarily prevents them from successful and productive participation in the University.

A medical leave is authorized by the vice president for student affairs on the basis of a recommendation from the medical director of University Health Services (UHS) or the director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Students on a medical leave must leave campus and focus on the evaluation of, treatment for, and management of the illness or condition which necessitates the leave. The appropriate class dean will communicate the terms of the leave as well as the conditions and procedures for returning to Wesleyan. When a medical leave is authorized, students are withdrawn from the courses in which they are enrolled. In exceptional cases, some incomplete grades may be granted, depending on course content and the date of the leave. (Note that any semester in which a grade is given is counted as a Wesleyan semester for purposes of graduation.)

Requesting a Medical Leave

Medical leaves typically require the positive recommendation of the medical director of University Health Services (UHS) or the director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Students considering a medical leave should consult with one or both of these offices. The class deans can help facilitate a meeting if students do not already have an established relationship with a Wesleyan medical provider or therapist. In cases where a primary medical provider or therapist is off campus, students should request a letter (sent directly to the medical director of UHS or the director of CAPS) recommending and supporting a medical leave. The letter should include details regarding the condition, illness or diagnosis, and an anticipated plan of evaluation and treatment.

After the case has been reviewed by the appropriate Wesleyan staff member, the medical director of UHS or the director of CAPS will forward their recommendation to the appropriate class dean. The class dean will confer with the vice president for student affairs and communicate the terms of the leave as well as the conditions and procedures for returning to Wesleyan.  The class dean is the "point person" throughout the leave.

The minimum duration of a medical leave is the balance of the semester in which it is authorized. Students are eligible to initiate a request to return once they have received appropriate treatment and consulted with their CAPS therapist.

Permission to visit campus during a medical leave can be granted by the class dean, typically to conduct University business. Engaging in on-campus activities while on medical leave cannot be considered part of a student’s treatment plan.

Returning from a Medical Leave

Students currently on a medical leave should notify the appropriate class dean when they are prepared to return to Wesleyan. Letters of intent are due by July 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. The primary provider responsible for treatment during the leave should provide diagnosis and treatment documentation directly to the medical director of UHS or the director of CAPS. The deadline for receipt of all required materials is July 15 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester.

After the case has been reviewed by the appropriate Wesleyan staff member, the medical director of UHS or the director of CAPS and the appropriate class dean(s) will meet with the vice president for student affairs concerning the student’s preparedness to return to the University as a full-time student in residence. The vice president will make the final decision concerning the student’s return. The class dean will communicate the decision to the student, and coordinate the student’s return to campus. After returning from a medical leave, students will be expected to meet with appropriate UHS or CAPS staff member(s) as directed. Periodic meetings with the class dean will also be expected.

Students who have concerns about the implementation of this policy should direct such concerns to Wesleyan’s Chief Diversity Officer.