Medical Leave of Absence (Voluntary) Policy (MLOA)

A student may experience physical or psychological conditions that significantly impair the student's ability to function successfully or safely in his or her role as a student. In such cases, the student may decide that time away from the University for treatment and recovery can help restore functioning to a level that will enable the student to return to the University and perform successfully in and out of the classroom. The University has an interest in students receiving appropriate care not only for their own well-being, but also for the well-being of the larger community with whom the student interacts.

When a student initiates a MLOA, Villanova University may establish criteria regarding the student's eligibility for returning to the campus community. The criteria include, but are not limited to, compelling evidence that the condition that precipitated the need for the MLOA has been sufficiently treated or ameliorated to the point where it will no longer adversely affect the student's or the community's safe- ty or functioning.

Criteria for Approval of a MLOA

Three steps are normally required for approval of a MLOA.

  • The student must schedule an appointment with the Student Health Center or the University Counseling Center for a MLOA evaluation.
  • The student must schedule an appointment with the Dean of Students or appropriate academic Dean in the student's college to discuss and review the MLOA request.
  • The student must complete the MLOA Request Form and submit one copy to the Dean of Students or the appropriate academic Dean.

The MLOA request may be made at any time during the semester, but must be completed no later than the last day of classes in a semester, including the requisite evaluation and any related paperwork for the Dean's office. Requests not completed by the last day of classes will be considered late requests and will be considered   for the following semester barring exceptional circumstances.

The Dean of Students or the academic Dean's office will make the final determination whether the MLOA will be granted, in consultation with University's health professionals. The Dean's office granting the leave will specify the terms of the MLOA including conditions for return to the University following the leave. At a minimum, a MLOA will be for one semester and, depending on the timing of the request and the nature of the circumstances, the MLOA may involve additional semesters to allow sufficient time for full recovery, a sustained period of stability, and to increase the student's opportunity for success upon their return to the University. When the student seeks to return to the University, the Dean's office granting the leave will determine whether the student has satisfied the conditions and is permitted to return.