There are many reasons why a student might want or need to take time away from MIT. These may include personal or medical issues interfering with their academics; opportunities for professional experience, such as an internship; family or community commitments; or the desire to just take a break.
We are here to help guide you through the process of taking time away and returning. Simply not registering, or dropping all subjects during a semester, are not the proper ways to take a leave. S3 deans meet with students to talk through their specific situations and to come up with a good plan. You should leave the office feeling like you have worked together to create a clear understanding of the expectations during your leave. Please read the FAQs and contact S3 to set up an appointment to discuss your leave.
There are 3 types of leave a student can elect to take:
A Leave of Absence (LOA) can be requested by a student in good academic standing who wishes to take time away from MIT. Under the terms of a LOA, a student can request to take one LOA for a duration of one to four semesters away from MIT. An LOA can be requested up to ten days following the first day of classes of the semester. If a student's time away extends beyond two years, their return to MIT will follow the Request to Return process for a Personal Leave.
A Personal Leave is typically request when a student needs to interrupt their registration to personal or family issues that arise unexpectedly during the semester. Under the terms of a Personal Leave, a student usually takes at least one full semester away from MIT and go through the Request to Return process before registering again. A student may request a Personal Leave through the last day of classes of the semester.
A Medical Leave is usually prompted when a student and their treaters feel that their mental or physical health is preventing them from participating in campus life, including academics. Students may request a Medical Leave through the last day of classes of the semester. A student cannot register again at MIT until they have been approved to return. In determining when a student can return, MIT will make an individualized assessment of the student's medical and academic situation. Click here to read the Medical Leave and Return Policy (updated March 2019)This link opens in a new window.
If you are a student who is planning on taking a leave, or already on a leave, please visit the Resources page for anything you might want to know while on leave as well as our Community Involvement page for ways to stay involved in the MIT community. If you are someone who knows a student on leave, please visit this page to learn about how to support students on leave.