If I go on leave, will I be able to come back again?
S3’s role is to support students during their time away and through the return process so that any student who wants to return to MIT from leave and graduate is able to do so. The CAP will approve your request to return if you have successfully met expectations outlined at the time of your leave. For this reason, it is important to meet with a dean in S3 to discuss a plan for what you will be doing in your time away. If your plans change, be in contact with your dean so your expectations can be updated if necessary.
What percentage of students who go on leave are able to return?
Last year, 97% of students who took a medical, personal, or required academic leave were approved to return. Students who take a leave of absence and return within two years of their leave do not require approval from the CAP to return. Their returns are automatically processed.
What does the process of going on leave look like?
A student* in good academic standing who wishes to take time away from MIT may consider taking a Leave of Absence (LOA). If you are thinking about going on leave, you should set up a meeting with a S3 dean. Your dean will help determine the appropriate type of leave to take and answer any questions you have. If you are taking a personal or medical leave, it is important to talk with your dean about what the expectations will be when you request to return. If you are requesting a leave of absence from an upcoming semester, your dean can help you think through your plans. Once you have made your decision, your dean will process your leave and you will be ready to go. While you are on leave, your dean will be available should you have any questions. *The COVID-19 emergency has necessitated that we clarify the intent and practice of our Leave of Absence Policy. LOAs are available to students who have completed at least one semester of MIT and are in good academic standing. As such, first year students are not eligible to request a Leave of Absence for the fall semester. Incoming first-year students should consult with the Admissions Office about deferring their enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I do not have a S3 Dean? Who should I reach out to?
Call S3 at 617-253-4861 or come to 5-104 during normal business hours to schedule an appointment. You can also come to walk-in hours 10:00am-11:00am or 2:00pm-3:00pm Monday-Friday to talk with a dean.
Are there any considerations I should be aware of when taking a leave?
The vast majority of returning students report a very positive outcome during their time away – they feel better able to focus and prioritize the things that are most important to them at MIT. However, some challenges students report experiencing include: graduating with a different class, what to tell people about why they took a leave, adjusted schedule for milestones like ring delivery, a change in living groups, or a sense of feeling “older” then others in their grade. We encourage you to talk with your dean or other students who have returned from a leave about these or other worries you may have about taking a leave.
If I take a leave in the middle of the semester, will I get any money back?
Tuition and housing charges will be prorated to your last date of attendance. Whether or not this results in a credit in your student account depends on when you leave your financial aid package. As part of the leave process, it is important for you to talk with your financial aid counselor in Student Financial Services about how taking a leave might impact your financial aid.
Are there expectations of me while I am on leave?
When students go on leave, expectations are determined on a case by case basis in consultation with their S3 dean. It is important that you have a full understanding of these expectations at the time of your leave. Students are usually expected to engage in sustained, productive activity during their time away from MIT. Students on medical leave are usually expected to seek treatment outside of MIT Medical during the leave. Students are encouraged to consult with clinicians at MIT Medical, in collaboration with outside medical providers, to develop and follow through on a treatment plan. S3 may individually determine other leave requirements that reflect the student’s needs and circumstances. A student whose medical circumstances are coupled with academic challenges may benefit from coursework at another institution, and, in some cases, this will be required by the CAP. In such cases, students often engage in some combination of taking classes and employment. Classes should be rigorous and taken at a four-year college or university with earned grades of B or better. Audited and online classes will not be considered. Students may wish to consult with appropriate academic departments at MIT to identify classes that may qualify for transfer credit at MIT.
Will my leave be listed on my official transcript?
If a leave is processed during the semester, the transcript will note that the student took a leave during that semester, but the type of leave will not be indicated. If a leave is processed in between semesters, the transcript will just have a gap between the semesters that a student was registered. If you intend to take classes or transfer to another college or university, you may need a copy of your MIT transcript. You can obtain a copy through the Registrar's Office.