What You Need to Know

As you consider taking time away from MIT, please review the following sections to help you gain an understanding of the leave process. All leave requests must be processed by an S3 dean. Simply not registering, or dropping all subjects during a semester, are not the proper ways to take a leave. The deans in S3 will help you make a plan to get the most out of your time away from MIT. Please contact S3 to set up an appointment to discuss your leave.

If you would like to speak with another student who has been through the leave process, let your S3 dean know. They will make every effort to connect you with another student who can share their experience.

Also, please make sure to review the Medical Leave and Return Policy as you consider next steps.


Expectations of how a student spends time away depend on the reason for taking a leave and are determined on a case by case basis in consultation with the student.  It is important that you have a full understanding of these expectations at the time of your leave.  Most often, we expect students to engage in sustained, productive activity during their time away from MIT. Recommendations often include a full time course load at another university, part-time study combined with employment, or full-time employment. For students looking to return in the Fall, classes or employment completed over the summer prior to the anticipated date of return will not be considered.

In cases where coursework is expected, 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.

If on Medical Leave, clinicians in MIT Medical will want to speak with your treatment providers within the first month of your leave about what would be expected in a treatment plan.

If circumstances change during leave, expectations may be added or modified by the deans in consultation with the student. Decisions about leave expectations or changes to leave expectations are made together with the student, but the final decision rests with our deans.


Students may request a Personal or Medical Leave through the last day of classes of the semester. Students must take one full term away. However, students who request leave by Add Date are eligible to request return for the next semester.

Any request made after the last day of classes will be processed for the next semester and will only be granted after review by the Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) at end-of-term meetings. A Required Academic Leave voted by the CAP will supersede a student's request for a Personal or Medical Leave.

Requesting Return

Deadlines for submitting the Request to Return form are June 15 for the Fall semester and November 15 for the Spring semester. Supplemental material will be accepted until July 1 for the Fall semester and December 1 for the Spring semester. Requests to return are generally not processed for IAP or the Summer semester. Requests will not be reviewed until all materials are received and the Request to Return form is complete. Deadlines are firm and requests to extend the deadline or to accept late requests will not be considered.

Financial Considerations

Please note the following financial considerations when considering a leave.


Tuition for students requesting a Personal or Medical Leave will be prorated according to the Registrar's proration tables. Please see the official MIT policy on costs and tuition adjustments located in the MIT Bulletin.

Financial Aid and Loans

If you receive financial aid, you should be in touch with Student Financial Aid to find out how requesting a leave impacts aid and to be aware of future deadlines. If you have received student loans, you must contact Loan Services for an Exit Interview before leaving MIT. Failure to receive an Exit Interview will result in a hold being placed on any future registration.

MIT Transcript

Students often ask us, “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.

MIT Health Insurance

Taking time away from MIT may have implications for your MIT Health Insurance coverage, please review the following information.

Medical Leave
Students requesting a Medical Leave for the current term will be required to pay the MIT Health Plan fee. This is necessary to ensure coverage for charges incurred during the semester for which student status has been rescinded. Students with questions about health insurance coverage should contact the MIT Health Plans Office (617-253-4371).

Students enrolled in the MIT Student Extended Health Insurance Plan who are requesting a Medical Leave are eligible to continue coverage for up to two semesters and a summer following their leave. A student may request in writing to the Chief of MIT Mental Health and Counseling approval for one additional semester of MIT Student Extended Insurance Plan health insurance beyond the period granted. See the Medical Leave and Return Policy for more information. Students who are taking a Medical Leave and are already enrolled in the MIT Student Extended Health Insurance Plan should let their dean know whether they would like to continue coverag

Personal & Required Academic Leave
Students are not eligible for MIT Student Extended Health Insurance while on Personal or Required Academic Leave. Be sure to make other arrangements for insurance coverage. You may contact the MIT Health Plans Office (617-253-4371) for more information.

Community Involvement While on Leave

Students on leave remain part of the MIT community.  They may stay in contact with (including visiting) individuals on campus, such as their advisors and other Faculty, staff of academic departments, S3 deans, housemasters, friends, and alumni.  As a general matter, MIT students on leave may participate in MIT activities that are open to the public.  Finally, MIT students on leave may continue to use their MIT email address.

However, certain resources at the Institute are available only to registered students.  Among the resources available only to registered students are living in MIT-owned or affiliated housing (including FSILGs), attending classes, participating in the UROP program, accessing Athena and MIT licensed software, and using an MIT ID Card. 

If you have a question about access to the MIT campus and MIT resources while you are on leave, please contact your dean at S3.