Returning from Personal, Medical, or Required Academic Leave
The information provided in this section outlines the processes associated with returning to MIT after a Personal, Medical, or Required Academic Leave. Students who have been away from MIT for the requisite amount of time on a leave are eligible to request to return. The request to return process has been designed to make sure that students are ready to return successfully to MIT.
If you are Requesting Return from a Leave of Absence, please follow the Returning from a Leave of Absence process.
As the Faculty Rules and Regulations state (section 1.73.5), "the Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) shall act with power on requests to return at the undergraduate level after a Personal, Medical, or Required Academic Leave." Our deans coordinate many facets of the return process but the final decision rests with the CAP.
No requests to return to the undergraduate program will be considered from any student who has received a bachelor's degree or equivalent from another institution or who is a candidate for such a degree at another institution. The return guidelines comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), a law designed to protect students who leave school for military service.
Undergraduate Request to Return forms are due June 15 for the Fall semester and November 15 for the Spring semester. To ensure that the Committee on Academic Performance has the most up to date information about your time away, request forms will be accepted no earlier than June 1 for the Fall term and November 1 for the Spring term. 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.
How to Request Return
Download and complete the Undergraduate Request to Return form. The form describes all supplementary materials that are required to support the request to return. A student on leave should make an appointment with one of our deans to discuss return and also review the Return Checklist. Students requesting return from a Leave of Absence (LOA) should consult the Returning from Leave of Absence (LOA) page and checklist.
In addition to contacting Student Support Services, a student who previously declared a major should contact the Undergraduate Academic Administrator for that major and the former faculty advisor to discuss their situation. If you are thinking of switching majors you should be in touch with both your former and new department. These departments will coordinate who writes a letter on your behalf. First-year students should contact Leslie Bottari in the Office of the First Year.
If you are seeking to return following a second required academic leave, please see the Return Review Process page for more information.
Students who do not graduate within ten years of their original date of entry should contact Student Support Services and consult with a dean about their request to return. If appropriate, Student Support Services will make a referral to the Committee on Curricula (CoC) for a full academic review to determine the student's status with respect to the GIRs.
All students requesting return must submit the following via email:
- An Undergraduate Request to Return form;
- A personal statement;
- A chronological, dated list of activities (e.g., classes, jobs, travel) while away from MIT;
- A student-developed, department-approved academic plan for graduation that addresses completion of the GIR subjects and, in the case of students who have declared a major, the requirements for the major;
- A letter commenting on the student's suitability for return and the proposed academic plan from the academic department or program to which the student would like to return or, in the case of first-year students or undesignated sophomores, a letter from Leslie Bottari in the Office of the First Year. In order for the department to write a letter you will need to provide them with your academic plan, and a current MIT transcript with degree audit obtained from the Registrar's Office (see request to return form for instructions on obtaining a transcript and degree audit). We encourage students to discuss the plan with the faculty advisor and/or academic department to determine if graduation requirements are being addressed.
- All non-medical request to return materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The items above, with the exception of number 5, are due by June 15 for students requesting return for the Fall term and November 15 for the Spring term. The letter from your academic department or academic advisor is due by July 1 for the Fall term and December 1 for the Spring term.
Supplementary items required may include:
- letters of reference from employers or faculty of other universities attended,
- transcripts of coursework completed at other institutions. If the transcript will not be sent by the posted deadline, please ask your instructors/professors to send us an email (email@example.com) indicating your standing in the class around the time of the deadline. Once the official transcript becomes available, please have it emailed as soon as possible. The Committee on Academic Performance also welcomes letters from instructors or professors who can comment more generally on your performance.
- A Medical Provider Report from physicians or clinicians with whom the student received treatment. Clinicians in MIT Medical and MIT Student Mental Health and Counseling review the medical information, and provide a recommendation in writing to the Committee on Academic Performance to be included in the request. This report is critical in assisting the Committee to arrive at its decision. You will also need to submit an Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information. Both should go directly to MIT Medical at MLOA-Returns@med.mit.edu or faxed to (617) 253-0162
The supplementary items required will vary by the circumstances of your leave. Materials are due two weeks after the initial request deadline (July 1 for the Fall term and December 1 for the Spring term). If you have questions about the items needed for your request, please contact your dean or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a brief summary of the necessary steps to request return as an undergraduate. Students requesting return from a Leave of Absence (LOA) should consult the Returning from Leave of Absence (LOA) page and checklist for details and processes.
1. Note Return Request deadlines:
- Fall term deadline: June 15
- Spring term deadline : November 15
- To ensure that the Committee on Academic Performance has the most up to date information about your time away, request to return forms will be accepted no earlier than June 1 for the Fall term and November 1 for the Spring term.
- Decisions will be emailed on or around August 10 for a Fall return or January 10 for a Spring return.
2. Complete the Undergraduate Request to Return form.
- Ensure that your name is on all materials.
- Email all request to return materials, with the exception of the Provider Report, to: email@example.com. The Provider Report should be sent directly to MLOA-Returns@med.mit.edu.
3. After you have submitted your completed request, call 617-253-4861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with your dean.
4. Note Financial Aid deadlines
- An application for financial aid must be submitted by April 15, prior to the intended academic year of return.
- To apply for financial aid, contact Student Financial Services (617-258-8600, email@example.com).
5. Check to make sure you are financially cleared to return to MIT
- Contact Student Financial Services (617-258-8600) to resolve any student account or loan holds.
6. International students must contact the International Students Office.
- You will need to send in a new financial certification form.
- The ISO must update your certificate of eligibility before your return to MIT.
- Please contact the International Students Office (617-253-3795 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
7. Develop a plan for housing if your request to return has been approved.
- Currently, on-campus housing cannot be guaranteed for students returning from leave. If you are interested in on-campus housing you should follow the most up to date process provided by Housing & Residential Services. Contact MIT HRS with any questions (617-253-2811 or email@example.com).
- If you are considering housing with an FSILG, please contact the fraternity, sorority, or independent living group in which you would like to live. Please keep in mind that space may be limited and housing cannot be guaranteed. Contact the FSILG office (617-253-7546 or firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
- For assistance and advice on your off-campus housing search, please contact the MIT Off-Campus Housing (email@example.com).
8. Submit an updated Medical Report form.
- If you took a leave from MIT over 12 months ago, you are required to submit updated information to MIT Medical. See http://medical.mit.edu/sites/default/files/medreport.pdf for more information.
Return Review Process
Your S3 Dean will advise you through the process of requesting return. Requests to return are reviewed beginning June 15th for the Fall semester and November 15th for the Spring semester. Once your request is complete, it will be forwarded to the Chair of the Committee on Academic Performance for review.
Students will be notified of their Request to Return status via email on or around August 10 for a Fall return and January 10 for a spring return. Returning students will be provided with a list of recommendations to help make the transition back to MIT successful. A student’s denied request will be provided with the reasons for the decision and a list of expectations that must be met before another request to return will be considered. You are encouraged to develop a contingency plan in the event that your request to return is denied.
Second Required Academic Leave
In the case of a second Required Academic Leave, a student's lack of satisfactory progress is of significant concern, and a more prolonged period of time away from MIT may be needed. It is important for the student to gain a better perspective on their problems and resolve them. In many instances, a former student with two required academic leaves may be better served by considering finishing their degree elsewhere.
Students requesting return after a second Required Academic Leave must make an appointment with their S3 dean and complete the Undergraduate Request to Return Form. The Chair of the Committee on Academic Performance may choose to interview the applicant, or ask another committee member or other member of the Faculty to do so.
A student’s request to return is decided by a vote of the full Committee on Academic Performance. If the Committee on Academic Performance approves the request, the student will be provided with a list of recommendations to help make the transition back to MIT successful.
If the Committee on Academic Performance denies the request, the student will be provided with expectations that must be met before consideration of any future request to return.
Request to return decisions are reconsidered only if substantial new information has become available after the decision has been made. A request for reconsideration documenting the new information should be submitted the Chair of the Committee on Academic Performance. The Chair will decide whether to bring the request to the entire Committee on Academic Performance for a full review. The student will be notified of the decision after the review.