Leaves of Absence and University Withdrawal

General Policy

Students who wish to take a leave of absence are encouraged to apply for the leave by submitting a petition through the myNEU web portal one month prior to the start of the effective semester. The usual limit for a leave of absence is for one or one-and-a-half academic semesters (a semester plus a half semester). A leave of absence (general, medical, or emergency), if approved, will take into account the following conditions:

  • Students who do not return at the end of the leave will be withdrawn and must submit a petition for subsequent readmission to the program.
  • Students must return to classes, not co-op.
  • Students must be currently enrolled in academic courses or co-op. If a student is withdrawn for any reason, a request for a leave of absence cannot be considered until the withdrawal is resolved.
  • Students who receive financial aid should meet with a financial aid counselor before going on a leave.
  • Students in university housing should refer to the Department of Housing and Residential Life for policy information.
  • Students’ enrollment status cannot include more than one academic year of consecutive nonclass enrollments.

International students must make an appointment with the Office of Global Services (OGS) to discuss leave of absence procedures in accordance with federal regulations.

Students returning from an approved leave of absence must submit a notification of intent to return to their college academic student services office no later than one month prior to the start of the semester in which they intend to return. Students are required to preregister for courses upon returning from a leave of absence.

Medical or Emergency Leave of Absence

Medical leave is an option available to those Northeastern students who develop a major medical condition that precludes class attendance, completion of requirements, and/or co-op. Medical leave petitions must be initiated at University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS). Students are not allowed to take courses for credit toward their degree at Northeastern while on medical leave of absence. Students can petition their college for an exception to take courses elsewhere based on extenuating circumstances.

Students who wish to reenter the university following a medical leave must contact UHCS. Reentry from a medical leave requires receipt of all documentation delivered to UHCS on or around one month prior to the planned reentry to classes. Once all documentation is received by UHCS, it will be reviewed and the student will be notified of the decision. Students must attend classes on the Northeastern campus for the semester they wish to return from medical leave of absence.

More specific information about the reentry process, along with the application for leave, can be found at the University Health and Counseling Services website.

Emergency leaves may be granted when a student cannot continue attending class after the start of the term due to life-changing situations beyond the student’s control. Students can access the application and submit their request for an Emergency Leave of Absence online by going to the myNEU web portal, clicking on the “Self-Service” tab, and selecting “Registrar Forms.”

The university’s medical leave of absence and emergency leave policy states that all tuition charged for the term in which the leave has been granted will be held by the university and applied toward future tuition charges in the same academic program. This does not include housing and other fees. Outstanding balances (including unpaid balances) for the academic term in which the leave is taken are still due the university. Tuition adjustments are made depending on the timing of the leave. The adjustments would follow the same schedule as the official withdrawal adjustments. See the schedule for “Refunds for Complete Withdrawal from the University.” Financial aid recipients must contact their financial aid counselor to understand the effects on aid received.

If the leave extends more than six months, student loans may go into repayment. Students enrolled in the Northeastern University Student Health Plan (NUSHP) will remain enrolled in the plan for the plan year, ending August 31.

For both medical and emergency leaves:

  • Students who do not return at the end of the leave will be withdrawn and must submit a petition for subsequent readmission to the program.
  • Students must return to classes, not co-op.
  • Students must be currently enrolled in academic courses or co-op. If a student is withdrawn for any reason, a request for a leave of absence cannot be considered until the withdrawal is resolved.
  • Students who receive financial aid should meet with a financial aid counselor before going on a leave.
  • Students in university housing should refer to the Department of Housing and Residential Life for policy information.
  • Students’ enrollment status cannot include more than one academic year of consecutive nonclass enrollments.

Leave of Absence Due to Military Deployment

When a student in the U.S. Reserves or in the National Guard is called to active duty or when an international student is called to active duty in his or her home country, the student must notify his or her college academic student services office and provide proof of deployment prior to being deployed. The proof may be faxed, mailed, or hand-carried to the college academic student services office, which will ensure that the information is conveyed to the registrar’s office. It may take the form of general orders cut by the company commander.

When a student is activated during the semester, the university will:

  • Excuse tuition for that semester. Any payment made will be credited to the student’s account.
  • Post a leave of absence for the semester to hold a place for the student when he or she returns.

If a student is called to active duty near the end of the semester, the student and faculty members may determine that incomplete (I) grades are more appropriate. In this case, tuition will not be waived.

When a student returns to the university after completion of the tour of duty, he or she will notify the college academic student services office, which will in turn notify the registrar’s office. The college academic student services office will assist the student with reentry and registration.

International students who must take a leave of absence to engage in military service in their home country must fill out a form for leave of absence with the OGS as well as with their college.

Leave of Absence for International Students

International students should discuss maintenance of proper U.S. immigration status with an advisor at the OGS before requesting any type of leave of absence.

University Withdrawal

Students seeking to withdraw from the university for any reason should contact the student academic services office of their college.

Students may be withdrawn from the university for financial, disciplinary, academic, or health reasons. In the last case, the vice president for student affairs will review the recommendations of the director of health services to determine whether the student should withdraw. Withdrawals are made only when it is determined that the student is a danger to himself or herself, or to other members of the university community, or when the student has demonstrated behavior detrimental to the educational mission of the university.

Note that withdrawal from the university will impact an international student’s immigration status. Thus, international students should discuss the means to maintain proper U.S. nonimmigrant status with an advisor at the OGS before requesting or after having been placed on withdrawal.