3.9: Leaves of Absence and Reinstatement

A Leave of Absence is required for any term of the academic year (Autumn, Winter, Spring) for which a student does not wish to enroll in classes. Students wishing to take a Leave of Absence should first obtain the proper paperwork from the School of Medicine Registrar’s Office or online.  

Leave of Absence Request forms with required signatures must be submitted in advance of the requested quarter to the School of Medicine Registrar’s Office.

Leaves of Absence are granted at the discretion of the School of Medicine, and are granted for a maximum of one calendar year. Leaves requested for a longer period are approved only in exceptional circumstances. Extension requests must be made to the Committee on Performance, Professionalism and Promotion before the expiration of the original Leave of Absence.

Leaves of Absence may not exceed a cumulative total of two years. New students may not take a Leave of Absence during their first quarter. How0ever, new students may request a deferment; whether to grant or deny the requested deferment is at the discretion of the School of Medicine.

Students on Leave of Absence are not registered at Stanford, and therefore do not have the rights and privileges of registered students.

NOTE:   Students taking an approved Leave of Absence have not ended their relationship with the University. If students have not entered a waiver through Axess by 9/15 of each academic year, they will be enrolled in Cardinal Care for entire year 9/1-8/31. Should they take a leave of absence during that year, students will still be insured and cannot opt out of this coverage. Students accessing services at Vaden Health Center will still be charged the Campus Health Fee of $173. Students with questions about this process can contact the Insurance Referral Office at Vaden Health Center at 723-2135. Under some circumstances, students on Leave of Absence may be able to make special arrangements to continue their university housing; students will need to deal directly with the relevant university offices involved to do so.

Childbirth Academic Accommodation Period
Women graduate students anticipating or experiencing the birth of a child may formally request a one-quarter extension of University and departmental academic requirements and a Childbirth Academic Accommodation Period. The Childbirth Policy is administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) through an online application process. A letter from the student's health-care provider stating the anticipated delivery date must accompany the petition. If the childbirth occurs prior to filing the petition, the accommodation period begins on the birth date.


Students who fail to be either registered or approved for a Leave of Absence by the start of a term are required to apply for reinstatement through the School of Medicine Registrar’s Office before they can return to the same degree program. The decision to approve or deny reinstatement is a discretionary one made by the Committee on Performance, Professionalism and Promotion, which is not obliged to approve reinstatements of students.

Reinstatement decisions may be based on the applicant’s academic status when last enrolled, activities while away from campus, the length of the absence, and the perceived potential for successful completion of the program, as well as any other factors or considerations regarded as relevant by the school. Reinstatement information is available from the School of Medicine Registrar’s Office.

Reinstatement applications must be submitted 60 days prior to the first day of the term for which reenrollment is requested. A fee is required.

updated August 2014

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: