School of Medicine Registrar's Office Leave of Absence

An approved 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 at Stanford University. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their plans for a leave of absence with their Academic Advising Dean and/or E4C Advisor prior to submitting the leave of absence.

Students wishing to take a Leave of Absence should complete the Leave of Absence form by logging on to Axess, clicking the Student tab, and choosing “Student eForms" from the Quick Links menu on the left side of the screen. Click "Available Forms" and look for "Leave of absence (LOA) for GR". Requests for a Leave of Absence must be submitted in advance of the preliminary study list deadline of the requested quarter. 

Students who do not meet the requirement for continuous registration during the academic year must obtain an approved leave of absence, in advance, for the term(s) they will not be registered. The Leave of Absence must be reviewed for approval by the School of Medicine Registrar’s Office, and if the student is in the United States on a foreign student visa, by the Bechtel International Center. The granting of a Leave of Absence is at the discretion of the School of Medicine and is subject to review by the Office of the University Registrar. The University may condition its approval of a petition for a Leave of Absence on the student’s meeting such requirements as the University deems appropriate in the individual case for the student to be eligible to return.

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. However, 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 Leaves of Absence are not registered at Stanford, and therefore do not have the rights and privileges of registered students.  They cannot fulfill any official department or University requirements during the leave period.

NOTE:   Students taking an approved Leave of Absence have not ended their relationship with the University. A student who is granted a Leave of Absence in Autumn for which the effective date of the Leave is prior to the first day of class will not be charged health insurance as they will not be eligible for Cardinal Care. Their eligibility will resume when they return and register for classes. A student who is granted a Leave of Absence for which the effective date for the leave is on or after the first day of the quarter and they are enrolled in Cardinal Care will remain enrolled for the plan year. Students with questions about this process can contact the Insurance Referral Office at Vaden Health Center at (650) 723-2135. Under some limited 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.

For more information, see the Leave of Absence section of the Stanford Bulletin and the MD Handbook section on Leaves of Absence and Reinstatements.