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Request a Medical Leave of Absence

Process for Requesting MLOA

Step 1: Apply for MLOA

To request a medical leave of absence, please go to: 

Request for a Voluntary Medical Leave of Absence form  

Step 2: Contact Counseling and Wellness

After completing the MLOA application, students must schedule an interview with Counseling and Wellness. Students should submit the following information:

  • Letter of support for leave from their managing physician. The letter or additional documents should include:
  • Diagnosis and relevant medical history
  • Current treatment
  • Treatment plan for medical leave of absence period
  • Expected outcome of treatment during the medical leave of absence
  • Test results supporting the diagnosis 
  • Completed Authorization To Disclose Health Information to allow for communication from Counseling and Wellness to speak to the student’s health care provider(s) and to Northwestern University in Qatar Assistant Dean for the Student Experience.

Counseling and Wellness will need all documents before a final determination for medical leave is granted. This can be a time sensative request, so please allow enough time to gather all necessary documents.

Step 3: Contact Assistant Dean for the Student Experience Office

Approximately 3-5 business days following the completion of Step 2, the student should hear from Counseling and Wellness regarding an appointment. If not, the student should contact the Assistant Dean of Students office for a medical leave of absence appointment.

Appointments cannot be scheduled until recommendations have been recieved.

  • Assistant Dean for the Student Experience Office
  • Northwestern University in Qatar, 2nd Floor 
  • Office: 2-322
  • Phone: +947 4454 5088
  • Website

Deadlines & Determination


  • Students must apply for a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) by the established deadline (generally the end of the 11th week of classes).
  • The process must be completed 1 business day before: the final day of the term; any of your final coursework, projects, exams are due - whichever happens first.
  • An MLOA cannot be processed if a student has taken a final exam or final cousework for any of their classes in the given semester. The MLOA typically lasts two semesters.
  • The deadline for reinstatement is by the established deadline (typically six weeks before the semester in which you wish to return to Northwestern).

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM Arabia Standard Time on the MLOA deadline dates below.

Semester of Leave MLOA Deadlines
Fall 2023 November 2, 2023
Spring 2024 March 21, 2024
Summer 2024 June 10, 2024


The Assistant Dean for the Student Experience will notify the student in writing of the determination. The approval for MLOA will include some treatment expectations during the leave of absence which will be individually tailored to meet each student’s situation. The office may notify parents and appropriate university departments of the student’s change in status.

Upon approval, students will be required to complete, sign, and submit the Leave of Absence Petition.

Class Registration During MLOA

While on MLOA, a student may not register for classes at Northwestern nor make academic progress until the student has been reinstated by the Assistant Dean for the Student Experience and the Student Affairs hold has been removed. 

Students on medical leave are strongly encouraged to consult their academic advisor in advance and have an academic plan in place, to allow registration to occur once the hold is removed.

Departure from Qatar Foundation Housing Due to MLOA

A student will generally be required to vacate Qatar Foundation housing within 48 hours of the approval of the leave, which includes removal of all belongings. For information regarding next steps, please contact the Northwestern Housing Liaison for more information.


Financial Considerations

Financial Aid, Housing, Tuition, Health Insurance and Activity Fees will be impacted while on medical leave.

For questions, please contact NU-Q Student Finance

Health Insurance Considerations

A MLOA means students are no longer enrolled full time at the university. This change in status does not have implications on student eligibility for NU-Q provided health insurance. NU-Q allows continued coverage while on approved medical leave until the end of the current policy year. Students who have questions regarding the NU-Q provided insurance should contact the HSSE department.

A student and her/his parents/guardians with other insurance policies are advised to check the terms of the health insurance covering the student. 

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