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Request a Medical Leave of Absence

Process for Requesting MLOA

Step 1: Applying for MLOA

Complete and submit both the Request for a Voluntary Medical Leave of Absence form and medical documentation (see below) by the deadline for each semester (see below). 

Step 2: Contact Counseling and Wellness

Schedule an interview with Counseling and Wellness for a medical leave of absence. You must provide documentation from your treating physician of:

  • a diagnosis
  • medications and current treatment
  • treatment plan for medical leave of absence period
  • expected outcome of treatment during the medical leave of absence 

In order for Counseling and Wellness to speak to the student’s health care provider(s) and to the Director of Student Affairs, the student is requested to sign and date an Authorization To Release/Exchange Confidential Information.

Approximately 5 business days following the completion of Step 2, Counseling and Wellness will make a recommendation regarding your request for a MLOA to the Director for the Student Experience.  

Deadlines & Determination


Students can apply for a MLOA at any time; however, in order for a MLOA to take effect during an ongoing semester, the MLOA application and all supporting documentation must be submitted before 5 p.m. Thursday during the 11th week of the semester. A MLOA lasts two academic semesters (the semester in which you applied and the following semester).  

The MLOA application deadline for a summer session is earlier than the deadlines for fall or spring semesters.  


Semester of Leave MLOA Deadlines
Fall 2021 November 4, 2021
Spring 2022 March 17, 2022
Summer 2022 June 6, 2022
Fall 2022 October 13, 2023
Spring 2023 March 23, 2023
Summer 2023 June 12, 2023


The Director 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 Director for the Student Experience may notify parents and appropriate university departments of the student’s change in status. If the request for MLOA is denied, the student may appeal the determination (see Appeal section).

Class Registration During MLOA

While on MLOA, a student may not register for classes at Northwestern until the student has been reinstated by the Director for the Student Experience and the hold on the student's account has been removed. Students on medical leave are strongly encouraged to consult their 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 be required to vacate Qatar Foundation housing within 48 hours of the approval of the leave, which includes removal of all belongings. Please consult with the Housing Liaison in the Student Experience office for more information.


Financial Aid Status Due to MLOA

Financial aid will be impacted while on MLOA. Please consult with NU-Q Student Finance. 

University Provided Health Insurance Coverage

A MLOA means students are no longer enrolled full time at the university. This change in status does not have implications on students' eligibility for NU-Q provided health insurance.  NU-Q allows continued coverage while on approved Medical Leave of Absence until the end of the current policy year.  While NU-Q has paid the insurance premium in the past, there is no guarantee that NU-Q will be able to provide this free service in the future.

Students with other insurance policies may wish to consult with the provider to ascertain the impact of a MLOA.  Students who have questions regarding the NU-Q provided insurance should contact Counseling and Wellness.  


If the request for an MLOA is denied, the student may appeal the determination to the Assistant Dean for the Student Experience (or their designee) in writing within three (3) business days of the decision. The appeal should be made in writing and should set forth the basis for the appeal.

The Assistant Dean for the Student Experience (or their designee) shall review the record and any additional information submitted by the student and render a decision within ten (10) business days of receiving the appeal. The decision by the Assistant Dean for the Student Experience (or their designee) shall be final. The Assistant Dean for the Student Experience (or their designee) may extend the time limit for their decision as necessary.

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