Skip to main content

Request a Medical Leave of Absence

Process for Requesting MLOA

Step 1: Applying for MLOA

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

Step 2: Contact Counseling, Health and Wellness

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

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

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 typically be submitted before 5 p.m. Thursday during the 12th week of the semester. A MLOA typically lasts one academic semester.

Semester of Leave MLOA Deadlines
Fall 2019 November 14, 2019
Spring 2020 April 2, 2020
Summer 2020 June 10, 2020
Fall 2020 November 12, 2020
Spring 2021 April 1, 2021
Summer 2021 June 10, 2021


Counseling, Health and Wellness (CHW) 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.  CHW 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 of Student Affairs and the Student Affairs hold 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 HBKU Housing Due to MLOA

A student will be required to vacate HBKU student housing within 48 hours of the approval of the leave, which includes removal of all belongings. Please check with the Housing Liaison in NU-Q Student Affairs for additional information.

Financial Aid Status Due to MLOA

Financial aid will be impacted while on MLOA. Please consult with the NU-Q Manager of Student Finance for additional information.

University Provided Health Insurance Coverage

If a student takes a MLOA, s/he is no longer enrolled full time at the university. This change in status does not have implications on your 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, which is July 31. 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.

If you have other health insurance, you may wish to consult your family or health insurance provider. Students who have questions regarding the NU-Q provided insurance should contact Counseling, Health and Wellness.


If the request for an MLOA is denied, the student may appeal the determination to the dean of Northwestern University in Qatar (or his or her 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 dean of Northwestern University in Qatar (or his or her 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 dean of Northwestern University in Qatar’s (or his or her designee) decision shall be final. The dean of Northwestern University in Qatar (or his or her designee) may extend the time limit for her/his decision as necessary.

Back to top