Return from Medical Leave

We understand that returning from medical leave involves both coordination and planning. The Dean of Student Affairs Office is here to help students rejoin the Tufts community and will assist in navigating the steps for re-entry. The overwhelming majority of students who take a medical leave return to the University and complete their degree. 


Please note that applications for returning from medical leave of absence cannot be reviewed until all required documentation is received. 

Semester of desired return Last day to notify DOSA of intention to return Last day for receipt of all documentation Last day to call CMHS/HS for appointment Last day to have all appointments completed
Summer 2018 Feb 1, 2018 Mar 1, 2018 Mar 1, 2018 Mar 16, 2018
Fall 2018 May 1, 2018 June 1, 2018 June 1, 2018 June 16, 2018
Spring 2019 Oct 1, 2018 Nov 1, 2018 Nov 1, 2018 Nov 16, 2018

Steps to Return

There are two steps required for all students returning from medical leave. The tabs below outline the general requirements for both steps. Students may receive additional, personalized instructions based on individual circumstances, and the Dean of Student Affairs Office will communicate any additional conditions in writing.

Step 1: Submit all re-entry materials

The following materials are considered in the re-entry process. Please note that all steps must be completed by the stated deadlines for your request to be considered. 

  1. Notification of Intent to return: submit a 1-2 line email to Mesale Gessesse stating the semester you intent to return from medical leave.
  2. Download and submit the Personal Statement: A letter from the student addressed to the Health Accommodations and Medical Leave Committee.

  3. Release of Information: Request and sign a release of information form from each treatment provider and/or system of care you saw while on medical leave. This form will authorize your provider to share clinical information with the appropriate clinician at Tufts University Health Service or Counseling and Mental Health Services. 

  4. Download the Clinical Documentation Form and request your primary treatment provider to complete this form.

  5. If applicable, students should submit all unofficial transcripts (or faculty-issued progress reports) from all classes taken during the leave via email to Mesale GessessePlease note: for official transfer of credits please follow the process as outlined by the Registrar

  6. Students may also submit letters of reference from any employment, volunteer work, and/or internship in which they participated during the leave. Letters of reference should be emailed directly from the author to Mesale Gessesse.


All non-clinical documentation should be submitted to:
Mesale Gessesse via email or mail to:
Dean of Student Affairs Office at Tufts University
c/o Mesale Gessesse
Dowling Hall, 701
419 Boston Avenue
Medford, MA 02155


Step 2: Meet with appropriate staff

Upon submitting materials, students returning from medical leave will be required to speak with the appropriate Tufts administrators attending to health and academics. The appropriate Dean of Students Affairs resource will work with each student to coordinate necessary meetings based on individual circumstances. This may include resources listed below:

  1. The appropriate Dean of Student Affairs resource.

  2. Counseling and Mental Health Service clinician for re-entry evaluation, if applicable. This appointment can be made only after all clinical information has been received by the stated deadline. 
  3. Medical Director of Health Services or clinical designee for re-entry evaluation, if applicable. This appointment can be made only after all clinical information has been received by the stated deadline. 
  4. The appropriate undergraduate Advising Dean (Liberal Arts BA/BS, Liberal Arts BFA, or Engineering), or graduate faculty advisor or academic department designee. 

Once You've Been Approved to Return

After the Health Accommodations and Medical Leave Committee approves a return from medical leave, students will receive a letter via email confirming the return from Medical Leave, as well as an individualized care plan. The Committee will notify the Registrar to remove the Medical Leave hold.

  1. Register for courses: Once active on SIS, the student will be able to register provided there are no other holds on the account. For any financial holds, contact Student Services. For any advisors hold, please contact your undergraduate Advising Dean (Liberal Arts BA/BS, Liberal Arts BFA, or Engineering).
  2. Contact the Office of Residential Life and Learning to pursue on-campus housing. Students will complete a housing waitlist form to provide their list of preferences. (Preferences are not guaranteed as space is limited. The Office of Residential Life and Learning will make a best effort to accommodate students returning from Medical Leave, but cannot guarantee a space in the case of extraordinarily high demand.)
  3. Be in touch with Financial Aid if you have received financial aid in the past.
  4. Contact the International Center to obtain appropriate travel visa documents if you are an International student.
  5. Visit Student Accessibility Services if you have accessibility needs and wish to request accommodations.
  6. Set up an appointment with the appropriate Dean of Student Affairs staff member to discuss the individualized care plan.
  7. Contact Mail Services to let them know how to handle the mail upon return.
  8. Students are encouraged to participate in the Returning Student Group organized by Counseling and Mental Health Services.
Who reviews my petition to return from Medical Leave?

The Health Accommodations and Medical Leave Committee reviews a student petition to return from a medical leave of absence. Students may contact the appropriate Dean of Student Affairs resource for a list of committee meeting dates. Students will be informed of the Committee’s decision, as well as any additional recommendations, in writing within seven working days. The Committee reserves the right to request and/or pursue any additional information if members deem it necessary.

The staff of the Office of Student Affairs convenes the Health Accommodations and Medical Leave Committee. Members of the Committee may include the undergraduate advising deans or graduate faculty advisor, member of the Dean of Student Affairs Office, Medical Director of Tufts Health Service and Director of Counseling and Mental Health Services or their designees, Office of Equal Opportunity, Office of Residential Life and Learning, and Student Accessibility Services.

How do I appeal a Health Accommodations and Medical Leave Committee Decision?

In the event that a student objects to the decision made by the Health Accommodations and Medical Leave Committee, or other formal decision made by the University under this process, the student may appeal that decision in writing to the Dean of Student Affairs or the designee. Appeals based on concerns about disability or other types of discrimination may also be made to the Office of Equal Opportunity c/o Jill Zellmer, Director and Title IX/504 Coordinator.

Deadline: Appeals must be made within 7 calendar days from the date of the decision and the student may not remain on campus during the appeal period.

Appeal Documentation: Appeals should specifically cite incorrect facts or unfair application of Tufts leave procedures and provide information to support these statements. Any medical information submitted as part of the appeal must include signed releases for the student's treatment team to discuss pertinent information with the Dean of Students, designee, or clinician assigned to review medical information.

Final Decision: After receiving the appeal, the Dean of Student Affairs or a designee will respond in writing to the student. The response will provide a conclusion as to whether or not the Committee’s decision is appropriate upon a thorough review of relevant facts and information. 

How do I appeal an involuntary medical leave?

A student who has been placed on an involuntarily leave of absence from the University may appeal this decision.  The student must submit an appeal letter and include the reason(s) for the appeal within five (5) business days of notice of the involuntary leave of absence. The appeal letter and any additional supporting documentation, the student wishes to provide, must be submitted to the Dean of Students Affairs Office

In making a decision, the Dean or her designee will review the documentation provided and may consult with other departments.  The decision on the appeal will be communicated to the student as soon as possible.  During the appeal period, the student will remain on leave and may not be on campus, attend classes or participate in university activities without authorization from the Dean of Students Affairs Office.   If an appeal is denied, the decision is final and no further appeal is permitted.  

If a student believes that they have been discriminated against in connection with any University program or activity because of a disability, they have the right to seek a review by Tufts University Office of Equal Opportunity,