Voluntary and Involuntary Medical Leave/Withdrawal

Medical Leave/Withdrawal is available for all students (undergraduate and graduate-level) with a documented physical or mental health-related condition of a serious nature that requires them to leave the University mid-semester, without completing their coursework, after the last day to withdraw with a grade of “W,” and/or after reporting an incident to the Title IX Office. Students whose grades have been negatively affected due to a medical condition that occurred during a previous semester may qualify for a Retroactive Medical Withdrawal. 

The intention of this policy is to allow students time to focus on their health. Therefore, students, in general, should intend to withdraw from all semester coursework to be eligible for Medical Leave/Withdrawal. Those requesting withdrawal from less than their full course load (due to a medical reason), with appropriate rationale, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If a student wishes to withdraw from any or all courses after the last day to withdraw with a grade of "W" for non-medical reasons (i.e. military service, job transfer, shift change imposed by the employer that creates a direct conflict with the class schedule, or death in the family), they must contact their academic advisor and obtain approval from the Dean of their College by submitting a Petition for Late Withdrawal.

Please Note: After two (2) consecutive semesters on Medical Leave, a student who does not take appropriate steps to return to the University will be deemed officially separated from the institution. Approved Medical Leave/Withdrawal does not guarantee students the ability to return to the University without approval from the Dean of Students (or designee). See “Returning from Medical Leave” for more information.

Medical Leave/Withdrawal is intended to assist students academically. It does not necessarily grant or guarantee a refund for tuition or fees, nor does it release students from other financial obligations, such as off-campus leases, etc. We strongly recommended contacting the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Scholarships at ysufinaid@ysu.edu or 330-941-3505 and the University Bursar at accounts@ysu.edu or 330-941-2343 to discuss how an approved Medical Leave/Withdrawal may impact you.

Students who have been found responsible for violation(s) of The Student Code of Conduct and expelled or suspended from the University are not eligible for Medical Leave/Withdrawal for the semester(s) in which the violation(s) occurred.


Requests for Medical Leave/Withdrawal are processed by the Medical Withdrawal Review Committee and approved/denied by the Dean of Students (or designee). The Committee is comprised of the Director of Student Counseling Services, Associate Director for Accessibility Services, Associate Vice President for Student Experience, Assistant Dean of Students for Community Standards, Advocacy, and Conduct, and Dean of Students Case Manager(s). Completed requests for Medical Leave/Withdrawal must be submitted no later than the last day of regular classes of the semester from which the student wishes to withdraw (i.e. Friday before Finals Week).

The Dean of Students (or designee) does not have the authority to retroactively withdraw students from previously-completed semesters. However, in order to protect students' privacy, the Medical Withdrawal Review Committee reviews medical documentation and recommends approval or denial of students' requests for Late Withdrawal to the Dean of the College in which they are/were enrolled. Students should visit the Application for Retroactive Medical Withdrawal (Previous Semester/s) for additional information on the Retroactive Medical Withdrawal process.
Students are encouraged to discuss medical and/or mental health-related concerns with a licensed care provider as soon as it becomes apparent that their health is preventing them from successfully completing their coursework. This serves both the best interests of the student and the University. For a Medical Leave/Withdrawal request to be considered, students must provide medical documentation from a licensed care provider, with whom they have an established provider-patient/client relationship (except in Title IX-related cases). Students may contact Wick Primary Care and/or Student Counseling Services to establish care, or consult a licensed care provider of their choosing. Documentation may be attached to the student's Request for Medical Leave/Withdrawal (Current Semester), delivered to the Office of the Dean of Students (Cushwa Hall 3325), or submitted via e-mail (dos@ysu.edu), fax (330-941-2715), or U.S. Mail. If sending by U.S. Mail, please address using the following information:

     c/o Dr. Nicole Kent-Strollo, Dean of Students

     Office of the Dean of Students | Cushwa Hall 3325 | Youngstown State University | One University Plaza

     Youngstown, OH 44555

Supporting medical documentation should include the following:

  • Care provider’s name on office letterhead
  • Brief letter identifying the student as a patient or client
    • Date of onset of condition(s)
    • Dates of care
    • General nature/symptoms of the student’s condition(s)
    • Impact of the condition on the student's academics
    • Most recent date student was able to attend classes
    • Length of time student will require Medical Leave (up to two consecutive semesters)
  • Please DO NOT include detailed medical records with your request!

Upon receipt of the aforementioned information, the Medical Withdrawal Review Committee will review and verify the documentation. The Committee reserves the right to discuss documents and request authentication from the University's currently-contracted health center, as necessary. After documentation has been validated, the Dean of Students (or designee) will approve or deny the Medical Leave/Withdrawal request. 
Once approved, the following steps will occur:

  • The Dean of Students (or designee) will notify the student, the Office of the Registrar, University Bursar, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, the student’s College Dean, and appropriate departmental academic advisor that Medical Leave/Withdrawal was approved, or that Retroactive Medical Withdrawal was recommended for approval (the Dean of the College must then initiate/submit a Petition for Late Withdrawal).
  • The Office of the Registrar will adjust the student’s transcript to reflect a grade of "W" for all semester courses. Grades of "W" do not affect GPA or a student’s academic standing.
  • The University Bursar will audit the student’s account and bill for any outstanding fees. The audit may take up to 30 days to conclude. If the student has no active balance, or has a credit on their account, they will receive a statement containing this information. Students who are approved for Medical Leave/Withdrawal may receive a reduction of tuition fees in proportion to the number of weeks attended, in accordance with the effective withdrawal date established by the University Bursar.
  • If the student lives in University housing, the Dean of Students (or designee) will notify the Office of Housing & Residence Life of their Medical Leave/Withdrawal. The student is individually responsible for scheduling a time to vacate their space and return room keys.
  • If the student receives veteran’s benefits, is an international student on a visa, or is an NCAA athlete on scholarship, the student must independently notify the appropriate office(s) to avoid disruption to aid, additional benefits, or eligibility.
  • If the student is a dependent, the Dean of Students (or designee) does not notify their parents/guardians of the Medical Leave/Withdrawal, unless the student authorizes them to receive this specific information as proxies.

The decision of the Dean of Students (or designee) is final. However, additional supporting documentation will be considered if received by the last day of regular classes of the current semester (i.e. Friday before Finals Week). Students may also submit future applications, as appropriate, due to change(s) in circumstances. For Retroactive Medical Withdrawals, applicable components of the aforementioned process occur after/if the request is approved by the Dean of the student's College.


In order to provide a safe environment in support of the University's mission, a student may be required to take Involuntary Medical Leave/Withdrawal when their behavior, relative to their condition, is incompatible with community standards. Requiring a student to take a leave of absence is rare and only considered when no reasonable accommodations can adequately reduce the risk(s) described below. The Dean of Students (or designee) will review information and consult with the University's CARE Team, Medical Withdrawal Review Committee, and/or others with knowledge of the situation, on a case-by-case basis, as appropriate. The Dean of Students (or designee) will issue a written notice to the student that an Involuntary Medical Leave/Withdrawal is under consideration.
Students may be considered for Involuntary Medical Leave/Withdrawal when:

  • Objective evidence suggests a significant risk to the student’s health or safety and/or the health or safety of others, including, but not limited to, significant risk of suicide, persistent self-harm, and/or homicidal intentions.
  • The student’s physical/psychological condition requires specialized services unavailable at the University or locally.
  • The student’s behavior severely disrupts the University environment, causing significant emotional and/or physical distress to other students, staff, and/or faculty in the classroom, campus community, or within the living learning community. Such disruption may stem from a single incident or a pattern of ongoing behavior.
  • The student has not complied with previously-established assessment and/or treatment plans required by University officials. Failure to follow these plans of action increases the likelihood that a student’s behavior progresses toward long-term impairment and inability to function as a successful student at the University.

A student may appeal the decision for Involuntary Medical Leave/Withdrawal in writing to the appropriate authority within the Division of Academic Affairs within five (5) business days of notice of the Involuntary Medical Leave/Withdrawal. The Vice Provost or designee (other than the Dean of Students) will review the appeal and provide a decision in writing within eight (8) business days of receipt. While this is the final level of appeal, the appellate authority has the discretion to alter or extend the return date on a case-by-case basis. During the appeals process, the University reserves the right to initiate or uphold interim measures (i.e. removal from University housing, etc.).


The effective date of approved Medical Leave/Withdrawal is the last day that the student attended class during the semester in question. A student’s Medical Leave period will commence on the first day of the subsequent academic semester.


Students on Medical Leave are not regarded as having permanently separated from the University and are not required to apply for readmission unless the leave period exceeds two (2) consecutive semesters. Upon departure from the University, a medical leave hold will be placed and remain on a student's account, prohibiting them from registering for courses. For this hold to be removed, a student must provide the following information (detailed below) for review. This documentation should be received at least 60 days in advance of the semester during which the student wishes to return and can be submitted using the University's Application for Re-Entry Following Medical Leave, delivered to the Office of the Dean of Students (Cushwa Hall 3325), or submitted via e-mail (dos@ysu.edu), fax (330-941-2715), or U.S. Mail. If sending by U.S. Mail, please address using the following information:

     c/o Dr. Nicole Kent-Strollo, Dean of Students

     Office of the Dean of Students | Cushwa Hall 3325 | Youngstown State University | One University Plaza

     Youngstown, OH 44555

A student requesting to return from Medical Leave must:

  • (On office letterhead) Have a licensed care provider (with whom you have an established provider-patient/client relationship) provide a specific diagnosis and a detailed report that discusses the nature of the medical or mental health-related condition, outlines the major symptoms of the condition, and indicates how the condition affects you in the University environment.
  • Have a licensed care provider (with whom you have an established provider-patient/client relationship) establish and outline a treatment plan, including necessary medications and any substantial side effects that could impair your ability to return to campus. Any recommended accommodations should be included in the report, if long-term disability exists. You must provide this plan to the Office of the Dean of Students.
  • Sign a release of information allowing the Dean of Students (or designee), Director of Student Counseling Services (if reason for leave is related to a mental health condition), and Dean of Students Case Manager(s) to communicate with the licensed care provider to determine readiness to return to the University.
  • Provide proof of progress toward or completion of active recommendations from the licensed care provider.
  • Complete any required student conduct sanctions stemming from prior behavioral incidents, if applicable.

After receiving the aforementioned information, the Dean of Students (or designee) consults with the Medical Withdrawal Review Committee to determine if re-entry requirements have been satisfied and decides if a student is ready to return to campus. If approved, the student must agree to meet with the Dean of Students, Dean of Students Case Manager(s), and/or other appropriate designee, for regular check-in meetings, as requested. The decision of the Dean of Students (or designee) is final; however, additional supporting documentation will be considered, if received within the 60-day timeframe prior to the desired semester of return.

An update regarding the student's request for Re-Entry Following Medical Leave/Withdrawal and requirements for return will be sent to the student and forwarded (via e-mail) to the following offices: Office of the Registrar, University Bursar, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Office of Housing & Residence Life (if appropriate), the student's College Dean, and appropriate departmental academic advisor.


Office: Dean of Students
Email: dos@ysu.edu