An approved Leave of Absence (LOA) is defined by an absence from the curriculum of more than six consecutive weeks. Students on an approved Leave of Absence for any reasons other than an Academic Leave of Absence do not pay registration fees, are not permitted to enroll in required or elective medical school Blocks, Courses or Clerkships, and will not receive credit for any completed coursework (i.e., M.B.A., M.P.H., M.P.P., Ph.D. programs, research, etc.).
The maximum period for an approved Leave of Absence for any reasons other than an Academic Leave of Absence is one academic year, which may be extended for one additional academic year upon review on an individual basis by the Committee on Academic Standing, Progress, and Promotion (CASPP). If the student is not ready to return after two years, the student may be administratively withdrawn from DGSOM by CASPP.
The student requesting a Leave of Absence must provide the reasons for the leave and a plan to return in writing to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who will then present the request to CASPP. CASPP is responsible for reviewing and determining whether to approve a student's request for a Leave of Absence.
A Leave of Absence may be for academic, medical, personal, and/or administrative reasons:
An approved Academic Leave of Absence is generated by the student, and provides students with the necessary time to complete an academic pursuit and is not subject to the two year maximum leave interval as indicated above. Examples of an approved Academic Leave of Absence include but are not limited to:
NOTE: Students participating in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) will require an approved Academic Leave of Absence greater than two years in order to complete the requirements of the MSTP program, and are not subject to the two year maximum leave interval as indicated above.
An approved Medical Leave of Absence may be generated by the Dean's Office, the student's physician, or the institution. A student's treating physician and/or an independent evaluator must attest to the student's inability to participate in the curriculum. Examples of an approved Medical Leave of Absence include but are not limited to:
An approved Personal Leave of Absence is generated by the student in order to attend to emotional, economic, or other factors that affect the student’s ability to participate in the curriculum. Examples of an approved Personal Leave of Absence include but are not limited to:
An Administrative Leave of Absence may be generated by several institutional entities including: an Academic Performance Committee (APC); the Committee on Academic Standing, Progress, and Promotion (CASPP); Associate Dean for Student Affairs; and the Dean's Office. Examples of reasons for an Administrative Leave of Absence include but are not limited to:
After meeting with your advisors and school administration, please complete the appropriate Leave of Absence Request Form that you can find on the DGSOM Forms web site.
With the exception of students participating in MSTP, the maximum period for an approved Leave of Absence is one academic year, which may be extended for one additional academic year upon review on an individual basis by the Committee on Academic Standing, Progress, and Promotion (CASPP). If the student is not ready to return after two years of an approved LOA, the student may elect to withdraw from DGSOM, the student may petition CASPP for an extension of their LOA, or based on individual circumstances may be dismissed from DGSOM by CASPP.
What status does a medical student have at UCLA if that student does not enroll and is not on an approved leave of absence (LOA)?
Given DGSOM's Continuous Registration Policy, all medical students must be either registered and enrolled or on an official leave of absence every term until their degrees are awarded.
Does a medical student need to pay non-resident tuition and professional fees in addition to registration fees upon return from a leave of absence?
Fees continue to be based on where the medical students are in the program, and resident/non-residenct tuition is determined by the UCLA Residency Deputy.
Does a medical student need to start repaying loans while on leave of absence?
Loan repayment can be deferred for 6 months after a student graduates or drops below part time enrollment. For students whose leave of absence extends beyond six months, loans will enter repayment. There are forbearance options that students may avail themselves of at that point (ex: forbearance based on unemployment) but this is not an automated process and the student would be required to contact the servicer of his or her loan to find out what options are available. Please contact the DGSOM Financial Aid Office for additional guidance.
Are medical students eligible for employment while on leave of absence?
This would be up to each hiring department to determine their eligibility criteria for employment.
Will a medical student maintain health insurance while on leave?
Medical students can request voluntary UC SHIP while they are on leave for up to one term.
What campus resources are still available to medical students while on leave?
As a medical student on leave, you are still eligible for services through the Behavioral Wellness Center, DGSOM Academic Support Office, and are welcome to contact any school deans, faculty, staff and administration.
Can a medical student receive academic credit toward the MD while on leave?
No, medical students must be actively enrolled in the School of Medicine to receive credit towards the MD.
Can a medical student take DGSOM exams while on leave?
No, medical students must be actively enrolled in the School of Medicine to take exams.
Are medical students eligible for financial aid while on leave?
No, medical students must be actively enrolled to be eligible for financial aid. Please see more information here: https://medschool.ucla.edu/current-maintain-eligibility.
Do medical students maintain access to UCLA Recreation and UCLA Library facilities while on leave?
Students on leave may use the University library and recreation facilities and maintain access to digital services by paying additional fees as non-registered students.
Can a medical student remain living in University Housing while on leave?
Residents of university housing can maintain their residency while taking up to one term LOA. If the leave is longer, the student may be required to leave housing and then re-apply upon return. Please contact UCLA Housing directly with questions regarding eligibility.