Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, and Reinstatement

University Policy

School of Public Health Policy

Leave of Absence or Withdrawal

A degree candidate in good standing may request up to two semesters of leave of absence from the School of Public Health by completing a Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Form (available on our SPH Forms page) prior to the official start of the semester in which they wish to take the leave of absence. In addition to the website, Request for Leave of Absence or Withdrawal forms are available in the Registrar’s office in Talbot 210 Central.

To avoid academic and financial penalties, students must withdraw prior to the first day of the upcoming academic semester by completing a Request for Leave of Absence or Withdrawal. If the School of Public Health Registrar has not received a registered student’s request to take a leave of absence or to withdraw from the program prior to the start of the relevant semester, the student will be liable for tuition and fees for registered courses based upon University policy. Students receiving tuition remission benefits from Boston University who wish to take a leave or withdraw should contact their benefits representative for information on financial implications.

Degree candidates who fail to register for two consecutive fall and spring semesters without receiving approval from the SPH Registrar will be administratively withdrawn. Lack of registration does not constitute an official leave of absence or withdrawal.

Leaves of absence due to medical reasons are handled according to the procedures below. Students who are not able to continue in their degree program due to relocation, ongoing academic difficulty, or other personal circumstances may voluntarily withdraw from Boston University.

Leaves of Absence for Medical Reasons

Sometimes a student may need to interrupt their studies for medical reasons. The University Student Health Services office and the SPH Graduate Student Life office can assist a student who is deciding whether to take a medical leave and advise them about the steps necessary for a successful return.

University policy requires that a student “seeking to re-enroll after a medical leave must demonstrate to the University that the student’s health permits the successful completion of studies.” The best time frame to submit all materials to demonstrate good health will vary based on the desired semester of re-enrollment.

Online MPH Students

Online MPH (OL MPH) students may take multiple leaves of absence as long as their expected return allows for program completion within five years of admittance. OL MPH students may take a leave of absence by indicating a leave on the Intent to Register Form and following up with a Leave of Absence/Withdrawal form. The anticipated semester of return will need to match up with the next offering of needed OL MPH module.