Medical Leave Policy for Students

Authority: Student Affairs
Date Enacted or Revised: Enacted October 2017; June 15, 2022; August 29, 2023

McNeese is committed to the success of all students, including those with mental or physical health conditions. McNeese expects all students to have the willingness and ability to maintain a reasonable concern for the welfare of themselves and others, and to seek appropriate resources when they experience difficulties.

Voluntary Medical Leave/Withdrawal

Students have the right to request a medical leave of absence to appropriately tend to psychological or physical illnesses that otherwise significantly limit their ability to function appropriately or safely.

Voluntary Leave: If the leave is for a brief duration (e.g., a few days to 1-2 weeks), then a student could speak with their assigned instructors about making up missed work while remaining actively enrolled—this option is up to the discretion of the instructor, bearing in mind that the academic integrity of the course material must be maintained.

Voluntary Withdrawal: If the leave is longer and involves a more significant part of the semester, then a medical withdrawal from the semester would be suggested.

Required Medical Leave

Students who contract contagious illnesses or who cannot properly function due to a physical illness, mental illness, or injury should provide approved documentation verifying their condition. This may include correspondence from a medical provider, a treatment plan, discharge paperwork, or other proof acceptable to an instructor or administrator. The documentation may excuse a student’s absence from coursework or University-sponsored activities for a specified period. Students may request provisions and accommodations acceptable to instructors or sponsored activity administrators for what has been missed. Should a student miss an excessive amount of time causing them to not be able to maintain satisfactory progress in a course or activity, or if the extended absence compromises fairness to other students, the student may be dropped from a course (WN), issued a grade of incomplete (I), or permanently excused from an activity. Students should refer to the fee appeal process or the grade appeal process if they feel a declared academic action is not reasonable.

Involuntary Medical Leave/Withdrawal

Students who display dangerous or disruptive behavior may be: 1) given a referral for an evaluation from an off-campus provider, or 2) administratively (involuntarily) withdrawn from the University. The student would be notified of administrative withdrawal in person, if possible, and also in writing.

Dangerous or disruptive behavior can include threatening or engaging in behavior that:

  • Poses harm to oneself or demonstrates an inability to care for oneself;
  • Substantially interferes with the educational experience of others (including residential living); or
  • Causes a chronic, inordinate use of University resources such as emergency services, counseling services, or other staff time/services that results in an undue burden on the University.

Failure of a student to respond in a timely manner or otherwise participate in the involuntary medical leave process shall not invalidate or delay any action made or taken by the University. If the student chooses to appeal the University’s decision, they must provide this appeal to the dean of student affairs within seven class days. The appeal will be reviewed by a committee which may be comprised of the following campus professionals: chief diversity officer, director of the counseling center, director of accessibility services, director of recreation and wellness programs, and other appropriate campus constituents. A student’s appeal should include information/evidence demonstrating that they are well enough to remain in the University environment.

If medical withdrawal occurs (voluntary or involuntary), the student must reapply to the University to enroll again. When reapplying to the University, the student must include documentation from a relevant medical provider verifying compliance with treatment recommendations while on leave or withdrawal, and a statement that the student can carry out the academic requirements and expectations of University life.

The dean of student affairs may be consulted to determine if the student’s situation might be more appropriately handled through the student disciplinary system (Code of Student Conduct).


This policy is distributed via the University Policies webpage.