We at Student Support Services acknowledge the uniqueness of every student’s circumstances.  We offer a place for you to think through your options, of which a medical leave is one, in order to develop a plan that best works for you towards successful completion of your Brown degree.  Students who opt for a medical leave do so for many different and varied reasons involving any combination of physical health, mental health and/or substance abuse conditions that interfere with their success at Brown in one way or another. While the decision to take a leave can often be difficult, Brown students often share that in retrospect taking a medical leave was the right choice for them. 

A medical leave is intended to provide the freedom to fully attend to one’s health and well-being while away from the rigors of Brown. We have guidelines in place to help students get the help that they need while away to achieve the level of sustained stability needed to support a successful return.  The clearance process provides for attention to each individual’s circumstances and involves helping a student connect to appropriate resources upon return so as to support continued stability while at Brown.

This section of our site contains information on all aspects of the medical leave option and deans are always happy to meet with students to discuss their questions regarding medical leaves.

Number of Medical Leaves of Absence and Students Cleared to Return Per Academic Semester        
Academic Semester Fall 2017     Spring 2018     Fall 2018     Spring 2019     Fall 2019     Spring 2020
Summer 2020 Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Summer 2021 
(Unique semester due to Covid-19)
Fall 2021 Spring 2022 Summer 2022 Fall 2022
Medical Leaves of Absence Taken 44 48 40 51 46 37 N/A 41 59 5 61 51 1  -
Number of Students who Applied for Clearance to Return 19 56 33 38 31 32 15 43 21 5 67 33 1 65
Number of Students Cleared to Return* 17 54 33 38 31 31 15 42 21 5 67 33 1 65
*Students who are not cleared to return are provided feedback on what additional steps they might consider taking. Many petition again and are cleared in a future semester.