Understanding Medical Leave

The medical leave policy at Messiah University is designed to provide academic and emotional relief to students who develop a serious illness, either physical or psychological. As educators or advisors, you may have the opportunity to suggest that a student consider applying for relief under this policy.

The policy is necessarily complex to accommodate the many different circumstances with which students present; however, it is important to highlight a few aspects of the policy about which educators need to know, to avoid confusion:

  • There are two ways a student can seek relief under the policy, with very different results.
  • In the case of medically excused status, a student can drop one or more classes and receive a “W,” or, with the professor’s approval, receive an “incomplete” and finish the class (es) later.
  • In the case of medical leave, the student is granted “W’s,” does not complete his or her semester, and leaves campus immediately or soon after. No credit is given for any courses (unless the student has completed January term) and refunds, when given, are made on a sliding basis.
  • In all cases, students must receive the permission of the Director of Counseling and Health Services to receive medical leave.
  • If a student wishes to receive an “incomplete” under medically excused status, the Director of Counseling will seek approval from the instructor before granting the status.
  • More extensive information about medical leave is available here.
  • You may also contact the Director of Counseling and Health Services at 717-796-5357 to discuss more specifics.