Pratt Institute students who feel they need to leave their program for a period due to physical or mental health concerns may apply for a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA). 

An MLOA allows a student to facilitate separation from the Institute for medical or psychological illnesses. A student may experience medical or psychological conditions that significantly impair his/her ability to function successfully or safely at Pratt. In these instances, time away for treatment and recovery can restore a student’s functioning to a level that will enable him/her to return to Pratt.

Student benefits and considerations of taking a MLOA

  • Only students in good academic standing will be eligible for a MLOA (good academic standing is defined as a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students). In addition, a student must have completed one semester at Pratt to be eligible for a MLOA. Students who do not meet the criteria (i.e. first-semester freshmen) may be eligible for a medical withdrawal under extraordinary circumstances. 
  • A MLOA sometimes qualifies a student to initiate a leave of absence later in the semester than might normally be permitted for other forms of leave.
  • If a student is covered by the Student Health Insurance then they may continue coverage during the MLOA (this benefit typically expires after two consecutive semesters of medical leave).
  • For international students, a MLOA may affect one’s legal status. International students holding visas should consult with the International Affairs office or their own counsel before filing for a MLOA to make sure they meet the immigration regulatory requirements.  
  • Students who live in on-campus housing must have the MLOA form signed by appropriate Residence Life staff and remove their belongings from on-campus housing. Students intending on returning to housing after obtaining clearance to return from a MLOA must contact the Office of Residence Life.
  • Students can take as much time as needed away from the Institute to recover from their condition; however, students who do not take classes for two or more consecutive semesters must reapply for admission. Students who stay out for longer than two consecutive semesters and are readmitted will continue their studies under the graduation requirements in effect at the time of their readmission.
  • Students who withdraw and have received financial aid must contact the Financial Aid office. Some aid may need to be returned. Any balance that results from a reduction in aid is the student’s responsibility.  

Process for obtaining an MLOA

The procedure to obtain a MLOA has recently undergone a few changes. The procedure to take and return from a leave now involves reaching out to a coordinator here at Pratt. If you are a student who is either leaving or returning from a leave of absence, please email Martha Cedarholm our Care Coordinator at to get further instructions on coming back to Pratt.

Some examples of psychological conditions that may necessitate a medical leave of absence include, but are not limited to, severe depression or anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia. Some examples of medical conditions that may necessitate a medical leave of absence include, but are not limited to cancer, multiple sclerosis, uncontrolled diabetes, or uncontrolled seizures.

Academic Standards and Code of Conduct

The granting of a MLOA does not in any way excuse the student from the usual academic standards and student conduct processes set forth by Institute policy. Therefore only students free of academic suspension, dismissal, or expulsion due to academic or conduct issues are eligible to apply for and return from an MLOA. 


The College reserves the right to notify a student’s designated emergency contact that a MLOA has been issued and/or if the student poses a threat of harm to themselves or others. The students’ designated emergency contact may be asked to make arrangements for safe removal of the student from the college environment. 

Deadlines for requesting a MLOA

Students must have completed an evaluation, for a MLOA no later than the final day of classes as listed on the on-line academic calendar in order for a MLOA to be processed for that semester.

Deadlines for returning from a MLOA

When a student feels ready to resume studies at Pratt, he/she must present compelling evidence that the condition that precipitated the MLOA has been sufficiently treated and improved to the point where it will no longer adversely affects his/her safety and functioning or the safety and functioning of the larger institute community. The student is advised that possible restrictions to access to the campus and its services may be invoked as a result of the circumstances associated with the MLOA. The student would be notified in writing by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) should any restrictions apply.

In order to return from a MLOA, the student must notify the Care Coordinator, Martha Cedarholm,  listed previously in writing by the following dates:

Fall semester return: July 1

Spring semester return: December 1

Summer semester return: April 1

If you are a student who is either leaving or returning from a leave of absence, please email Martha Cedarholm our Care Coordinator at to get further instructions on coming back to Pratt.

Typically, a student is required to provide documentation from a qualified medical or psychological provider who can attest to the student’s readiness to return. Once all the documentation has been received and there has been an opportunity to review it, the student will be scheduled for an evaluation either in-person or by phone to discuss their request to return to Pratt. Following this evaluation, the Care Coordinator or the Associate Director for Counseling will make a judgment as to the student’s readiness to return and forward their recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs who then renders a decision regarding the student’s return.

Additional information regarding Medical Leave of Absence

Please view the link for Medical Leave of Absence under Pratt Policies (Student Life section) on the Pratt Intranet for more details regarding this policy. The Pratt Intranet can be accessed through a student’s myPratt account.