Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

Campus scenes, 2023. Credit: Micaela Go

Involuntary Leave of Absence and Return Policy

Main content start

Stanford University is committed to the safety, health and well-being of the campus community. The University recognizes that students may experience situations that significantly limit their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students. In such circumstances, students should consider requesting a leave of absence. 

2023-24 Neighborhood Decorative Accent Line


  • Note: Effective Jan. 4, 2020

More About the Involuntary Leave of Absence and Return Policy

A Leave of Absence (LOA) permits students to take a break from the University and their studies so that they may address the issues that led to the need for the leave, and later return to the University with an enhanced opportunity to achieve their educational goals. Requiring a student to take a leave of absence (i.e., an Involuntary Leave of Absence) is rare and, subject to Section III of this Policy, only happens when current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence indicates to the Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students or their designee that there is a significant risk to the student’s health or safety or the health or safety of others, or the student’s behavior severely disrupts the University environment, and no reasonable accommodations can adequately reduce that risk or disruption. Students under review for an Involuntary Leave of Absence (ILOA) will be given the option to take a voluntary leave of absence before a decision is made with respect to an involuntary leave.

Read the Involuntary Leave of Absence & Return (ILOA) Policy

Campus Scenes, 2023. Credit: Micaela Go

ILOA Frequently Asked Questions

Reference frequently asked questions about the ILOA policy.

Campus scenes, 2023. Credit: Micaela Go