• Medical Emergency Leave of Absence

Point Loma Nazarene University cares for its students.  Therefore, when medical emergencies arise that impede the ability of the student to function in relation to academics and/or community, the university will take appropriate action to attempt to protect the interests and safety of both for the student and the PLNU community. Procedures for such situations are intended to assist in developing support systems, simplify re-entry into the institution, and provide structure during a stressful event. Professional staff will work with students, medical providers, and family members if such a situation arises. 

In the event of a serious physical or mental health crisis or diagnosis, the university may place a student on a voluntary or involuntary leave of absence, and/or withdraw a student from the university, if the student:

  • Engages or threatens to engage in behavior which poses a danger of causing harm to self or others.
  • Engages or threatens to engage in behavior which could cause significant damage to property or which significantly impedes other students’ study or sleep.
  • Engages in behavior that creates a health (physical or mental) risk or significant disruption in a living or study environment.
  • Experiences catastrophic illness or injury, which precludes completion of course work.
  • Appears unable to care for his/her basic Activities of Daily Living (i.e. bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, feeding, shaving, brushing teeth, preparing meals and snacks).

Examples of the above may include, but are not limited to, eating disorders, severe depression, suicide attempt or talk, self-injury, auto accident, refusal of medical treatment during life threatening events, manic episodes, and diagnosis of cancer.  When a student is withdrawn, medical clearance and a plan for supportive, local follow-up care will be required prior to readmission to the university. When it becomes necessary to implement this policy, an administrator from the Office of Student Development will facilitate the following steps:

  • A student’s parent(s), guardian(s), or spouse will be contacted to provide support for the student.
  • The department of Academic Affairs and current professors will be notified of the student’s status.
  • With the approval of the professor, an “I” (Incomplete) or other appropriate grade may be recorded for the student’s grade.  The student will be required to personally contact each professor to complete the requirements of each course as soon as the student is able.
  • An “AW” (Administrative Withdrawal) will be recorded.


  • Leave of Absence

Currently enrolled students in good academic standing may apply for a one semester leave of absence from their program of study.  The maximum leave of absence allowed is one academic term (Fall or Spring), not to exceed 180 days in any 12 month period.  Students receiving financial aid will continue to be considered "in-school status" only for institutional aid.  Students receiving federal or state financial aid will not be considered "in-school status" for Title IV loan repayment purposes.

Students who wish to apply for a leave of absence form should obtain an application from either Student Development or the Office of Records. The application must be signed by the university officers indicated, a length of leave proposed, and the application returned as indicated. Any courses taken for credit during an approved leave of absence must have prior approval. Upon return, students with Junior or Senior classification must schedule an appointment for a graduation check in the Office of Records.

The completed leave of absence form is filed in either the Office of Student Development or the Office of Records.  Failure to return following the approved Leave of Absence period initiates an administrative withdrawal from the university as of the initiating date of the leave of absence. This withdrawal may also have financial aid implications, such as the expiration of a loan's grace period and may cause a student loan to immediately be in repayment.

Filing Dates: Current students must file for a Leave of Absence by the close of Priority Registration.                           

Notification Dates: A decision regarding a Leave of Absence application will be communicated by the end of the last week of classes via university email. 

The Associate Vice President for Student Development, Jeffrey Carr, in consultation with the Enrollment Management Operations Committee, is responsible for the administration of this policy.