Student Support

At Brown, we care about the whole you and work with you to support your success. Begin with some of the resources listed below.

During your time at Brown, you may need to request a leave of absence. There are many reasons a student may consider taking a leave of absence. To discuss options, master’s students are encouraged to make an appointment with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. Students should also connect with their academic departments, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Office of International Students and Scholars as needed.

Leaves of absence are generally granted for up to one year (one or two semesters and a summer term). Students on a medical leave may request to return from leave after one full semester. 

Students on a leave of absence are not considered active students so this may have significant implications for student loans as well as visas for international students. Students on a leave are not permitted to utilize campus resources or hold student employment positions. 

Additional details on Leaves of Absence can be found in the Graduate School Handbook

Non-Medical Leaves of Absence (Personal, Professional Development, Family Leave)

Applications for leaves of absence should be submitted at least four weeks before the start of the semester in which the leave is to be taken. Students experiencing an urgent matter may request a medical or personal leave at any time. Students without an approved leave of absence will still be considered active and will be billed for tuition. 

To initiate a non-medical leave of absence, students should:

  1.  Meet with their Director of Graduate Study (DGS) to discuss the possibility of a leave.
  2. Complete the appropriate Leave of Absence request form in UFunds. The department chair and program DGS will be asked to approve the request.
  3. If students receive financial aid, they should discuss the impact of a leave with the Office of Financial Aid. Students receiving aid or loans will need to add a representative from the Office of Financial Aid as a recommender on the UFunds form.
  4. International students are encouraged to connect with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS). A representative from OISSS will need to review and approve all UFunds forms for international students. 
  5. The completed form will be reviewed and approved by the School of Professional Studies. Students will receive a confirmation letter.

Students wishing to return from a non-medical leave of absence should reach out to their Director of Graduate Study. 

Medical Leaves of Absence

Students who must interrupt their study due to an illness or injury may consider a medical leave of absence. A medical leave of absence is intended to provide students with time to focus on their health and recover. Students considering a medical leave should consult with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to discuss their options. 

Medical Leave Process:

  1. Students should make an appointment with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs
  2. In this meeting, students will be asked to consider how a leave may impact their course of study, any financial aid or loans, and student visa (international students).
  3. Students complete a medical leave of absence form on UFunds
  4. Associate Dean of Student Affairs consults with Director of Graduate Study to determine whether the student’s department is supportive of a leave
  5. If a student receives federal financial aid or loans, they will be asked to list a representative from the Office of Financial Aid as a recommender on the form.
  6. International students will be asked to list a representative from OISSS as a recommender on the form.
  7. Once approved by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, students will receive a confirmation letter. 
  8. In the semester prior to a student’s scheduled return, the student will be contacted to determine whether they intend to return.
  9. If the student intends to return, they will be asked to submit documentation from a health care provider. This documentation is reviewed by Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), depending on the nature of the illness. 
  10. Once reviewed and approved, the student is cleared to return to study.

Strong advisor-advisee relationships are cornerstones of successful graduate education. They are vital to students’ and faculty members’ scholarly and professional development and to the intellectual excellence and vitality of any program. Learn more about academic support here.

Friends are often the first to notice that a student might be experiencing significant distress. You may be concerned that a friend or acquaintance is acting strangely or seems depressed, but it may not be clear how you might be helpful. Another student may have also brought a concern to you about someone he or she knows. This page summarizes resources available to you and all students in the Brown community.