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Reinstatement Request Process

Request a Reinstatement

Students in the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Kellogg School of Management, the Pritzker School of Law and the School of Professional Studies, do not follow the links below. You must contact your academic dean's office regarding the reinstatement processes for your program.

We understand that returning from medical leave involves both coordination and planning. The Dean of Students Office is here to help students rejoin the Northwestern community and will assist in navigating the steps for reinstatement. 

We encourage students to take sufficient time to address the health-related concerns that led to their leave. Returning too soon sometimes results in the student continuing to struggle academically and personally. The leave is intended to allow a student sufficient time away from campus to achieve sustained stability and to engage in activities that will contribute to a successful return. The overwhelming majority of students who take a Medical Leave return to the University and complete their degree. 

Student Assistance and Support Services, in coordination with our campus partners, develops an individualized assessment of each student and seeks to determine that the student has met the following reinstatement criteria: 
Received appropriate and sufficient treatment from psychological and/or medical health care providers.

  • Demonstrates insight regarding the circumstances that led to their medical leave and an ability to use appropriate health care resources for prevention/treatment as needed.
  • Demonstrates sustained stability. This may be shown through the general activities of the student while on leave that contribute to the student’s readiness to return to Northwestern.
  • Demonstrates the ability to function in the student environment without significant disruption to others in the University community.
  • Demonstrates an appropriate plan for maintaining their well-being upon return. The plan may include their academic and social life balance, their support system (family and friends) and how it contributes to their readjustment, continued care from clinicians, and other activities in which they will engage to care for themselves.

Once a student has been approved for reinstatement, they will receive a letter via email confirming the return from Medical Leave, as well as an individualized care plan. 

Applications for reinstatement consideration must be submitted to the Dean of Students office by the established deadline, generally no later than six weeks before the term in which you wish to start. Please Note: Applications for reinstatement will NOT be considered after the deadline.

To request reinstatement consideration, please got to:



Academic Year 2021-2022 Deadlines
Spring 2022 – February 18, 2022
Summer 2022 – May 13, 2022
Academic Year 2022-2023 Deadlines
Fall 2022 – August 12, 2022
Winter 2023 – November 23, 2022
Spring 2023 – February 17, 2023


Step 1 - Applying for Reinstatement from Medical Leave of Absence 

To request reinstatement consideration, please got to:

Step 2 - Contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or the Health Service

The student must schedule an interview for reinstatement with CAPS (for mental health reasons) or Health Services (for physical health reasons) and provide documentation of treatment efforts/resolution. Students should also sign a release of information allowing their current treatment providers to speak with CAPS or Health Services staff.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • Searle Hall
  • 633 Emerson, Second Floor
  • Phone: 847.491.2151
  • CAPS website
Health Service

Step 3 - Contact the Dean of Student's Office

After the CAPS or Health Services evaluation is completed and received by the Dean of Students Office, the student will receive a request form the Dean of Students office for a reinstatement appointment with one of the Assistant Deans in the Students and Support Services Office:


The Dean of Students (DOS) will make a determination regarding reinstatement based on the recommendation provided by CAPS and/or Health Services. Reinstatement is based on the student's compliance with the MLOA requirements and their readiness to manage an academic course load and safely function in our community.

The DOS will notify the student and other necessary University offices in writing of the determination, and if approved, whether any conditions will apply. If reinstatement is denied, the student may appeal the determination.

Step 4 -Complete the Former Student to Re-Enter Form
If reinstatement is approved, complete the FRET Form and submit it to your academic dean's office.


If reinstatement is denied, the student may appeal the determination to the Dean of Students (or his or her designee) in writing within three (3) business days of the decision. The appeal should be made in writing and should set forth the basis for the appeal.

The Dean of Students shall review the record and any additional information submitted by the student and renders a decision within ten (10) business days of receiving the appeal.

The Dean of Students decision shall be final.


Related Information-Offices Contact Information

Students may wish to communicate with other offices during their reinstatement process. Such offices may include, but are not limited to:

Academic Advisor/School Dean
  • Contact your school dean's office for information
Evanston Graduate Financial Aid
Graduate School (TGS) Funding
Residential Services
Undergraduate Financial Aid
Chicago Campus Financial Aid