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I am a returning student (not an incoming first-year student). How do I take a personal or medical leave of absence? 

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Returning students (not incoming first-year students) may take a medical leave of absence to leave campus to receive treatment for a health concern. A medical leave of absence is also appropriate if a student finds it difficult to productively or safely manage the demands of their academics and co-curricular responsibilities due to their health concern. Students may learn more about a medical leave and request a medical leave through the Dean of Student Affairs Office.  

Returning students must have initiated a request through SIS for a personal leave of absence and must initiate a request by October 26 for the spring semester. The request will be sent to the student’s advising dean or graduate department, and is ordinarily approved.

Last update: Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 - 2:52pm

I am unable to come to campus due to problems obtaining a visa or travel concerns. What are my options? 

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You may either enroll full-time with intent to take all your classes remotely or, if you are a returning student, take a personal leave of absence.  

For new first-year students, you may either enroll full-time, with intent to take all of your classes remotely or request a gap year.   

Students enrolling full-time and remotely should be aware that most, but not all, courses will offer a virtual option. Please speak with your academic advisor if you have questions about your courses. 

We plan to hold as many courses in-person or in a hybrid format as feasible, with many courses offering a virtual option. It is important to review your class schedule through the summer as offerings and mode of instruction may change. 

Undergraduate students taking a leave of absence are allowed to spend a maximum of four semesters away from campus during completing their degrees. This includes personal leave, semesters of required withdrawal, or absences without formal leave. The limit of four semesters does not include study abroad, leave for domestic study elsewhere, leave for military or religious service, or medical leave.  

After an absence of a semester or longer, students must confer with the advising deans to return. A student who exceeds the limit of four semesters away from campus must apply for reinstatement.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 10:06am

How does taking a leave of absence or being remote in the fall impact my spring housing? Who will be guaranteed housing? 

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If you were not in-person during the fall semester but would like to apply for campus housing, log into the housing portal in SIS to complete an application for spring 2021 housing. This application is due by November 9, 2020.

Please note that the housing portal can only accommodate a set number of users at a time. If you have trouble logging on, please try to access it again at another time.

Only students designated as “in person” are able to live on campus.

Last update: Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 - 2:52pm

If I take a leave of absence, will I have to start repaying my student loans? 

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If you take a leave, your six-month grace period will begin. After six months, you will be required to begin making loan payments. For students who finished their last semester in May 2020, their grace period will expire, and payments will begin in November 2020. If you are unable to make payments, you can apply for forbearance. Once you return to school at least half-time, your loan payments will stop. 

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 3:52pm

If I am taking a leave of absence and currently have on-campus housing, will I be reimbursed for my room commitment fee?

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Students who requested to take a leave of absence by July 7, 2020 were not held to the commitment fee, will be removed from their housing assignment for the fall, and will not face any additional housing charges. Students who requested a leave after July 7, 2020 and have committed to remaining on campus for the fall are responsible for their housing commitment fee of $750.

Last update: Friday, Aug 14, 2020 - 4:29pm

Can incoming first-year students transfer in credit taken at another institution during a gap year?

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Deferral requests for additional educational experiences that involve a full, structured, credit-bearing academic program are not granted. Incoming first-year students are not allowed to enroll in a degree-seeking program at another institution and are not able to transfer in coursework taken during a gap year for Tufts credit.

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 4:06pm

If I am on a personal leave of absence, can I take classes elsewhere to transfer back to Tufts?

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Yes, students on a personal leave of absence may take classes elsewhere to transfer back to Tufts.   

There are limits to the number of courses that students may transfer in from other institutions. Liberal Arts students may transfer in up to 60 semester-hour units (SHUs). Engineering students may transfer in up to 60 semester-hour units (SHUs), and potentially more depending on the degree program. These limits include prematriculation credits (such as APs, IBs, and SAT subject tests).  

Online/virtual courses are not transferable back to Tufts. (An exception was made only for courses taken in Spring and Summer 2020.) 

Transferred courses do not count towards the residency requirement unless taken while enrolled full-time at another institution.  

Full-time enrollment at Tufts in Fall 2020 will waive the residency requirement for a student after at least six semesters of full-time enrollment. This is not true for full-time enrollment elsewhere. 

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 2:19pm

While on personal leave, am I able to take classes at a local university or college and transfer credits back into Tufts?

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Yes, students on a personal leave of absence may take classes elsewhere to transfer back to Tufts.  

FOR UNDERGRADUATES: Students who have been granted a personal leave of absence for the fall and/or spring semester are permitted to study elsewhere full-time or part-time, if they wish. If full-time, a $1,250 study elsewhere fee would apply. However, not all classes taken at other universities will be accepted for transfer of credit. Tufts will not accept transfer of credit for online/virtual courses taken elsewhere, and courses taken at community colleges are also not eligible for transfer of credit to Tufts. Please note that the exceptional policy that permitted transfer of credit for online/virtual and community college courses applied only to courses taken in Spring and Summer 2020. 

FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS: Graduate students submit their request for a leave in SIS and the requests are approved by their academic department. No re-enrollment fee should be charged. Graduate students submit their request for a leave in SIS and the requests are approved by their academic department.  

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 2:18pm

While on personal leave, am I able to study abroad through an external program provider or through direct enrollment at a foreign university or college and transfer credits back into Tufts?  

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No. Tufts university has made the difficult decision to cancel study abroad this fall. This includes all external (Non-Tufts) study abroad programs, Tufts in Madrid, Tufts in Paris, Tufts in Tübingen, Tufts in London, Tufts in Beijing, Tufts in Ghana, Tufts in Chile, and Tufts in Japan. We plan to offer these programs during the Spring 2021 semester and, in most cases, students will have the opportunity to defer their enrollment to the spring term. Our goal is to move forward with spring plans, but we are also aware that circumstances may shift and you may decide that going abroad will not work with your plans for second semester. 

Tufts in Oxford will be offered starting later this fall; the format will be either in person or virtual.

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 4:21pm

Should I have tuition insurance? How will tuition insurance work for the fall semester? 

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You may purchase optional tuition Insurance that can limit the financial loss of payments for tuition and board resulting from a medical leave. It can be purchased for the full year or a semester. Note that this plan does not provide any benefits unless you (the student) have a medical condition as defined in the policy that causes you to take a medical leave from Tufts. Please review the plan through our vendor (Dewar’s Insurance).  

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 4:04pm

I put items in storage at the UPS Store in the spring, but I am taking a leave. What should I do?

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Students should contact the UPS Store directly to inquire about their account, either to extend storage or explore shipping options.  

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 3:50pm

If I take a personal leave of absence, how does that impact the residency requirement?

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A semester of personal leave of absence does not count towards the residency requirement unless your student is enrolled full-time at another institution. In this case, the residency requirement waiver will not apply and, as usual, a $1,250 study elsewhere fee is applied for full-time study away from Tufts. 

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 2:19pm

These FAQs are subject to change. Please check back here for the latest guidance. If you do not  find the information you are looking for, please send an email to COVID19@tufts.edu.