Leaves of Absence, Withdrawals & Dismissals

Students may take a leave of absence or withdraw voluntarily from the college at any time by meeting with a staff member in the Office of Student Support and Community Standards. There are a variety of reasons why a student may choose to take a leave or to withdraw from the college. If you are considering one of these options, we encourage you to meet with the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards early on to begin a conversation regarding your options and to be sure you have enough time to plan accordingly.

Personal Leaves

In unusual circumstances, students may need to interrupt their study at the college for health or personal reasons. In addition, students may take a personal leave of absence to pursue an internship or other nonacademic experience. Accordingly, the college permits students in good standing to apply to the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards for a personal leave of absence for one or two semesters. A leave-of-absence form must be completed by the student. Students must also meet with representatives from the offices of the Registrar and of Student Financial Services. Students are advised that some education loan repayments may begin if a student takes a personal leave. Students on a personal leave may take up to two courses elsewhere in the United States for Bates credit, subject to the transfer policies outlined above. The college guarantees reinstatement to students after the first or second semester of leave. After two semesters, students are officially withdrawn unless they have confirmed their plan to return by registering for courses or have been granted a leave extension by the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards.

Academic Leave

Some students expand their Bates experience by attending other U.S. institutions, from which they may receive transfer credit according to college policy. Students who take three or more courses elsewhere in the United States during a semester are considered to be taking an academic leave. These students usually take courses at other universities and colleges, but courses from more specialized programs, such as the Semester in Environmental Sciences at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts, may also be transferred with prior approval.

Students who wish to take an academic leave must inform the college in early February of the year preceding the leave. The college requires that the number of students who study off campus each semester be balanced at the time of this February deadline. If too many students apply for a given semester, students are granted leaves according to criteria established by the Committee on Off-Campus Study. Students on a personal leave and students taking summer courses may take up to two courses without participating in the off-campus study application process. The college guarantees reinstatement to students after their first or second semester of leave. After two semesters, students are officially withdrawn unless they have confirmed their plan to return by registering for courses or have been granted a leave extension by the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards.

Withdrawal

Students who wish to withdraw from the college are encouraged to meet with the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards early on to begin a conversation regarding your options and to be sure you have enough time to plan accordingly. Failure to inform Student Affairs in case of a withdrawal will result in an automatic F in all courses if it occurs during a semester.

Dismissal

Students may be academically dismissed from the college for failing to meet either qualitative or quantitative standards. These standards are described in detail here.

Reinstatement after Withdrawal or Dismissal

A student in good academic standing who withdraws from the college may be reinstated at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Community Standards, if the reinstatement is within two years of the withdrawal and there are no outstanding financial obligations to the college. In no cases are students readmitted when they have outstanding financial obligations to the college or are past due in federal student loan repayments. A student in good standing who has withdrawn for more than two years, a student not in good standing, or a student who has been dismissed from the college must apply for readmission to the Committee on Academic Standing. Students not in good standing or dismissed must be separated from the college for at least one full semester, and must provide evidence of serious purpose and of academic or professional involvement. Candidates for readmission for the fall semester must submit their credentials by May 1. Those seeking readmission for the winter semester must submit their credentials by November 15.