Leaves of Absence, Withdrawals & Dismissals

Students may take a leave of absence or withdraw voluntarily from the college at any time by meeting with the Director of Student Support Services. 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 Director of Student Support Services 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 Director of Student Support Services for a personal leave of absence for one or two semesters. A leave of absence form must be completed by the student and this can be completed electronically. Select the leave of absence form located on the right side of this page. If you are an international student, please select the appropriate form under the section for international students. 

It is recommended that students connect with representatives from the offices of the Registrar and of Student Financial Services to discuss the academic and financial implications of a leave of absence. 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 by the Registrar.

Students must initiate a request to return from a leave of absence by June 1 for a fall semester return or October 1 for a winter semester return. Students may initiate their return request by completing the online Leave of Absence Return Request form located on the right of this page. Requests to return from a leave of absence will be reviewed by the college’s Return Review Committee. Additional documentation may be requested by the committee. After two semesters on a leave of absence, students are officially withdrawn unless they have been granted a leave extension by the Assistant Dean of Students for Case Management and Support Services

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, may also be transferred with prior approval. Students who wish to take an academic leave must gain approval in early February of the year preceding the leave. The approval process includes the Registrar, the student’s Academic Advisor, and departmental approvals for each course to be transferred back to Bates. Once an academic leave is approved, a leave of absence form must be completed electronically by the student. Select the academic leave of absence form located on the right side of this page. If you are an international student, please select the appropriate form under the section for international students.

Leave of Absence Academic Planning

Students are expected to complete their degree requirements within eight consecutive semesters of their matriculation at Bates. Students who take a personal leave of absence are also expected to complete their degree within this established time frame. However, we understand that circumstances beyond a students control may necessitate extending their time at Bates beyond their original planned year of graduation.

During the leave approval process, students will speak with the Director of Student Support Services about their academic plan and their anticipated graduation year. If a student wishes to request an additional semester or semesters at Bates beyond their original graduation year, they may submit a petition to the Academic Standing Committee. Factors to be considered when making such decisions will include: academic reasons, physical health or mental health circumstances, family finances, or other compelling personal circumstances.

Returning From a Leave

Students must initiate a return from a leave of absence by June 1 for a fall semester return or October 1 for a winter semester return. Students may initiate their return by completing the online Leave of Absence Return Request form. Requests to return from a leave of absence will be reviewed by the college’s Return Review Committee. Additional documentation may be requested by the committee. After two semesters on a leave of absence, students are officially withdrawn unless they have been granted a leave extension by the Director of Student Support Services.

Withdrawal

Students who wish to withdraw from the college are encouraged to meet with the Director of Student Support Services early on to begin a conversation regarding your options and to be sure you have enough time to plan accordingly. Please complete the electronic version of the Withdrawal Form, if you are an international student select the appropriate form under the section for international Students, located on the right side of this page. Complete, Sign and submit the form. 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 Director of Student Support Services and the college’s Return Review Committee 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, or who was not in good standing at the time of their withdrawal, must apply for readmission to the Committee on Academic Standing. Candidates for readmission for the fall semester must submit their materials by June 1. Those seeking readmission for the winter semester must submit their materials by October 1.