J. Leave of Absence, Deferral, Withdrawal, and Reinstatement

Leave of Absence And Deferral

A student in Yale College who is in academic good standing will normally receive permission, upon petition to the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing through the residential college dean, to take one to four terms of leave of absence, provided that the student departs in academic good standing at the end of a term and returns at the beginning of a term. Such permission will not be granted to first-year students during their first term of enrollment, who instead may request permission to defer for one year and enter the following fall term. See section D, Promotion and Good Standing, “Requirements for Academic Good Standing.” In order that the University may make plans to maintain enrollment at the established level, students desiring leaves of absence are requested to make their intentions known to their residential college deans as soon as possible. Yale College assumes that students who take leaves of absence will inform their parents or guardians in good time that they intend to do so. Ordinarily, residential college deans do not notify parents or guardians that a student has taken a leave of absence, though they may do so if they believe that such notification is appropriate.

  1. Petition for a fall-term leave For a fall-term leave of absence, a student is requested to submit a petition by May 1. Since a student’s plans often change during the summer, however, the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing will ordinarily grant a petition for a leave that is received on or before the fifteenth day of the term in the fall. First-year students may not request a leave during their first term of enrollment, and instead may request to defer for a year.
  2. Petition for a spring-term leave For a spring-term leave of absence, a student’s petition must be received on or before the fifteenth day of the term in the spring.
  3. Petition for a fall-term deferral For a fall-term deferral by a first-year student in their first term of enrollment, a student’s petition must be received on or before the fifteenth day of that term. 
  4. Relinquishing housing Students considering a leave of absence should be aware that there is a substantial financial penalty for relinquishing on-campus housing after the relevant deadlines for relinquishing such housing. See “Rebates of Undergraduate Charges” under “Financial Services” in the Yale College online publication Undergraduate Regulations.
  5. Canceling a leave A student may cancel a leave of absence for either term as late as the first day of classes in the term for which the leave has been requested. Given this deadline, a student who requests a leave during the first fifteen days of the term may not subsequently cancel that request. However, the deadlines for payment of the term bill and the penalties for late payment apply in such cases. See “Payment of Fees” under “Financial Services” in the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations.
  6. Total terms of leave A student is eligible for a total of four terms of leave of absence. These terms need not be taken consecutively.
  7. Accelerated students A student taking an accelerated degree by use of acceleration credits who has had four terms of leave of absence may receive a fifth term of leave if the fifth term of leave is needed to bring the student’s pattern of attendance into conformity with the pattern of attendance stipulated for an accelerated degree. See section Q, Acceleration Policies.
  8. Returning from a leave Permission to take a leave of absence normally includes the right to return, with prior notification to the residential college dean but without further application, at the beginning of the term specified in the student’s petition to the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing. In the case, however, in which a student achieved eligibility for a leave of absence because of a postponement of a deadline for course work as a result of an identified medical problem, the Yale College Dean’s Office may require medical clearance from Yale Health before the student’s return from the leave of absence. Such clearance may also be required for a student who had sought and had been granted, on medical grounds, a waiver of the fee for the late relinquishment of housing at the time the leave of absence was requested.
  9. Financial aid Students taking leaves of absence who have received long-term loans will be sent information about their loan repayment obligations, which in most cases begin six months after the last day of formal enrollment at Yale. A student taking a leave of absence who is receiving financial aid through Yale must consult with a counselor in Student Financial Services before leaving Yale; see “Rebates of Undergraduate Charges” under “Financial Services” in the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations.
  10. Health coverage A student on a leave of absence is eligible to retain coverage by Yale Health during the time of the leave, but the student must take the initiative to apply for continued membership in Yale Health by completing an application form and paying the fee for membership. See “Leave of Absence” under “Health Services” in the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations. Application forms and details about medical coverage while on a leave of absence may be obtained from the Member Services Department of Yale Health.

Withdrawal

There are five types of withdrawal, three of which—academic, medical, and personal—are discussed below. For information on disciplinary and financial withdrawals, consult the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations.

The period of withdrawal for disciplinary reasons is imposed by the Yale College Executive Committee or recommended by the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct at the time the student's enrollment is suspended. A student who withdraws from Yale College rather than face disciplinary charges that are pending against that student will not be eligible for Yale College reinstatement, re-enrollment, or a Yale College degree until the student's case has been adjudicated by the Yale College Executive Committee or the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. When disciplinary charges are brought against a student after their withdrawal and remain pending with the Yale College Executive Committee or the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct, the student must participate in the resolution of those charges before a reinstatement application can be considered. 

Regardless of the type of withdrawal, students who have been withdrawn may not stay in residences on campus, attend classes, participate in organized extracurricular activities, or make use of the University library in person or athletic and other facilities. They may come to campus only upon receiving prior permission from their residential college dean or the Dean of Student Affairs.

Students should direct their questions about withdrawal to their residential college dean.

ACADEMIC Withdrawal

Students may be dismissed for academic reasons on a variety of grounds; see section I, Academic Penalties and Restrictions, “Dismissal for Academic Reasons.” Students whose withdrawal was for academic reasons must remain away for at least one fall term and one spring term, in either order, not including the term in which the withdrawal occurred. A student planning to return to Yale after an academic withdrawal should discuss the requirements for reinstatement with the student's residential college dean.

Medical Withdrawal

A withdrawal for medical reasons must be authorized by the director of Student Health or the chief of Mental Health and Counseling, or by their official designees. If a student under the care of a non–Yale Health clinician wishes to withdraw for medical reasons, that clinician should submit sufficient medical history to the director of Student Health or the chief of Mental Health and Counseling for a final decision. After consulting with the residential college dean, a student wishing to withdraw for medical reasons should submit a withdrawal request to the college dean. In consulting with the college dean, a student planning to return to Yale should also discuss the requirements for reinstatement.

Yale College reserves the right to withdraw a student for medical reasons when, on recommendation of the director of Student Health or the chief of Mental Health and Counseling, the dean of Yale College determines that, because of a medical condition, the student is a danger to self or others, the student has seriously disrupted others in the student’s residential or academic communities, or the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health and the dean of Yale College to make such determinations. Each case is assessed individually based on all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the level of risk presented and the availability of reasonable modifications. Reasonable modifications do not include fundamental alterations to the student’s academic, residential, or other relevant communities or programs; in addition, reasonable modifications do not include those that unduly burden university resources. An appeal of such a withdrawal must be made in writing to the dean of Yale College no later than seven days from the effective date of withdrawal. An incident that gives rise to voluntary or mandatory withdrawal may also result in subsequent disciplinary action.

Students whose withdrawal has been authorized as medical by the director of Student Health or the chief of Mental Health and Counseling must normally remain away at least one full term before a return to Yale College, not including the term in which the withdrawal occurred.

Withdrawal for Personal Reasons

At any time during the year, a student may withdraw from Yale College for personal reasons. After consulting with the residential college dean, a student wishing to withdraw for personal reasons should submit a withdrawal request to the college dean. In consulting with the college dean, a student planning to return to Yale should also discuss the requirements of reinstatement.

Students in academic good standing who fail to register in a term will be withdrawn for personal reasons.

Students whose withdrawal was for personal reasons normally must remain away for at least one fall term and one spring term, in either order, not including the term in which the withdrawal occurred. A student who withdraws from Yale College for personal reasons rather than face disciplinary charges that are pending against that student will not be eligible for Yale College reinstatement, re-enrollment, or a Yale College degree until the student's case has been adjudicated by the Yale College Executive Committee or the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.

Rebates of Undergraduate Charges

For information on financial rebates on account of withdrawal from Yale College, consult the section “Financial Services,” under “Regulations,” in the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations.

Reinstatement

The Committee on Reinstatement expects withdrawn students to be constructively occupied and to maintain a satisfactory standard of conduct during the time that they are away from Yale College. Examples of constructive occupation include coursework, paid employment, and volunteer activities.

Further requirements depend on the duration or circumstances of the withdrawal. Any student who has been away from full-time academic work for more than four terms, whether or not they were in academic good standing at the time of their departure, must ordinarily complete the equivalent of at least two term courses, either in Yale Summer Session or at another accredited, four-year, Bachelor's degree-granting college or university, and earning grades of A or B, to demonstrate that upon return they can satisfactorily complete their academic program. In some circumstances, and as specified at the time of a student's withdrawal, the Committee on Reinstatement may require coursework as a condition of reinstatement.

Courses themselves, as well as the institution at which they are taken, should be cleared in advance with the Committee on Reinstatement by emailing reinstatement@yale.edu. All such coursework must be completed no later than the opening of the term to which the student has applied to be reinstated, but no earlier than two years before the date that term begins. Courses completed in fulfillment for reinstatement that are eligible for graduation credit must be applied to the student’s Yale College transcript.

While the great majority of students who apply for reinstatement do return to Yale College, reinstatement is not guaranteed to any applicant. Since the committee seeks to reinstate only those students who have demonstrated the ability henceforth to remain in academic good standing and thus complete degree requirements within the specific number of terms of enrollment remaining to them, the committee may sometimes advise applicants to defer their return until a time later than the one originally proposed.

At the conclusion of each of the two terms following their reinstatement, students are expected to complete and pass all of the courses in which they remain enrolled. Students who fail to meet this condition are ordinarily required to withdraw after their record has been reviewed by the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing.

Students who have been reinstated from a first withdrawal for academic, medical, or personal reasons are allowed a second reinstatement after a subsequent withdrawal for medical or personal reasons. Students who have been reinstated from a first withdrawal for medical or personal reasons are allowed a second reinstatement after a subsequent withdrawal for academic, medical, or personal reasons. However, students who have been reinstated from a first withdrawal for academic reasons become ineligible for reinstatement after a second withdrawal for academic reasons. 

For reinstatement to a fall term, applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. (EST) on June 1. For reinstatement to a spring term, applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. (EST) on November 1. These deadlines are strictly enforced.

Frequently Asked Questions are available online to provide additional information about reinstatement procedures. Reinstatement inquiries should be directed to reinstatement@yale.edu.

Financial Waivers, Financial Aid, and Reinstatement

Students on financial aid who are required to complete coursework to be eligible for reinstatement will have their Student Share waived for the year in which they are reinstated. Some students require, upon reinstatement in Yale College, enrollment beyond eight terms to complete their bachelor’s degree. Such students will be granted at the time of their reinstatement any such required additional terms of enrollment. Additionally, if such students receive financial aid, they should apply for aid for those additional terms of enrollment as they did for their previous terms.

Reinstatement Interviews

Students seeking reinstatement after a medical withdrawal must obtain a recommendation from the director of Student Health or the chief of Mental Health and Counseling, or their official designees, normally by means of an interview conducted in person or by video teleconference. No such recommendation may be made in the absence of documentation provided to Yale Health that the student has had successful treatment from an appropriate health clinician.

At the discretion of the Yale College Executive Committee or the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct, an interview with the chair of the Committee on Reinstatement or the chair's designee may be required of students seeking reinstatement after a disciplinary withdrawal.

An interview is not required of students seeking reinstatement from an academic or personal withdrawal.

U.S. Military Service Reinstatement Policy

Students who interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave reinstatement policy.

In the event that a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from Yale College on or after August 14, 2008, in order to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed reinstatement under the following conditions:

  1. Students must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days.
  2. Students must give advance written or verbal notice of such service to their residential college dean. In providing the advance notice students do not need to indicate whether they intend to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but, rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this requirement of giving notice can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks reinstatement, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.
  3. Students must not be away from the University to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from the University to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student, or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, such students should contact their residential college dean to determine if they remain eligible for guaranteed reinstatement.
  4. Students must notify Yale within three years of the end of the U.S. military service of their intention to return. However, students who are hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service have up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify Yale of their intent to return.
  5. Students may not have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.

A student who meets all of these conditions will be reinstated for the following term unless the student requests, in writing, a later date of reinstatement. Any student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be eligible for reinstatement under Yale’s general reinstatement policy but is not guaranteed reinstatement. Upon returning to Yale, such students will resume their education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. They will have the same enrolled status last held and will be in the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which such students return, they will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which they left the institution. Yale may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees that other students are assessed, however, if veterans’ education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left. In the case of students who are not prepared to resume their studies with the same enrollment status and academic standing as when they left or who will not be able to complete the program of study, Yale will undertake reasonable efforts to help such students become prepared. If, after reasonable efforts, Yale determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program, or Yale determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, Yale may deny reinstatement.