Leaves of Absence and Readmission

Leaves of Absence or Withdrawing from the College

If a situation or opportunity arises in which a student, in conversation with her adviser, Class Dean, and/or the Dean of Studies, decides she would like to withdraw from a semester of coursework and for an extended time, the student may opt for a general Leave of Absence, otherwise known as a general Withdrawal, or a Medical or Mental Health Withdrawal, depending on the nature of the leave. The student must make an appointment with her Class Dean or the Dean of Studies to discuss her specific situation and to review the terms of a leave of absence. Degree progress and financial aid implications should be considered as part of a decision to withdraw.

Please note: All withdrawals are noted by the College in a student's permanent educational record. The date of the withdrawal will occur in the transcript if the withdrawal occurred during a semester in progress.

Taking Courses While on Leave

Students who wish to take courses during their leave of absence at another institution should arrange with the Registrar to confirm in advance the approval to do so, and complete the necessary process to transfer the credits from that institution.

Tuition Refunds

A withdrawn student may be eligible for a partial tuition refund, depending on attendance records and date of withdrawal. For further information, please contact Financial Aid or the Bursar's Office. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with Financial Aid to discuss implications of withdrawal on current and future financial aid support.

International students should be aware that a leave of absence may affect their student visa status, and are strongly encouraged to consult with the Dean for International and Intercultural Programs.

College Facilities and Housing

Students who withdraw are not permitted to use any College facilities, including housing, the gym or fitness center, health services, counseling services, or financial aid. Residential students who withdraw must also complete a housing cancellation form indicating withdrawal. Occupied housing must be vacated within 48 hours of the student's withdrawal.

Housing is not guaranteed upon readmission from a period of withdrawal. Students who wish to seek housing must follow the housing application process. Students returning from medical/mental health leave may be given housing preference, based upon timely receipt of readmission paperwork and housing application. All medical/mental health readmission forms must be in by the appropriate date (June 1 for fall readmission, November 1 for spring readmission). Students should note that in some cases, an assessment interview with the Executive Director of Health Services or the Director of the Furman Counseling Center may need to take place as close to the start of the semester as possible, depending on what is indicated in their forms, recommended by their care providers, or otherwise recommended by the Executive Director of Health Services at Barnard.

For further questions about housing, please contact either the Dean of Studies Office or Residential Life.

Types of Leaves

General Leaves (also known as General Withdrawals)

Students seeking to take a general leave must fill out the Notice of Withdrawal, which they can obtain in the Dean of Studies Office, or from their Class Dean. Students seeking to return from a general leave, and who do not require any kind of medical clearance, need to fill out the Request for Readmission Form and follow the steps required for general readmission indicated on the form. (Please note: Request for Readmission from a general leave will not require scheduling a readmission interview with a specific office on campus unless otherwise noted on the form; an interview with a Class Dean may be specified, and these should take place prior to the semester of readmission.)

A student who has withdrawn from the College for non-medical or non-mental health reasons may request readmission by submitting a detailed statement explaining her reasons for returning and establishing that she has fulfilled all stated conditions for re-enrollment to the Dean of Studies by June 1 for a fall semester readmission and by November 1 for a spring semester readmission. A $100 readmission fee (check, payable to Barnard College) is required with the request for readmission.

Please see the Request for Readmission form for detailed instructions.

Medical/Mental Health Withdrawal

Students who must interrupt their studies temporarily due to physical or psychological condition must notify the Dean of Studies and submit a completed Medical Leave Request form, in addition to a Notice of Withdrawal form. The form must be signed by a medical or mental health professional, who recommends a leave of absence for specific reasons. Students on medical or mental health leave must demonstrate that they will pursue medical or mental health treatment, as indicated, to address the noted condition during their time away from the College. The Dean of Studies, in consultation with other deans and Primary Health Care Services or Furman Counseling, will review each case and help the student to file withdrawal paperwork. The withdrawal paperwork (ie, the Medical Leave Request Forms) must be turned in to the Dean of Studies Office within 30 days of the date of the student's withdrawal. Students who are unable to meet the 30-day deadline must be in touch in a timely fashion with their Class Dean; students who do not turn in their forms within the appropriate time frame may delay the process for readmission, and may be asked to reapply at a later date. Degree progress and financial aid implications should be considered as part of a decision to withdraw.

Students returning from Medical/Psychological Leave will be asked to demonstrate that the condition that caused them to leave has resolved sufficiently to allow resumption of full time studies. The Dean of Studies requires a Medical Request for Readmission Form to be filled out by a treatment provider, documenting the course of treatment and supporting the student's readiness to return to school as a full time student. An in-person assessment interview with the Executive Director of Health Services or the Director of the Furman Counseling Center will also be required prior to final readmission clearance being given. The Medical/Mental Health Leave Readmission forms must be completed and presented to the clinical staff at the time of the assessment interview. While readmission paperwork must be submitted by the specified deadline, medical clearance may be required to be provided at a later date. (Readmission clearance interviews typically occur no earlier than one month prior to the expected return).