Departure from the College Prior to Graduation
Every student who leaves Bryn Mawr prior to graduation is required to see her dean and complete a Notice of Departure.
Medical Leaves of Absence
A student may, on the recommendation of the College’s medical director or her own doctor, at any time request a medical leave of absence for reasons of health. The College reserves the right to require a student to take a leave of absence if, in the judgment of the medical director and her dean, she is not in sufficiently good health to meet her academic commitments or to continue in residence at the College.
Medical leaves of absence for psychological reasons
A student may experience psychological difficulties that interfere with her ability to function at college. Taking time away from college to pursue therapy may be necessary. The College sees this decision as restorative, not punitive. With evidence of sufficient improvement in health to be successful, Bryn Mawr welcomes the student’s return. Medical leaves for psychological reasons normally last at least two full semesters to allow sufficient time for growth, reflection and meaningful therapy. Students who return prematurely are often at higher risk of requiring a second leave of absence.
Leaving the College
Prior to leaving the college, the student meets with her dean to discuss her situation and to fill out a Notice of Departure. She also authorizes the medical director or the director of counseling services to inform the dean of the medical condition that prompted the leave of absence and recommendations for treatment for the duration of the leave. Failure to complete this step will compromise the student’s eligibility to return to the College. If the student is working with a medical professional who is not affiliated with the college, she should give that person permission to speak with the medical director or the director of counseling services before they provide their recommendations to the dean.
After leaving the college, the student may expect to receive a follow-up letter from her dean along with a copy of the Notice of Departure and of the treatment recommendations of the Health Center. She should expect that her parents or guardians will receive a letter from the dean and a copy of the Notice of Departure. The student is encouraged to share the Health Center’s recommendations with her parents or guardians.
While away, the student is advised to avoid visiting Haverford or Bryn Mawr without receiving prior permission from her dean. Students who fail to follow this advice risk compromising their eligibility to return to the College.
Returning to the College
When a student is ready to apply to return, she should contact her dean to inform the dean of her interest in returning. The application and instructions are available on the Dean’s Office website (www.brynmawr.edu/deans/ReenrollmentApplication_001.html). In addition, she should ask the physician or counselor with whom she has worked while on leave to contact the appropriate person at the College’s Health Center. Permission to return from a medical leave is granted when the Dean’s Office and the College’s Health Center receive satisfactory evidence of recovery and believe that the student is ready to resume her studies. Students who are eligible to return in September must submit all application materials by May 1. Those who are eligible to return in January must submit their materials by November 1.
Personal Leaves of Absence
Any student in good academic standing may apply for a one- or two-semester leave of absence from the College. She should discuss her plans with her dean and fill out a Notice of Departure by June 1 or, for a leave beginning in the spring, by November 1. During her leave of absence, she is encouraged to remain in touch with her dean and is expected to confirm her intention to return to the College by March 1 (for return in the fall) or November 1 (for return in the spring). Reinstatement is always contingent upon the availability of space in the residence halls.
A student on a semester-long leave of absence who chooses not to return at the scheduled time may ask to extend her leave by one additional semester by notifying her dean by the above deadlines. If a student on a leave of absence chooses not to return to the College after two semesters, her status changes to “withdrawn”(see “Voluntary Withdrawal” below).
A student in good standing who leaves the College in the following circumstances will be categorized as “withdrawn” rather than on leave and will need to apply for permission to return (see below, “Permission to Return After Withdrawal”):
Any student may be required to withdraw from the College because she fails to meet the academic standards of the College, because of an infraction of the Honor Code or other community norm, or because she is not healthy enough to meet her academic commitments.
In addition, any student whose behavior disrupts either the normal conduct of academic affairs or the conduct of life in the residence halls may be required to withdraw by the Dean of the Undergraduate College. If the student wishes to appeal the decision, a committee consisting of three faculty members from the Committee on Academic Standing, the president of the Self Government Association and the head of the Honor Board hears the student and the dean. The committee makes its recommendations to the president of the College; the president’s decision is binding. In cases of required withdrawal, no fees are refunded.
Permission to Return After Withdrawal
Students who withdraw, whether by choice or as a result of the above procedures, must apply for permission to return. The application and instructions are available on the Dean’s Office website (www.brynmawr.edu/deans/ReenrollmentApplication_001.html). Students must submit their application and all supporting documents no later than May 1 (for return in the fall) or November 1 (for return in the spring).