The Academic Program

ACADEMIC REGULATIONS

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 the student’s 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 the student’s dean, the student is not in sufficiently good health to meet 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 the student’s dean to discuss the student’s situation and to fill out a Notice of Departure. The student 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, the student 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 the student’s dean along with a copy of the Notice of Departure and of the treatment recommendations of the Health Center. The student should expect that 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 parents or guardians.

While away, the student is advised to avoid visiting Haverford or Bryn Mawr without receiving prior permission from the student’s 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, the student should contact the student’s dean to inform the dean of the student’s interest in returning. The application and instructions are available on the Dean’s Office website. In addition, the student should ask the physician or counselor with whom the student 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 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. The student should discuss plans with the student’s dean and fill out a Notice of Departure by June 1 or, for a leave beginning in the spring, by November 1. During the leave of absence, the student is encouraged to remain in touch with the student’s dean and is expected to confirm intention to return to the College by March 1 (for return in the fall) or November 1 (for return in the spring).

A student on a semester-long leave of absence who chooses not to return at the scheduled time may ask to extend the student’s leave by one additional semester by notifying the student’s dean by the above deadlines. If a student on a leave of absence chooses not to return to the College after two semesters, the student’s status changes to “withdrawn”(see “Voluntary Withdrawal” below).

Voluntary Withdrawals

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”):

  • if the student leaves the college in mid-semester (unless the student qualifies instead for a medical or psychological leave of absence),
  • if the student matriculates as a degree candidate at another school,
  • if the student’s leave of absence has expired, or
  • if the student loses good standing after having applied for a leave of absence.

Required Withdrawals

Any student may be required to withdraw from the College because the student fails to meet the academic standards of the College, because of an infraction of the Honor Code or other community norm, or because the student is not healthy enough to meet 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, the student may ask the Dean to convene a Dean’s Panel. 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. Students must submit their application and all supporting documents no later than May 20 (for return in the fall) or November 1 (for return in the spring).