Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence allow students to take time away from Bryn Mawr to pursue non-academic interests, seek treatment for medical or psychological conditions, see to personal or family concerns, and/or address academic issues. 

To request a leave of absence, students meet with their dean to discuss the reasons for requesting a leave, goals for the leave, and the impact the leave may have on progress towards the degree. In some cases, the dean may initiate the conversation with the student. Students with an F-1 visa must also notify the Director of International Student and Scholar Services to update their immigration records and avoid compromising their eligibility to return to the United States.

Once the decision has been made, the dean will file a Notice of Departure noting the type of leave and the length of time the student anticipates being away with the understanding that the timetable could change. Please note that it is our practice to alert parent(s) and guardian(s) when a student’s status changes from “enrolled” to “on leave.”

If the leave begins mid-semester, the dean alerts the registrar and the student’s instructors. The transcript records all courses as “withdrawn.” The College may be able to refund some tuition and fees up through the end of the eighth week. Students normally leave campus within a few days after deciding to take a mid-semester leave. They are responsible for removing all personal items from their dorm room and returning their room key to Facilities Services in the Ward building when they leave campus (or to Campus Safety, if after 5pm or on the weekend). If extenuating circumstances prevent a student from vacating a room when departing campus, specific arrangements about the timeline and process for removing belongings should be made before the student leaves campus. 

While away, students are encouraged to maintain ties to the College community by keeping in contact with their friends, faculty and deans. However, students on leaves of absence are not eligible for College services that are designed for enrolled students.  Because of COVID-19 restrictions, students on leave may not visit campus during the 2020-21 academic year. 

In most cases, a student on a leave of absence may ask that the leave be extended further or may apply to return sooner than anticipated. No matter the length of time initially requested, the College must approve a student’s application to return from all but Personal Leaves.