Returning to School

Students who take a voluntary leave of absence may ordinarily return at the start of the term following their leave, although it remains the student’s responsibility to ensure that they have adequate time to complete the degree within the time limits established by GSAS.

To return, students must meet certain conditions:

  • Students who were placed on an involuntary leave of absence must petition the GSAS dean for student affairs for permission to return. They must demonstrate that the circumstances that led to the leave have been satisfactorily addressed, that they are ready to resume their studies, and that any outstanding disciplinary matters must be resolved. The dean for student affairs, in consultation with other officers of the University as appropriate, will decide whether to allow a student to return.
  • Student account balances must be addressed.
  • Students who were not making satisfactory academic progress prior to a voluntary or involuntary leave must satisfy any conditions required by their academic program.
  • If the student was required to withdraw while on leave of absence, then any conditions for return after a required withdrawal also must be satisfied.
  • Students on leave for medical reasons may be required to consult with Harvard University Health Services and grant permission for HUHS to obtain treatment records and communicate with treatment providers so that a professional assessment about student stability and readiness to return can be shared with GSAS.
  • If GSAS learns of serious concerns about the health or well-being of a non-resident student not on a leave of absence for medical reasons, the student may be required to consult with Harvard University Health Services and grant permission for HUHS to obtain treatment records and communicate with treatment providers so that a professional assessment about student stability and readiness to return can be shared with GSAS.
  • Following an individualized assessment, GSAS may require students on leave for medical reasons to comply with a treatment plan.

Students returning from a leave are strongly advised to verify funding arrangements with their financial aid officer and academic department before resuming their studies.

CONTACT INFO

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Office of Student Affairs
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center
1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 350
Cambridge, MA 02138