Withdrawing from GSAS

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Students may withdraw from GSAS or be withdrawn by their program. Withdrawn students may later apply for readmission.

Student Withdrawal

A degree candidate who wishes to withdraw from GSAS must complete a withdrawal notice form. The date the form is signed becomes the effective date of withdrawal. Additionally:

  • Withdrawing students should review the HUSHP Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy for important information.
  • Withdrawing students should review the HUIT policies on what happens to Harvard accounts and online access after leaving the University.
  • Withdrawing students do not retain physical access to facilities on campus. 
  • If withdrawal becomes effective mid-term, masters students will be charged relevant tuition and fees. (See below.)
  • All registered courses will be dropped automatically for students who withdraw before the drop deadline. If a student withdraws after the deadline and before the start of the examination period, the courses will remain on the transcript with a WD (withdrawal) designation. If a student withdraws later, they will receive a grade for the course.

Tuition Associated with Mid-Term Withdrawal

The Academic Calendar indicates the last dates by which students may cancel registration for the fall and spring terms without being liable for tuition.

Registered master's students who formally withdraw from GSAS after those dates are charged tuition according to the following schedule. The student will be charged the full active file fee regardless of when the withdrawal takes place. When an official deadline falls on a holiday observed by the University, the effective deadline is the next working day. 

Fall: on or before

September 9: no tuition
October 1: one-fourth tuition
October 28: one-half
December 3: three-fourths
After December 3: full tuition

Spring: on or before January 31: no tuition
February 25: one-fourth tuition for the term
March 22: one-half
April 27: three-fourths
After April 27: full tuition

Payment of less than a full term of tuition cannot be counted toward the minimum financial requirements for a degree.

Program Withdrawal

Students who have not met satisfactory progress requirements or who have not maintained contact with their programs for more than two terms may be withdrawn at the discretion of their program.

The program will make a reasonable effort to contact the student to outline what actions must be taken to return to satisfactory progress. If the effort to make contact is unsuccessful and/or if the student continues to not make satisfactory progress, the student will then be withdrawn.

When a student leaves the University for any reason, all outstanding charges are due and must be paid in full.


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

Policy Forms

Withdrawal Notice Form