Leaves of Absence

The authority to grant leaves and to specify their type, duration, and terms rests with the deans. Since the number of students admitted for any fall term depends upon the number of students returning, a student who requests a leave of absence late in the summer has effectively denied someone else a place at the College. If such students have also been assigned College housing, they are severely inconveniencing other students. Thus, a fine of $500 may be imposed upon students requesting leaves of absence after August 1 of any given year.

If, after a semester has begun, a student for any reason leaves the College (Dean’s Leave, Study Away, International Study, College Leave) they must vacate their dormitory room by a date determined by their dean in consultation with the student. In such cases, a pro-rated fee for room (and board, if applicable) will be assessed.

At Haverford, leaves of absence fall into four categories:

  • Dean’s Leave Without Conditions
  • Dean’s Leave With Conditions
  • College Leave
  • Medical Leave

Students may (or may be required to) take courses at other institutions while on leave. However, if they are admitted as degree candidates at another institution while on any of these leaves of absence, they must transfer out of the College and forgo the opportunity to earn a Haverford degree. Failure to do so in such cases will compel the College to revoke a student’s right to return to Haverford.

Dean’s Leave Without Conditions

Students in good academic standing may request a Dean’s Leave without conditions for return. The student must simply write to their dean asking to be placed on leave and specifying the date on which the student wants the leave to begin (i.e., immediately or after final exams).

Students should note that if they do not depart on a Dean’s Leave before the last day of classes in any given semester they must complete and perform satisfactorily on final exams and all other requirements for the courses in which they were enrolled in that semester; under no conditions will a Dean’s Leave, with or without conditions for return, be granted during final exams period unless it is for a leave that commences after final exams.

Return from such a leave is automatic upon written request from the student as long as it is within three years of departure. Students should write to their deans by March 1 for a fall semester return, or by December 1 for a spring semester return. Any student who remains on Dean’s Leave (with or without conditions) for three years will be placed on College Leave and will have to petition the Dean of the College for permission to return to the College to resume their studies.

If a student who has been granted an unconditional Dean’s Leave earns unsatisfactory final grades before the leave goes into effect, the student’s dean or the Committee on Student Standing and Programs (CSSP) may revoke the Dean’s Leave and place the student on a College Leave (see below).

Dean’s Leave With Conditions

The deans reserve the right to grant only a conditional Dean’s Leave if a student finds it necessary to take leave in the midst of a semester and therefore does not complete their courses. Typically, a Dean will grant a conditional leave in cases in which students experience personal problems that impede their ability to perform academically or otherwise lose the sense of purpose that is necessary to remain adequately engaged in their studies. The conditions for return from such a Dean’s Leave are at the discretion of each student’s dean.

College Leave

A College Leave is involuntary and is typically employed in cases in which students are required to take leave for academic or disciplinary reasons. CSSP or the Dean of the College may place a student on College Leave, and return from College Leave is not automatic. Students who wish to return are expected to present to the Dean of the College convincing evidence of readiness to return. Deadlines for reapplying are the same as those for Dean’s Leave. Normally students are not permitted to return to Haverford from a second College Leave.

Medical Leave

A student may request or be placed on a Medical Leave of absence. Such leaves are employed in a variety of circumstances:

  • a student may request one if they have a medical condition that impairs their ability to perform academically;
  • the College, through the Dean’s Office, may place students on medical leave if they pose a danger to themselves or others,
  • if they create a severe disruption to the ability of other students to perform academically, or
  • if they are unable for medical reasons to fulfill their academic responsibilities.

For more information regarding Medical Leaves, consult the following web page: https://www.haverford.edu/sites/default/files/Office/Deans/Medical-Leave-Policy.pdf