Leaves of Absence

All students who wish to interrupt their studies at any time before graduation must petition the Administrative Board for a leave of absence. 

In Good Standing: Students whose previous academic and disciplinary record is satisfactory will normally be granted a "leave of absence." Contact the Resident Dean about your plans for a leave of absence. A student in good standing who has been granted a leave of absence may ordinarily return for any term he/she wishes by notifying the Resident Dean eight weeks in advance of that term. Students going on voluntary leave must cancel their housing contracts as soon as possible in order to avoid fees (see the Office of Student Life Calendar for details). The Housing Cancellation form is available here

On Probation (Academic or Disciplinary): Students who are not in good standing may be granted a "leave of absence - on probation." A student who has been granted a "leave of absence - on probation" must petition the Administrative Board for permission to register and must provide the Board with evidence that he/she is ready to resume college studies. 

If you receive scholarship or other financial aid, consult the Financial Aid Office concerning the financial implications of taking a leave. If you have borrowed money or received financial aid from Harvard, you must also have an exit interview at the Financial Aid Office. 

If you are a foreign student planning a leave, consult the International Office concerning your visa status. 

Before the 7th Monday: Students whose previous academic and disciplinary record is satisfactory and who have petitioned by the seventh Monday of the term will normally be granted a "leave of absence." Contact the Resident Dean (ki-abrd@fas.harvard.edu) about your plans for a leave of absence. A student in good standing who has been granted a leave of absence may ordinarily return for any term he/she wishes by notifying the Resident Dean eight weeks in advance of that term. 

After the 7th Monday: Students who petition after the seventh Monday of the term will normally be granted a "leave of absence - late in term." A student who has been granted a "leave of absence - late in term" must petition the Administrative Board for permission to register and must provide the Board with evidence that he/she is ready to resume college studies. 

During Reading Period: No petitions for a leave of absence for any term will ordinarily be considered after the first day of Reading Period for that term. 

A student granted a leave is expected to vacate University property no later than five business days after the effective date of the leave voted by the Administrative Board. You must submit a Housing Cancellation Form to avoid continued charges for housing.

Click here for a schedule of cancellation fees from the Office of Student Life. 

Calendar for Returning Students:
Returning students are responsible for knowing the dates relevant to their plans. Please note that you must coordinate your return with two separate offices: the Resident Dean’s Office (for business related to the Registrar, the Student Receivables Office, and the Administrative Board) and the House Administrator for on-campus housing.
Room Assignments at Kirkland House:
Please contact Kate Drizos Cavell (kcavell@fas.harvard.edu, 617-495-2272) with all questions regarding housing at Kirkland (e.g., the housing lottery, room preferences, special accommodations). If you are planning a spring term return, then contact Kate before departing. If you are planning a fall term return, then contact Kate to arrange for a proxy in the spring housing lottery. 

Returning International Students:
International students are responsible for planning ahead so that Harvard can issue them an I-20 form for the purpose of re-entering the United States. More information is available from the International Office. 

Returning Students Requiring Administrative Board Approval:
Any student required to withdraw or granted a leave of absence on probation or with Board and/or UHS riders must petition the full Administrative Board to be readmitted or allowed to register. You should contact the Resident Dean to discuss the petition and supporting documents (e.g., a personal statement, a letter of recommendation from an employer, an evaluation from a UHS clinician). The Board meets on Tuesdays from September through early June so plan accordingly to avoid delaying your return to the College.