Student Handbook

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal from the College

A student may request a leave of absence for a future semester or for a semester in progress.  The Dean of Students may grant a leave of absence for a duration of one semester up to one year to any student requesting to leave Macalester for personal reasons or for the purpose of attending another institution. A leave of absence may be extended beyond one year with the permission of the Dean of Students. If the student does not apply for an extension prior to the termination of the leave period, the student will be considered withdrawn from the College and must apply to the Registrar's Office for readmission to the College to return.

In order to request a leave of absence, a student must have completed the first term as a new student and be in good academic standing. A student may not take a leave of absence if action of a committee, board or official of the College, which would affect the student's status, is pending. Students who leave the College and are ineligible for a leave of absence must apply for readmission.  Final decisions regarding the approval of a request for leave of absence and any requirements for returning from a leave of absence are made by the Dean of Students.

Requesting a Leave of Absence:
To request a leave of absence for a future semester, the appropriate form must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs before the first day of class of the term in question.

To request a leave of absence for a semester in progress, a student must petition to the Dean of Students. Documentation of a situation affecting the student's ability to be successful in the current term must be provided prior to the leave being approved. 

-Students may be granted a leave of absence from a semester in progress for medical reasons.  In such cases reenrollment is contingent upon the condition being resolved or managed successfully.  The Dean of Students may require supporting information as necessary prior to a student re-enrolling at the College.

-Students requesting a leave of absence after the last day to withdraw from an individual course will typically be required to remain on leave for the following semester.

-Students are typically not permitted to take a leave of absence after the last day of class for a term. 

Any student who wishes to leave Macalester for the purpose of entering military service or fulfilling mandatory religious obligations shall be granted a temporary withdrawal upon notification of the Dean of Students.

First year students leaving in their first term at Macalester are not eligible to return before the following fall term. The Admissions Office must be notified by March 1 for a return the following fall term.

Returning from a Leave of Absence:

In order to register for the term following a leave of absence, a student must contact the Registrar's Office for registration materials and information. At least one month should be allowed for processing.

Students returning from a medical leave of absence are asked to provide documentation supporting the resolution or appropriate management strategy of the situation.   Students must provide verification of the completion of any additional conditions to the Dean of Students no later than August 1st for fall semester or January 1st for spring semester.

Failure to return from a leave of absence by the date stated when requesting a leave of absence or an extension will require that a student apply for readmission.

Students who are on leave of absence may not:

  1. Participate in any student activity fee supported activity, intramurals, club or intercollegiate activities, forensics or performance activities, physical education activity courses, College sponsored volunteer activities or any activity in which they are representing the College.
  2. Use art, computing or science facilities. (Students can request, in writing to the Dean of Students, permission to use computing services while on temporary withdrawal. The request must include the academic concerns that require the exception to this policy.)
  3. Use medical or counseling services at Health and Wellness Services.
  4. Live in College housing.
  5. Have a campus mailbox.

Students on a temporary withdrawal may use the Library, Learning Center, Career Development Center and faculty advising.

Email accounts for students on leave of absence will remain active unless the student is enrolled as a degree-seeking student at another institution.

International students are generally not allowed to take a temporary withdrawal and remain in the U.S. during the semesters of the academic year according to VISA regulations. If an international student takes a temporary withdrawal and leaves the U.S., the student should contact the International Student Programs Office for further clarification of their status and process for re-entry to the U.S., as well as for regulations and special exceptions for the temporary withdrawal.

Withdrawal from the College
Students who decide not to return to the College must formally withdraw their registration.  Students may petition the Dean of Students to be formally withdrawn by submitting the appropriate paperwork.  Students who do not return as required at the end of a leave of absence will be withdrawn from the College.  Students who decide to return to the college after being withdrawn must apply for readmission.  Readmission forms are available from the Registrars Office.   The college is not obliged to approve student readmissions.

July 2013