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General Announcements

2013-2014

 
 
 

Leaves, Interruptions of Study and Withdrawal

There are two types of interruptions in study: short-term releases and separations.  Both releases and separations may be either voluntary or involuntary.  Separations are periods of non-enrollment and require specific reinstatement or readmission processes.

Short-Term Medical and Parental Release

There are two types of short-term releases: medical and parental.  Short-term releases can be up to six weeks in length.

If a graduate student cannot fulfill the duties of his or her appointment due to a medical emergency or the adoption or birth of a child, the student may be temporarily released from their academic responsibilities.

Enrollment and stipend support may be continued for up to six weeks or until the appointment expires (whichever occurs first).  A student may apply for short-term medical or parental release at any time during the semester.  Complete guidelines for obtaining a medical or parental release are available at graduate.rice.edu/stmlguidelines External Link.  Students taking a voluntary short-term release should make arrangements with their advisor and instructors to complete their academic responsibilities in a timely way.

The university may also insist on a student’s short-term medical release if, in the judgment of the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies, or her/his designee, the student has a serious medical or psychological condition that the student cannot effectively address while enrolled or which is likely to be severely exacerbated by the Rice academic and/or living environment.

Students may not do degree work or work involving Rice faculty or facilities while on short-term medical release.  Students returning from a short-term medical release will be required to provide documentation that they are able to return to their studies. 

Voluntary Separations

Voluntary separations include leaves of absence (generally one to two semesters in length) and withdrawals (medical and nonmedical).  Students on a leave of absence are not required to petition for readmission.  Withdrawn students are eligible to reapply. 

Leave of Absence—A  leave of absence allows a student to take time off from their studies and later resume study without having to petition for readmission to the university.  Normally, students may take a leave of absence for no more than two consecutive semesters.  The semesters that a student is on leave do not count against the time to candidacy or the time to defense.  They do, however, count against time to degree.

A leave of absence is granted only by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies on the recommendation of the department chair and only to graduate students in good standing with the university.  Students must obtain approval for a leave before the beginning of the academic semester in which the leave is taken.  Leave requests, endorsed by the department, must be received in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prior to the first day of classes.  (see Leaves External Link)

Students must pay a reinstatement fee of $125 on their return from an official leave.

Nonmedical Withdrawal and Readmission—Students who wish to withdraw from Rice during the semester, for any nonmedical reason, are to notify the chair of their academic department in writing (see Refund of Tuition and Fees).  Failure to register before the end of the fourth week of classes without a leave of absence granted by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies constitutes a de facto withdrawal.

Students who later wish to resume study after a voluntary or de facto withdrawal must petition for readmission to the university.  The petition must include an academic plan devised in consultation with the student's advisor, advising committee, or director of graduate studies (depending upon the graduate program's advising structure).  The semesters that a student is not enrolled do not count against the time to candidacy or the time to defense.  They do, however, count against time to degree.  Readmission requires the recommendation of the department chair and the approval of the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies.  Readmitted students must pay a readmission fee of $350.

Medical Withdrawal and Readmission—Graduate students may request a medical withdrawal from the university by applying in writing to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at any time during the semester, up until the last day of classes; the withdrawal does not take effect until approved in writing.  Email communication is considered to be “in writing.”

Graduate students who wish to seek readmission following a medical withdrawal must submit to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies a written petition for readmission no later than June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester after the medical withdrawal.  This petition must include documentation of treatment provided, and students may be required to interview with the director of the Rice Counseling Center or Student Health Services or their designees.  The petition also must include an academic plan devised in consultation with the student's advisor, advising committee, or director of graduate studies (depending upon the graduate program's advising structure) and approved by the department chair.

Students who withdraw for psychological reasons within the last five weeks of either fall or spring semester will not be eligible to apply for immediate readmission.  Students who withdraw for psychological reasons while enrolled during the summer session are not eligible to apply for immediate readmission in the fall.

The semesters that a student is not enrolled do not count against the time to candidacy or the time to defense.  They do, however, count against the time to degree.  Readmission requires the approval of the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies, and readmitted students must pay a readmission fee of $350.

Involuntary Separations

Sometimes, the university will require a student to withdraw, which requires a specific readmission process. An involuntary separation may result from a disciplinary and/or a medical reason.

The university may insist on a student’s involuntary separation from the university if, in the judgment of the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies or her/his designee, or, in the case of disciplinary action, of the assistant dean of student judicial programs, the student’s behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Poses a threat to the safety or welfare of him/herself or other members of the Rice community;
  • Has a serious medical or a psychological condition that the student cannot effectively address while enrolled or which is likely to be severely exacerbated by the Rice academic and/or living environment;
  • Demonstrates behavior that seriously interferes with the education of other members of the Rice community; behavior that violates the Rice Code of Student Conduct, the Rice Honor Code, the Rice Sexual Harassment Policy, the Rice Weapons Policy; or other relevant policies, or behavior which otherwise requires disciplinary action;
  • Is not able to continue functioning as a student.

An involuntary separation can be the result of an interim decision or a final decision.  An interim decision is usually a summary process that may result in a temporary separation.

A final decision comes after a process that includes notification, opportunity to respond, and opportunity to appeal.  It can result in a suspension (i.e. temporary separation) or in an expulsion (i.e. permanent separation), as well as other sanctions.

Readmission following Involuntary Separations—Following an involuntary separation, graduate students who wish to seek readmission must submit a written petition for readmission to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies no later than June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester.  Petitions for return following a medical withdrawal must include documentation of treatment provided, and students may be required to interview with the director of the Rice Counseling Center or Student Health Services or their designees.  The petition also must include an academic plan devised in consultation with the student’s advisor, advising committee, or director of graduate studies (depending upon the graduate program’s advising structure) and approved by the department chair.

Students who are involuntarily separated from the university for psychological reasons within the last 5 weeks of either the fall or spring semester are not be eligible to apply for readmission for the following semester.  Students who are withdrawn for psychological reasons while enrolled during the summer session are not eligible to apply for immediate readmission in the fall; they must wait to reapply for readmission for the spring semester.

Students involuntarily separated from the university for violations of the student code of conduct or other disciplinary reasons, including honor code violations, must submit a petition to the Office of Student Judicial Programs and receive approval prior to returning to the university or for the award of a degree (See Nonacademic Discipline).

The semesters that a student is not enrolled do not count against the time to candidacy or the time to defense. They do, however, count against the time to degree.  Readmission requires the approval of the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies, and readmitted students must pay a readmission fee of $350. 

Further information is available by contacting the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies External Link.

Nonenrollment Restrictions

Students may not do degree work at Rice or work involving Rice faculty or facilities during any period of nonenrollment, except during the period following successful oral defense prior to submission of the final thesis.

All separated students must return their student ID to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  All university keys must be returned to the appropriate offices.  Participation in student activities on and off campus and use of Rice facilities, including, but not limited to, the student center, the playing fields, the recreation center, and the computer labs, are limited to enrolled students.

Separated students are expected to be away from Rice during the term of the separation.  If the student is employed by Rice at the time of separation, he or she must relinquish such employment or petition the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for written permission to continue the on-campus employment.  Noncompliance with these requirements may delay or prevent readmission.
 


Last Revised : April 07, 2014