Leaves, Withdrawals and Readmission

All students taking a leave or withdrawal from Rice should submit their written request on an Undergraduate Separation Request Form. Student separations are effective when acknowledged by the university. Approval of a withdrawal and leave of absence is always contingent on the student's satisfactory completion of course work in the semester preceding the leave. Students performing poorly may have their approved leave converted to an academic suspension.

After a separation of more than four semesters, students seeking to return to Rice must submit a written petition to the dean of undergraduates who has discretion to submit it to the Committee on Examinations and Standing. The petition should be received no later than June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. The petition should include an academic plan approved by the Office of Academic Advising and two letters of support. Academic plans must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Academic Advising by June 1 for readmission in the fall semester and November 1 for readmission in the spring semester. To allow time for review and revision of the academic plan, students must submit their first draft academic plan by May 7 for readmission in the fall semester and by October 7 for readmission in the spring semester. Guidelines for completing an academic plan can be found on the Academic Advising website

Coordination of Separations and Returns

Rice is committed to students' long-term success and to seeing them thrive during their college experience. Part of that commitment means that Rice supports students if they decide to leave the university for a period of time. Professionals in these areas also work with students to plan a roadmap back to Rice.

The Office of the Dean of Undergraduates oversees readmission processes. Each request for readmission will be reviewed individually. The dean of undergraduates or his/her designee will make readmission decisions. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates with questions about separations and re-enrollment at the university.

Students are expected to follow the process outlined in their letter from the dean of undergraduates and any other communications from Rice regarding expectations for separation and readmission. Additionally, sometimes students are separated from Rice through more than one process and are required to submit readmission requests to multiple university departments. In certain cases, readmission may be accompanied by additional requirements to support the success and wellbeing of the student.

Leave of Absence

Students may request a leave of absence from the university by submitting their written request on an Undergraduate Separation Request Form at any time before the first day of classes in the semester for which they are requesting a leave. A leave of absence taken after the first day of classes is considered a voluntary withdrawal. 

To gain readmission following an approved leave of absence of not more than four semesters, students must notify the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates no later than June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. We strongly recommend that the student consult with the Office of Academic Advising about their academic plan.   

Military Leave of Absence

Students who require a leave of absence because of being called to active military duty may request a military leave of absence from the university by submitting their written request on an Undergraduate Separation Request Form.

For students serving a branch of the United States Armed Force, including the National Guard or Reserve to gain readmission following active military duty of not more than five years, students must notify the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates no later than June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. Students will be readmitted in accordance with federal law (20 U.S.C. sec.1091c; 34 C.F.R. sec 668.18). The petition will not need approval of the Committee on Examinations and Standing, even if the leave has been greater than four semesters. For students called to active military duty other than by a branch of the United States Armed Forces, to gain readmission following active military duty of not more than two years, students must notify the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates no later than June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester.

We strongly recommend that the students returning from military leave consult with the Office of Academic Advising about their academic plan. 

Voluntary Withdrawal and Readmission

Students may withdraw voluntarily from the university at any time during the semester up until the last day of classes. Students wishing to withdraw should inform their college magister and submit their written request on an Undergraduate Separation Request Form. The Office of the Dean of Undergraduates may notify other offices of the university as necessary. Students who fail to give notice of withdrawal should expect to receive grades reflective of any missed academic work. 

If students are in good academic standing at the time of their withdrawal, they may be considered for readmission after submitting a written petition to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates. The petition, received no later than June 1 for the fall semester, or November 1 for the spring semester, should include an academic plan approved by the Office of Academic Advising and two letters of support. Academic plans must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Academic Advising by June 1 for readmission in the fall semester and November 1 for readmission in the spring semester. To allow time for review and revision of the academic plan, students must submit their first draft academic plan by May 7 for readmission in the fall semester and by October 7 for readmission in the spring semester. Guidelines for completing an academic plan can be found on the Academic Advising website.

If students withdraw within five weeks of the last day of classes, they must submit the written application on an Undergraduate Separation Request Form to the dean of undergraduates who has discretion to submit it to the Committee on Examinations and Standing. If students withdraw within five weeks of the last day of classes, the Committee on Examinations and Standing takes into account their grades (which reflects their performance up to the day of withdrawal) when ruling on their readmission. For purposes of readmission, students whose grades would have led to suspension had they not withdrawn are treated as if they had been suspended. 

Medical Withdrawal

Students may request a medical withdrawal from the university by submitting their written request on an Undergraduate Separation Request Form at any time during the semester, up until the last day of classes. 

Involuntary Withdrawal

On rare occasions, the university may insist on a student’s involuntary withdrawal if, based on current medical knowledge and/or the best objective evidence, the dean of undergraduates or his/her designee,determines that:  

  • The student poses a threat to the safety or welfare of him/herself or other members of the Rice community; 
  • The student 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; or
  • The student demonstrates behavior that seriously interferes with the education of other members of the Rice community.

Before placing any student on an involuntary leave of absence, Rice will consider whether there are alternative measures or reasonable accommodations that would permit the student to remain enrolled while remediating the issues that led to the student being considered for involuntary withdrawal.

A student may, within 48 hours of receiving the dean of undergraduates' written decision on an involuntary leave of absence, submit a written appeal to the provost.

Readmission Following Medical or Involuntary Withdrawal

Students taking time off due to an involuntary withdrawal are also encouraged to contact the Student Wellbeing Office about the roadmap back to Rice. The Student Wellbeing Office is part of the Dean of Undergraduates Division and serves as a liaison to the medical readmission process during the separation process and when students are ready to return.

Following a medical or an involuntary withdrawal, students should submit a written petition for readmission to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates no later than June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. Students who voluntarily or involuntarily withdraw for psychological/psychiatric reasons within the last five weeks of a semester are strongly encouraged to focus on their well-being needs and will not be eligible to apply for immediate readmission. Therefore, petitions for readmission will be considered in the following readmission request cycle and must be received no later than the applicable June 1 or November 1 deadline. 

This petition must include documentation that the student is medically fit to return to Rice. The student may be asked to present documentation that student has been evaluated and has completed follow-up measures recommended by the student's treating health care professional.  This may include a statement of the health care professional's credentials, a description of their contact with the student, the evaluation method, the diagnosis, the recommended follow-up measures and the student's efforts to complete them.  The student's efforts to complete those follow-up measures will be evaluated to determine whether the student used the time away from Rice to address the issues that necessitated his/her withdrawal and to acquire skills to facilitate a successful return to Rice.

When evaluating the student's petition for readmission, the dean of undergraduates may obtain a recommendation regarding medical fitness from the director of the Rice Counseling Center or Student Health Services or their designees. Students may be required to schedule an interview with the director of the Rice Counseling Center or Student Health Services or their designees.

Academic plans must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Academic Advising by June 1 for readmission in the fall semester and November 1 for readmission in the spring semester. To allow time for review and revision of the academic plan, students must submit their first draft academic plan by May 7 for readmission in the fall semester and by October 7 for readmission in the spring semester. Guidelines for completing an academic plan can be found on the Academic Advising website. Further information is available by contacting the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates. 

Unauthorized Withdrawal

Students who leave the university without proper notification of withdrawal are considered to have resigned. Resigned students will only be considered for readmission under exceptional circumstances. In order to be considered for readmission, students must submit a petition no later than June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester to the dean of undergraduates who has the discretion to submit it to the Committee on Examinations and Standing. The petition should include an academic plan approved by the Office of Academic Advising and two letters of support. Academic plans must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Academic Advising by June 1 for readmission in the fall semester and November 1 for readmission in the spring semester. To allow time for review and revision of the academic plan, students must submit their first draft academic plan by May 7 for readmission in the fall semester and by October 7 for readmission in the spring semester. Guidelines for completing an academic plan can be found on the Academic Advising website

Resignation

A student may resign from the university by notifying the dean of undergraduates in writing. Resignation means the student is withdrawing, is no longer a student at Rice, and will not return to Rice. A resignation becomes effective when accepted by the dean of undergraduates. In general, if a student is under investigation for a potential Code of Student Conduct violation or has charges pending under the Code, disciplinary proceedings will terminate upon acceptance of the resignation by the dean of undergraduates. However, this general rule does not apply if the resigning student has been charged with sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, stalking or any other behavior that could result in expulsion. A student who resigns is not eligible to receive a degree from Rice, even if the student has otherwise met all of the requirements for the degree. A notation will appear on the resigned student’s transcript indicating that the student is ineligible to reenroll unrelated to academic or financial reasons. 

All Separated Students, Presence on Campus

All students separated from Rice, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, withdrawn, resigned, or due to academic or disciplinary suspension, must leave campus within 48 hours. Exceptions are granted by the dean of undergraduates or, in the case of disciplinary suspensions, the Office of Student Judicial Programs. All separated students must return their college key to their college coordinator and their student ID to the dean of undergraduates. Participation in student activities on and off campus and use of Rice facilities, including, but not limited to, the student center, the colleges, 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 dean of undergraduates for written permission to continue the on-campus employment; separated students may not begin employment with Rice during the separation. Noncompliance with these requirements may delay readmission. 

All Readmitted Students, Return to Campus

Students who have been readmitted must comply with any restrictions or requirements placed upon them by the dean of undergraduates or the Office of Student Judicial Programs. Failure to comply with or follow the restrictions or requirements may be cause for disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct. Student Judicial Programs may implement a period of disciplinary probation and/or other restrictions as a condition of any readmission.

Completing Graduation Requirements Elsewhere

Students planning to complete graduation requirements at another institution must first secure formal written approval from the dean of undergraduates by submitting their written request on an Undergraduate Separation Request Form. Transfer credit is subject to all Rice’s transfer credit policies and must be approved by the Registrar. All other graduation requirements apply, and the student is expected to adhere to all requirements and deadlines.