Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, and Reinstatement

University Policy

College of General Studies Policy

Leaving the University

Students deciding to leave the University may take a leave of absence or may withdraw permanently.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence (LOA) from the University implies a temporary interruption in studies and a return date. A student away on a leave of absence may not enroll as a full-time, matriculating student at another college or university, although taking a course or two as a non-degree or special student is allowed.


A withdrawal (WD) from the University is more permanent. A student should only withdraw if she/he does not intend to return to Boston University.

How to take a LOA or WD

If a student is able to file for a WD or LOA in person, he or she must complete a “Withdrawal / Leave of Absence” form, available online and in the Student Services office, CGS room 211. Students will need their CGS advisor’s signature on this form as well as the approval of the Associate Dean for Student Academic Life, CGS room 211. Students may not leave the University without completing this paperwork. Students should discuss this step with a parent or guardian. Once this form is complete with the appropriate signatures, the student must submit it to the University Service Center, 881 Commonwealth Avenue, lower level.

For tuition refund purposes, it is not until students file the paperwork with the University Service Center that they are officially on leave or withdrawn.

If a student is away from campus and unable to file the paperwork in person, the student must write a letter with the following information:

  • Student’s name
  • University ID number
  • Student signature
  • Whether the student will be withdrawing or taking a leave of absence
  • The length of the leave of absence, e.g., one semester, two semesters, etc.
  • When the action is to be effective, i.e., semester and year

Furthermore, the student must write this letter, not a parent or guardian. Students should send the letter to:

Stacy P. Godnick, Associate Dean, Student Academic Life
871 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215.

The letter may also be faxed to 617-353-5868.

There are strict deadlines each semester for filing for withdrawals or leave of absences.

For all important deadlines see the calendar on the University Registrar’s website.

Details about tuition refunds are explained under Withdrawals and Refunds on the University Service Center website.