Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, and Reinstatement

University Policy

College of Engineering Policy


Students wishing to withdraw or take a leave of absence from the College must submit their requests in writing to the University Service Center, 881 Commonwealth Avenue (lower level), Boston, MA 02215. A withdrawal or leave of absence is effective on the day the signed request is received; tuition and fees are canceled in accordance with the University’s refund schedule, which is published by the Office of the University Registrar. Exit interviews are conducted with students who visit the University Service Center.

Undergraduate students who have left the College voluntarily for one or more semesters must contact the Undergraduate Programs office, College of Engineering, before returning.

Students who matriculate at another institution and wish to return must apply for transfer admission through the Admissions office.


A suspended student may be eligible to apply for reinstatement in the College of Engineering after any requirements specified for reinstatement are met. Such students must submit a letter to the associate dean requesting reinstatement. The letter must be accompanied by an official transcript indicating improved academic performance. Reinstatement of a suspended student is always to a probationary status. In the event a student is reinstated, it is important for the student, faculty advisor, and academic counselor to review and assess the student’s program. This review should also consider any curricular changes that may have occurred during the student’s absence.

A student who has been reinstated following academic suspension must achieve good academic standing in the next semester in which he or she is registered at Boston University. Failure to achieve good academic standing will result in permanent suspension from the University.


Engineering graduate students who wish to withdraw from the University or take a leave of absence must submit their requests in writing. Students should file their requests at the Engineering Graduate Programs office. International students must meet with an International Students & Scholars office advisor prior to any interruption of studies. Upon written request and for appropriate cause, a student will be allowed up to two semesters of leave of absence. Leaves of absence beyond two semesters will be granted only in such exceptional cases as substantiated illness, one-semester maternity or paternity leave, or military service.

Obtaining transfer approval to another university from the International Students & Scholars office does not withdraw a student from Boston University.

A request for a withdrawal or leave of absence is effective on the day it is received in the appropriate office; charges are canceled in accordance with the University’s published refund schedule, based on the effective date of the student’s leave of absence or withdrawal. Mere absence from class does not reduce financial obligations or guarantee that final grades will not be recorded. Failure to file appropriate notice may jeopardize a student’s privilege to return.

Refunds are explained under “Withdrawals and Refunds” on the College of Engineering website.

The period of authorized leave of absence is counted as part of the time allowed for completion of degree requirements. Students may not complete any degree requirements in a semester for which they have been granted a leave of absence. Students must be registered in the semester in which the last degree requirements are completed and in the preceding academic year semester.

Graduate students who are voluntarily absent for one or more semesters without officially taking a leave of absence must contact the College at least eight weeks before the start of the semester to inquire about reinstatement.

Students who have left the University for medical reasons may be required to provide a letter from a physician stating that they are able to return.