Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, and Reinstatement
School of Law Policy
Please check the JD Handbook for the most up-to-date information, as this policy was up for review after publication of the 2017–2018 Bulletin.
Excerpt from Article XI of 2017/2018 Academic Regulations
1. Withdrawal in good standing. Withdrawal in good standing becomes effective only upon submission of an official withdrawal form to the School of Law Registrar, whatever the reason for withdrawal, and whether or not the student seeks leave to return. No student may withdraw in good standing until all obligations to the University have been paid. Tuition refunds may be sought in accordance with University regulations.
2. Leaves of absence. A student seeking a temporary interruption of study may request a leave of absence. The request must be a written statement of the reasons for the leave, the activities in which the student expects to be engaged during the leave, and the semester in which the student intends to return. In addition to any special conditions imposed, the following rules apply to all leaves.
a. Length. Leaves ordinarily will not be granted for periods longer than one academic year.
b. Extension. A student seeking to extend a leave must petition the Academic Standards Committee before the leave has expired. Students ordinarily may not extend a leave for more than one additional year, and the total length of a leave may not exceed two years except in exceptional circumstances.
c. Return. A student returning from a leave must inform the School of Law Registrar by the date specified in the letter approving the leave. A student failing to give such notice may not return for that semester without the Academic Standards Committee’s permission. If a leave was granted for medical reasons, the student may not return unless he or she has complied with Boston University’s policies and procedures for obtaining medical clearance to return. A student may return before a leave’s expiration only with advance permission.
3. Students who withdrew without leave to return or whose leave has expired. Such students must petition the Academic Standards Committee for readmission to the School. The petition must explain the circumstances of the withdrawal, the reasons for either not requesting leave to return or failing to return by a leave’s expiration, and the events leading to the request for readmission. After considering the petition and the student’s record, the Committee may grant readmission, with any conditions the Committee deems appropriate, or it may require the student to reapply through the ordinary admissions process.
Excerpt from Article X of 2017/2018 Academic Regulations
1. Petitions for reinstatement. A student dropped from the School may petition the Academic Standards Committee for reinstatement. The petition must address all circumstances related to the student’s failure to meet the School’s standards. Relevant supporting documents should accompany the petition.
2. Reinstatement of first- or second-year students dropped for academic deficiency. First- or second-year students dropped for academic deficiency will not be reinstated unless the Academic Standards Committee is satisfied that: 1) the deficiency resulted from serious illness or other compelling cause, and 2) that the circumstances that led to academic deficiency have been sufficiently addressed. If the compelling cause relates to medical or mental health issues, the student’s petition for reinstatement should be accompanied by supporting documentation from a medical or mental health professional.
3. Conditions of reinstatement for first- or second-year students. First- or second-year students who are reinstated must retake any required courses they have failed. The Academic Standards Committee may place any other conditions on reinstatement that it deems appropriate, such as (a) for a first-year student, requiring the student to retake the entire first year or specific first-year courses; (b) for a second-year student, requiring a semester additional to the usual six; or (c) for any student, requiring that the student pass all courses and seminars, maintain a specified average in future work, take specified courses, forgo participation in extracurricular activities, or refrain from taking courses outside the School.
4. Reinstatement of third-year students. Students dropped from the School during the third year may be reinstated only by the Faculty. As required by section 1 above, petitions and supporting materials should be directed to the Academic Standards Committee. The Committee will report the matter to the Faculty. Students dropped for academic deficiency will not be reinstated unless the Faculty is satisfied that the deficiency resulted from serious illness or other compelling cause, and that the circumstances that led to academic deficiency have been sufficiently addressed. If the compelling cause relates to medical or mental health issues, the student’s petition for reinstatement should be accompanied by supporting documentation from a medical or mental health professional. The Faculty may attach any conditions to reinstatement that it deems appropriate.