Students may request personal leaves of absence and if granted, withdraw from the College. Such time away, often as a period of reassessment and self evaluation, can prove to be educationally beneficial. A withdrawal in good standing may be granted for not less than one semester and not more than three years. Students who withdraw in good standing are readmitted with the approval of the Dean’s Office and are expected to complete the degree without further interruption.
Students may request permission from the Dean’s Office to withdraw at any time. If a student is granted a personal leave of absence after the semester begins, but before the end of the drop/add period, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal as the day before the term began. If a personal leave is granted after the end of the drop/add period, but before the end of the eighth week of the semester, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal, but the semester will not count toward the maximum of eight allowed to complete the degree. If a personal withdrawal is allowed after the eighth week of the semester, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal and the courses in progress, each with a W; the semester will normally count toward the maximum of eight allowed to complete the degree and the student will incur deficiencies that must be made up before returning to the College.
Students with medical and/or psychological conditions may request leaves of absence and if granted, withdraw from the College in good standing. Verification of the condition, along with a recommendation for the leave, must be provided from an appropriate professional. These types of requests should be made through the Dean’s Office.
If a student withdraws for medical reasons, the transcript will simply indicate the date of withdrawal without further explanation. If the withdrawal occurs after the start of a term, no courses in progress will be listed and the semester will not count toward the maximum of eight allowed for completing the degree.
Medical leaves may be granted at any time and readmission is contingent upon the condition being resolved or managed successfully. Therefore, there is no mandated minimum length for a medical leave. While on leave, it is advisable for the student to seek necessary medical attention and to document the steps taken and progress made. This information will be part of the readmission process along with assessments from appropriate medical and/or psychological professionals. Additional information may be sought and might include a personal interview and input from family members, employers, or others who interacted with the student while on leave. In cases where there has been significant psychiatric or psychotherapeutic involvement, the student may be required to meet with a member of the College’s psychological counseling service. In addition, in order to judge the degree of recovery and readiness to confront the academic and social challenges of Williams, the student may be required to be evaluated by an outside mental health professional selected and paid for by the College as part of the readmission process.
Final decisions about readmission are made by the Dean’s Office.
Mandatory Medical Leave
The College may require a student to take a medical leave in the event the student has an illness or condition that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of the student or others, renders the student unable to successfully participate in the educational programs offered by the College, or substantially disrupts the ability of others to fully participate in the educational or employment opportunities offered by the College
Ordinarily the decision whether to require a student to take a medical leave will be made after notice to the student and after providing an opportunity for the student to be heard. In appropriate circumstances, however, a student may be placed immediately on an interim leave pending a further determination.
Ordinarily a student who is placed on a mandatory medical leave will be required to spend at least one full semester away before re-entry is considered.
The decisions whether to require a student to take a medical leave, whether to allow such a student to return, and what conditions if any will apply in order for a student not to be place don leave or to return from leave will be made by the Dean of the College in consultation with other staff and health and/or mental health professionals as the Dean determines to be appropriate under the circumstances.
The fact that a student is placed on a mandatory medical leave does not insulate a student from the College’s conduct rules and disciplinary procedures. The College may pursue disciplinary action against a student while the student is on leave or after a student returns in the College’s discretion.
Federal regulations require that all educational institutions disclose their refund policy to all prospective students. In accordance with that regulation, here is the Williams College Refund Policy for the academic year.
Students are expected to vacate their rooms, including belongings, upon withdrawal from the College and follow all housing deadlines for departure.
Students planning to transfer to another institution should notify a Dean in writing.
Requests for readmission should be submitted (within three years from the term of withdrawal) to the Dean’s Office c/o Cyndi Haley, PO Box 518, Williamstown, MA 01267 in writing or by e-mail ([email protected]) no later than:
1 July if planning to return for the following fall semester
15 November if planning to return for the following winter study
1 December if planning to return for the following spring semester
The College reserves the right to limit readmissions on the basis of projected enrollment figures and the availability of space.