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Leaves of Absence
RISD allows for leaves of absences in the following
categories: Personal Leaves, Medical Leaves and Administrative Leaves. Students may apply for a leave of absence for a period of
up to 2 years. Students are expected to return to RISD at the conclusion
of their leave. A student who has not returned to RISD after two years
of leave will be officially withdrawn. Once a student is withdrawn
he/she must re-apply through the Office of Admission.
- Undergraduates can apply
for one of the leave categories by meeting with Student Affairs on the
3rd floor of Carr House or by calling 401 454-6600.
- Graduate students can apply for one of the leave categories by meeting with the
Dean of Graduate Studies in the CIT building.
Taking this step will help
to assure readmission with a minimum of difficulty after the leave of
absence is granted.
Students on a Leave of Absence are still considered candidates for
the RISD degree even though they are not formally enrolled. If you
receive permission from RISD to take classes elsewhere while on leave,
you must enroll there as a guest or visiting (non-degree seeking)
student, not as a transfer or degree-seeking student. Students can be
candidates for the bachelor’s degree at only one institution.
Students who receive Financial Aid must meet with the Financial Aid
office to complete the necessary exit interview and to learn whether
there are consequences of a leave on their financial aid eligibility or
loan repayment. International Students must meet with the International
Student Advisor before applying for a leave to ensure compliance with
their visa status. A Leave of Absence from RISD could affect the health
insurance status for a student. Consult with your health insurance
carrier for details.
Students who are granted a personal, academic or administrative leave
during a semester will be withdrawn from all classes with a course
grade of “W” if it is before the withdrawal deadline (see Academic
Calendar). If the leave is after the deadline date has passed for
withdrawal from class, the student may have failing grades recorded.
Personal Leave of Absence
Students who are granted a leave for personal reflection, financial
concerns, military duty, academic exploration beyond the programs and
classes of the RISD curriculum or off-campus study opportunities that
are not recognized by RISD are on Personal Leave. Normally, personal
leaves are granted between terms; students are not granted personal
leaves during a term for which they are already in classes except under
unusual circumstances or emergencies (see Medical Leave of Absence).
Medical Leave of Absence
RISD, through the Office of Student Affairs, grants voluntary medical
leaves of absences through consultation with on-and off-campus medical
providers. If a medical leave is issued during an academic term the
student receives a course grade of “W” a medical leave is normally
expected to last until the end of the semester in which the condition
necessitates the leave has been resolved. Students who take a medical
leave for psychological or psychiatric reasons are strongly encouraged
to take at least one additional semester beyond that; this length of
time is intended to allow the student sufficient time away from campus
to achieve sustained stability and to engage in activities that will contribute to a successful return.
RISD maintains the right to require a student to take a leave of
absence from the college for health or psychological reasons in
accordance with the “Guidelines for a Required Leave of Absence for
Health or Psychological Reasons.” Each situation will be handled on an
individual basis. In order to return, the student must comply with the
conditions stated in “Guidelines for Return After a Leave of Absence for
Health or Psychological Reasons.” Both of these documents are available
from the Office of Student Affairs.
Student may be asked to leave for reasons of poor scholarship,
unacceptable behavior, or non-payment of tuition. See the section on
“Academic Standing” for procedures and process regarding dismissal for
academic reasons. See the Code of Student Conduct in the Student
Handbook for policy and procedures regarding academic or behavioral
Active Military Service Leaves
In order to support and accommodate RISD students called to active military service, RISD’s policy is the following:
Any student required to leave RISD because of a call to active
military service will receive a leave of absence and a refund of tuition
and fees paid for the interrupted semester of study.
- Cost of RISD housing and meal plan will be prorated to the effective date of the leave of absence.
A place will be held in the student’s department which will guarantee
re-admittance to RISD after military service is completed, and at a
time in the academic year which best fits with the student’s
departmental curricular program.