There are many reasons why a student may need or wish to take time away from WPI. There may be personal or medical issues interfering with their academics; opportunities for professional experience; family or community commitments; or the desire to just take a break.
- Institutional Leave of Absence (LOA): Request this if you are planning to return to WPI. Leaves may be granted for a maximum of the remainder of the current semester (if applicable) and the immediately following semester (not counting summer). Leaves may be renewed for one additional semester, and an extension must be requested before the expiration date of the current leave. If a student does not return by the expiration date, they will be automatically withdrawn. Please review the return from leave requirements and deadlines, and note that students may only return at the beginning of a semester (Fall semester/A-term, Spring semester/C-term, or Summer/E-term).
- Official Withdrawal: Request this if you are leaving permanently and not planning to return to WPI.
- Students who have attended through the 12th week of a semester (or the 5th week of B or D terms) may not withdraw or take an LOA for that semester and will be academically reviewed. They may withdraw or take an LOA for the following semester.
See full list below for more information and other types of withdrawals or leaves.
Restrictions to WPI access:
- You will be dropped from any classes and/or projects you have scheduled for future terms.
- You will not be able to live in university housing, and if applicable, will not be able to select or keep your future academic year assignment.
- You may not be able to retain your spot for an IQP/MQP Project Center.
- You will not be able to participate in campus activities, including clubs, sports, etc.
- You may not be able to retain your spot for an IQP/MQP Project Center. (Review the Off-Campus Project Policies for more details.)
- If you have financial aid, your financial aid will be readjusted.
- For students with federal funding in their financial aid awards you will be reported to federal agencies as a federally withdrawn student. This may have impacts on deferment and loan repayment start times. Please contact the Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy for further details.
If you are enrolled in and attended classes and then take a Leave of Absence or Withdraw that refunds only a portion of tuition paid, your student health insurance will remain in effect through the end the plan coverage period, unless you have enrolled for term based coverage. If you are refunded 100% of tuition paid, you will not be covered by insurance. Please ensure you are aware of your insurance coverages and limits. For questions, contact Blue Cross Blue Shield at 1-800-262-2583.
You cannot utilize WPI Health Services or the Student Development and Counseling Center while on leave or after withdrawal.
- Students on Institutional Leave of Absence will retain use of their WPI email. All other access will be removed.
- Students on Official Withdrawal will NOT retain use of their WPI email. All other access will also be removed.
- Students should inform themselves about the consequences to the following if applicable
And any other considerations.
- Complete the appropriate form
- If seeking an institutional medical leave of absence, please make an appointment with the appropriate office below.
- Submit completed form to Registrar’s Office
When you are ready to return from your leave of absence, please visit the Registrar’s Return to WPI page for policy and forms.
Types of Leaves or Withdrawals
- Voluntary Institutional Leave of Absence: If a current student wishes to take time away from WPI for non-medical reasons, a Voluntary Institutional Leave of Absence (LOA) may be appropriate. A Voluntary LOA is typically sought due to personal/family circumstances. LOAs may be granted for the remainder of the current semester (if applicable) and the immediately following semester (not counting summer). LOA may be renewed for one additional semester, and an extension must be requested before the expiration date of the current leave. If a student does not return by the expiration date, they will be automatically withdrawn. Students on LOA must request to return before the published deadlines for A-term, C-term, or E-term.
- Medical Institutional Leave of Absence: A Medical Institutional Leave of Absence (LOA) is appropriate when a student’s psychological or physical health impairs the ability to function successfully or safely as a student. Under the terms of a Medical LOA, a student must wait a minimum of 30 days before requesting to return from LOA and complete the prescribed course of medical and/or mental health treatment before being considered for return. A student cannot register again at WPI until s/he has been medically cleared to return. Students may request to return for A-term, C-term, or E-term.
- Voluntary Withdrawal: Students should withdrawal from WPI if they are planning never to return.
- Administrative Withdrawal: A student may be withdrawn from WPI by the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee due to emotional, psychiatric, or other reasons of health that pose a threat to the well-being of the student or members of the WPI community, or threaten to disrupt the daily operation of the University. An Administrative Withdrawal excludes the student from course registration at WPI (including cross registration at WPI through a consortium college), class attendance, residence on campus, and use of WPI facilities or resources for a specified period of time. Students who have been placed on administrative withdrawal are expected to leave the campus immediately and may not stay overnight in any on-campus residence hall. In such cases, the student may not be reinstated at WPI without clearance by WPI medical and professional staff in accordance with WPI procedures in effect at the time.
- Financial Withdrawal: A student may be withdrawn from WPI if s/he carries an outstanding balance beyond a single billing period. If students are pre-registered for classes, the registration will be removed and the student’s account will be deactivated. It will be necessary to be cleared by the Bursar’s Office in order to be readmitted during the normal academic year. Please visit the Bursar’s Office website to find information regarding the process for financial readmission.
- Disciplinary Suspension: Disciplinary Suspension excludes the student from registration (including cross registration at WPI through a consortium college), class attendance, residence on campus, and use of WPI facilities or resources for a specified period of time. Suspended students may not stay overnight in any on-campus residence hall. Students suspended during the middle of a term/semester will be eligible for a tuition adjustment according to the published policies in the Undergraduate Catalog. Students who are suspended from WPI are expected to leave the campus immediately. A student cannot register again at WPI until s/he has been readmitted and fulfilled all judicial sanctions. Students may be readmitted for A-term, C-term, or E-term.