Contact the Student Affairs Office

12 floor, 73 Tremont Street

617.573.8239 or studentaffairs@suffolk.edu

There may be times due to personal, medical or other reasons when a student may need to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the university. A leave of absence is taken when a student is away from the university for a portion of a term, a term or longer but intends to return to Suffolk to take classes in the future. A student may withdraw from the University when he/she no longer wishes to take courses for the current term or at any time in the future. Before a student decides to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the University, he/she is encouraged to speak with the Student Affairs Office to discuss options. Students should contact the Student Affairs Office at 617.573.8239 to schedule an in person or telephone appointment or email the office at studentaffairs@suffolk.edu.

Download Forms:

Issues to Consider

There are a number of issues students must consider prior to taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from the University. Students must contact the appropriate office below if they answer “yes” to any of the following questions:

Is the student receiving financial aid from Suffolk University (grants, loans, work study, etc.)? If yes, the student must contact Student Financial Services at finaid@suffolk.edu or 617.573.8470.

Before making a decision to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the University, the student should be aware there may be financial implications. Students who withdraw from the University or take a leave of absence will be considered a withdrawal from the term for financial aid purposes. If the student withdraws prior to completing 60% of the term, the Office of Student Financial Services is required by federal and state regulations to recalculate the student’s eligibility for financial aid. In some cases, financial aid funds which may have been disbursed will need to be returned to federal and state programs. This could result in the student owing a balance to the University. In some cases, the student could also be ineligible for financial aid in the future.

Taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from classes may negatively impact a student’s satisfactory progress (SAP). A student who is not meeting the SAP standards may not be eligible to receive financial aid in future semesters. Occasionally SAP requirements may be waived if mitigating circumstances prevented the student from meeting the requirements.

Undergraduate students should refer to the University’s SAP policy at www.suffolk.edu/admission/undergraduate/435.jsp for additional information.

Graduate students should refer to the University’s SAP policy at www.suffolk.edu/admission/graduate/457.jsp for additional information.

Students awarded employment funding (i.e. work-study, a fellowship, an ambassador position, etc.) who take a leave of absence or withdraw from the University must stop working immediately.

Does the student owe Suffolk University money for tuition or other fees? If yes, the student must contact Student Accounts at 617.573.8407.

Is the student enrolled in Suffolk University’s student health insurance program? If yes, the student must contact Health Services at 617.573.8260.

If a student takes a leave of absence or withdraws from the university on or before September 30th, he/she is not eligible for the Suffolk Student Health Insurance Plan (“SSHIP”) and will receive a full refund of the policy premium; however if there are paid insurance claims within that period, the student will remain enrolled and no refund will be issued. If a student takes a leave of absence or withdraws from the University after September 30th, he/she remains covered under SSHIP for the full policy period and no refund for SSHIP is permitted.

Is the student living in a Suffolk University residence hall? If yes, the student must contact Residence Life and Housingat 617.305.2500.

In order to live in campus housing, students must be registered for 12 or more credits. Students registered for less than 12 credits who wish to live in campus housing must meet with the dean of students, or designee, to request an exception to this policy. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

All students must checkout of and vacate the residence halls within 24 hours after the withdrawal or leave of absence form is submitted to the Student Affairs Office. Students are responsible for University housing charges through the end of the semester in which they leave, unless informed otherwise by staff in the Student Affairs Office and/or by the director of Residence Life and Housing.

If a student wishes to vacate the residence hall during the term of license agreement which s/he signed, s/he must follow the guidelines set forth by the Food and Housing Board and will be responsible for any and all housing and board fees as outlined by the Food and Housing Board. If a student withdraws from the University, s/he will be responsible for housing charges for the entire current semester of study. Board charges may be refunded in accordance with the University’s board plan refund policy. If the Dean of Students Office approves a student for a leave of absence, the Dean of Students Office may recommend to the Food and Housing Board that the student be issued a housing and/or board plan refund at the student’s request. The Food and Housing Board shall make the final determination. The student is responsible for all costs and financial obligations related to current semester of residency in a residence hall if s/he is suspended or expelled from the residence hall for disciplinary reasons or suspended or dismissed from the University for disciplinary and/or academic reasons. 

If a student withdraws from the University, s/he will be responsible for housing charges for the entire current semester of study. Board charges may be refunded in accordance with the University’s board plan refund policy.

Is the student an international student with F-1 (I-20) or J-1 (DS-2019) status? If yes, the student must contact International Student Services at 617.573.8154.

Incomplete Grades

Students on a leave of absence, who have previous Incompletes must finish those Incompletes by the date specified by the instructor. After one (1) year, any incomplete (I) grades negotiated with professors will turn into a failing grade (F*). A leave of absence does not extend a deadline for an incomplete (I) grade. Please read the incomplete (I) grade policy located in the Academic Catalog for further details.

Taking a Leave of Absence or Withdrawing from the University

Current/Returning Students Wishing to Withdraw from All Courses Prior to the First Day of Classes

Students who wish to withdraw from all courses prior to the start of the term, must contact the Student Affairs Office at 617.573.8239, located on the 12th floor of 73 Tremont Street, and submit a Leave of Absence Form or a Withdrawal Form. The Leave of Absence Form and Withdrawal Form are available online.

New/Incoming Students Wishing to Withdraw from All Courses Prior to the First Day of Classes or After Classes Have Started

Any new undergraduate or graduate students who wish to withdraw from all courses prior to the start of the term, must contact the appropriate admission office:

Undergraduate Admission: 617.573.8460
Graduate Admission: 617.573.8302

The appropriate admissions office may defer the student's enrollment for another semester.

New/incoming students who wish to withdraw from all courses after the start of classes will be placed on a leave of absence. See "Withdrawing from Classes Once the Fall or Spring Terms Have Begun" below for more information.

Current/Returning Students Wishing to Withdraw from the University

Students who are transferring to another institution or students who do not plan to return to Suffolk University in the future must submit a Withdrawal Form. The University’s refund policy will determine refunds. Withdrawal Form are available online at www.suffolk.edu/withdrawal.

Current/Returning Students Wishing to Take a Leave of Absence

Students who are temporarily unable to continue their education at Suffolk University may apply for a leave of absence by submitting a leave of absence form to the Student Affairs Office. A leave of absence may be granted by the Student Affairs Office for two consecutive or two non-consecutive terms (excluding summers). A student applying for a leave of absence must give a definite date for return. Students on leave will be required to meet the degree requirements under which they were admitted or appropriate equivalences as determined by the University. A leave of absence may not be used for the purpose of taking academic courses at another institution with the intent of transferring the credits to Suffolk University.

Students requesting a leave of absence for military duty are permitted to extend their leaves of absence beyond two non-consecutive terms.

  • After the Student Affairs Office has received a leave of absence form, the following will occur:
    The leave of absence request will be reviewed and approved or denied.
  • If the request is denied, other options will be discussed with the student.
  • If the request is approved, the student will receive a letter from the Student Affairs Office with the anticipated date of return and any specific issues the student must resolve before return.
  • A student will continue to have an active e-mail account with the University for one year after the last term in which the student was registered. It is the student’s responsibility to periodically check for important University information including registration and financial aid deadlines.
  • The student will receive information from the Registrar’s Office via e-mail concerning pre-registration for the semester the student is expected to return.

Current/Returning Students Wishing to Return from a Leave of Absence

Undergraduate Students: When the student is ready to return from a leave of absence, the student is encouraged to contact the advising center of either the College of Arts & Sciences or the Sawyer Business School, depending on the student’s academic program to review the student’s program evaluation. The student should also log onto the student’s MySuffolk account to review any personal restrictions preventing registration.

College of Arts & Sciences: 617.305.5102
Sawyer Business School: 617.573.8345

Graduate Students: When the student is ready to return from a leave of absence, the student is encouraged to contact his/her graduate program director.

All Students: If the student has any Student Accounts restrictions, the student should contact Student Accounts at 617.573.8407. If the student has any Student Financial Services restrictions, the student should contact Student Financial Services at 617.573.8470.Students who do not return to the university at the specified end of a leave of absence will be administratively withdrawn from the university. If a student's program is in a teach-out phase at the point in which the student is ready to return to Suffolk, the student's academic plan will be reviewed and changes made (if appropriate) on a case-by-case basis.

Withdrawing from Classes Once the Fall or Spring Terms Have Begun

  1. If a student withdraws from all courses, the student will be placed on a Leave of Absence for the semester.
  2. Between Week 1 and Week 4 (actual dates are published in the academic calendar at www.suffolk.edu/calendar), a student may drop a course(s) on-line by logging onto MySuffolk. The course(s) will be totally removed from the student’s transcript.
  3. Between Week 5 and Week 9 (actual dates are published in the academic calendar at www.suffolk.edu/calendar), a student may withdraw from a course(s) on-line by logging onto MySuffolk. The course(s) will remain on the student’s transcript and a W (for Withdrawal) will be entered on the transcript. A W does not impact a student’s GPA, but it may impact a student’s financial aid status. The student is encouraged to speak with Student Financial Services to discuss the financial aid implications of withdrawing from a course.
  4. After Week 9 (the actual date is published in the academic calendar at www.suffolk.edu/calendar), a student may NOT withdraw from a course with the following exceptions:
    1. A student may withdraw from all courses at any time in the term by contacting the Student Affairs Office.
    2. The student will be automatically placed on a Leave of Absence for the term only. If the request is made between Week 1 and Week 4, all courses will be totally removed from the student’s transcript. If the request is made between Week 5 and Week 13, the courses will remain on the student’s transcript and a W (for Withdrawal) will be entered on the transcript.
    3. A student may petition for an individual Late Course Withdrawal from a course for extenuating medical or personal circumstances. This request must be submitted to the Student Affairs Office with complete medical or personal documentation so the petition can be considered prior to the close of the term in which the course is taken. If documentation is not submitted, the petition will not be considered. The student is encouraged to meet with the dean of students, or designee, if possible. A dean in the Student Affairs Office will review the request and will approve or deny the petition.

      The student may appeal the dean’s decision within 2 days of notification from the dean that the Late Course Withdrawal request has been denied. The decision will be emailed to the student’s Suffolk University email account and it is the student’s responsibility to check the account. The appeal will be reviewed by the Late Course Withdrawal Appeals Committee which may include representatives from Student Affairs, the Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts, Student Financial Services, Disability Services, Counseling and Health & Services and a representative from the student’s school or college. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

The University’s Refund Policy will determine refunds for withdrawals from courses once the term has begun. Please contact Student Accounts at 617.573.8407 for information about the Refund Policy.

Withdrawing from Classes During Summer Sessions or at Times Other Than Fall or Spring

The same rules apply to summer session courses and those courses offered at times other than fall and spring. Students should contact the Registrar’s Office at 617.573.8430 to learn about drop and withdrawal dates.

Requesting a Late Course Withdrawal for a Course Taken in a Previous Term

Requests for late course withdrawals during the fiscal year following the term in which courses are taken will only be considered for extenuating medical or personal circumstances. The student must submit his/her reasons for requesting the late course withdrawal in writing to the Student Affairs Office along with appropriate medical or personal documentation. If documentation is not submitted, the petition will not be considered. The student is encouraged to meet with the senior associate dean of students, or designee, if possible. The senior associate dean of students, or designee, will review the request and will approve or deny the petition.

The student may appeal the dean’s decision. The appeal will be reviewed by the Late Course Withdrawal Appeals Committee which may include representatives from Student Affairs, the Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts, Student Financial Services, Disability Services, Counseling and Health Services and a representative from the student’s school or college. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

If a late course withdrawal is approved, a grade of W will be issued.