Academic Advising Resource Center

General Policies on Leaves of Absence

General Policies on Leaves of Absence

Academic Standing and Suspensions

Students are permitted to take leave while on academic probation; the probation period will resume upon return to the college. Personal leave will be cancelled for students who are suspended for academic or disciplinary reasons. 

Campus Opportunities

A student who is on a medical or personal leave of absence may not take any Oberlin College courses; live in campus housing; participate in ensembles, student organizations, or campus activities (e.g., Secondary or ExCo teaching, ExCo participation, campus employment, etc.); or receive institutional funding for experiences such as internships or research.  

Requests for exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Conservatory’s Associate Dean for Advising and Retention or the Academic Advising Resource Center in consultation with the Vice President and Dean of Students. 

An exemption in one area of this policy does not provide an automatic exemption in other areas. For instance, a student on personal leave who receives permission to participate in a campus activity would not automatically have approval to receive funding.

Conservatory Students

Conservatory students may be required to re-audition after two or more semesters of leave.

Enrollment Reporting

Students on a personal or medical leave from Oberlin will be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse as “withdrawn” during their period of non-enrollment. For additional information on how this might impact you, please review information on enrollment policies provided by the Office of Financial Aid. 

Maximum Semesters of Leave

Students may take up to a total four semesters of leave. This includes personal leave and medical leave.  


Leaves taken after the start of the semester are subject to the tuition, housing, and dining refund policies. For additional information, please review the section on refunds in the catalog.

Residency Requirement

In accordance with the residence requirement, students must spend their final semester in residence at Oberlin. 

Transfer of Credit

Work taken at other institutions during a leave may be transferred to Oberlin. Courses taken at other institutions during leave are subject to the college’s transfer of credit policy (limit of two full academic courses per semester, no more than three full courses or the equivalent after matriculation). See the Guide to the Transfer of Credit for additional details. 

Winter Term

In order to receive credit for a winter term project, students must be enrolled for and complete at least one semester in that academic year. Students on leave must register for winter term by the registration deadline.