Changes in Status

Withdrawal and Readmission

Students who wish to withdraw from the college must give official notification to the Time Away Office. Notification must be received prior to the beginning of classes in any term, or tuition will be due on a pro-rata basis. (See the section Fall and Spring Refunds in Financial Policies.) For students withdrawing on their initiative after the beginning of classes and up to the first day of the last four weeks of regular classes in the fall or spring term, or before the last two weeks of regular classes in a summer term, a W is assigned in lieu of a regular grade for each course. After these dates, an F grade is recorded unless withdrawal is caused by an emergency beyond the control of the student, in which case a W is assigned as part of the time away process. Withdrawals from the university during a semester will not be approved after the last day of classes.

Students may be involuntarily withdrawn for academic reasons, financial reasons, violation of academic regulations, disciplinary reasons, as well as administratively. Their withdrawal will be noted accordingly on the official academic record. Students with a dismissal pending are not in “good standing” and therefore are ineligible to undertake coursework scheduled to be taught during the pending dismissal period. Students who received an I or X grade during a semester in which they experienced a voluntary or involuntary separation from Duke, may, at the discretion of their academic dean, be advised to complete the outstanding work prior to returning to school.

Students who are placed on academic probation after returning to Duke may not be eligible to participate in particular university programs such as, but not limited to, study abroad and DukeEngage.

Return requests are made to the appropriate school or college through the Time Away Office. Each request is reviewed by the Time Away Office and other relevant campus partners. A return decision is made based on information shared by the student on the return request form, information shared by relevant providers, and general readiness to return. Students who are returned must meet residential requirements. All returning students are eligible to live in on-campus housing unless they have been deemed ineligible due to a university sanction.

Return requests must be completed by November 1 for enrollment in the spring, by April 1 for enrollment in the summer, and by June 1 for enrollment in the fall. For more information, visit the Time Away Office website at

Leave of Absence

Personal leave is planned and must be requested before the semester starts by submitting a Time Away Inquiry Form to the Time Away Office. A personal leave of absence is not granted for a term in which classes have begun. In extreme cases such as family death or a recent diagnosis of terminal illness, an administrative leave of absence will be granted.

A medical leave is a voluntary time away that occurs during the course of the semester when a student's medical situation is causing them to put a pause in their academics to focus on their health. Students must submit a Time Away Inquiry Form and the required documentation from their medical provider. The Time Away Office will review the documentation and meet with the student to review the treatment recommendations established by the student's provider. After the student has reviewed the recommendations they will decide if they want to move forward with the medical time away. If the student wants to move forward, the Time Away Office will notify relevant university offices, and professors and process the required documentation. The deadline for requesting a medical time away and submitting the provider form is by 5:00 pm on the last day of class of that term.

Students who request a medical leave of absence for a current term and submit their leave request prior to the last day of classes will be assigned W in lieu of a regular grade for each course. A medical leave of absence will not be retroactively granted for a term for which the last day of classes has already occurred.

Registration information will be provided by the university registrar to all students who are approved to return from a leave of absence. All returning students must register prior to the first day of classes for the term of intended enrollment. Students returning from time away and desiring housing on campus will be placed in the general housing lottery, provided they have submitted the appropriate information to the Office of Housing, Dining & Residential Life by its published deadline and provided that they lived on campus before taking their approved leave. Detailed information about requesting and returning from a leave of absence is provided on the Time Away Office website. Students returning to Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering should visit the Time Away Office website at

Students who undertake independent study under Duke supervision and for Duke credit are not on leave of absence even if studying elsewhere. Students register at Duke as a nonresident students and pay the appropriate fees or tuition at Duke. This policy also applies to Duke programs conducted away from the Durham campus. 

Transfer between Duke University Schools

Students in good standing may be considered for transfer from one Duke undergraduate school or college to another, upon completion of the transfer process found at The review of requests to transfer involves consideration of a student’s general academic standing, citizenship records, and relative standing in the group of students applying for transfer. The school or college to which transfer is sought will give academic counseling to a student as soon as the intention to apply for transfer is known, although no commitment will be implied. A student may apply to transfer at any time prior to receiving a baccalaureate degree, and transfers may become effective as early as the completion of the first semester. A student transferring to Trinity College of Arts & Sciences from Pratt School of Engineering, prior to receiving a baccalaureate degree, may not use more than six professional school credits toward the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. If admitted to either Trinity College or Pratt School of Engineering after having earned a baccalaureate degree at another institution, a student must complete in the new school/college a total of seventeen additional courses and fulfill degree requirements in order to be eligible for a second undergraduate degree at Duke.

Transfer from Duke to Another Institution

Students who enroll at Duke and subsequently transfer to another institution as degree-seeking students, will be eligible to request a return to Duke in future semesters. Former Trinity College students cannot transfer more than the equivalent of two domestic transfer credits back to Duke. Former Pratt School of Engineering students cannot transfer more than the equivalent of 4.0 course credits back to Duke. For both Trinity and Pratt students, any transfer credits will count toward the maximum allowable transfer credits from another institution as stipulated under the policy Work Taken after Matriculation at Duke on the page Transfer & Entrance Credit. Students considering transferring to another institution should discuss this with their academic dean in the early stages of their planning. Students must submit a Time Away Inquiry Form to begin the transfer process. The Time Away Office will assist students through the process and complete all necessary documentation.

Full-Time and Part-Time Degree Status

Candidates for degrees must enroll in a normal course load (i.e., at least 4.0 course credits) each semester unless they are eligible and have received permission from their academic dean to be enrolled in fewer than 4.0 course credits (see Course Load and Eligibility for Courses). Students who intend to change from full-time to part-time status must request permission from their academic dean. Except for extraordinary circumstances, such permission is given only to students for the final semester of their senior year. Students must submit their online request for part-time status by the last day of classes in the semester that immediately precedes their final semester of enrollment at Duke. Part-time students may register for no less than 1.0 and no more than 2.5 course credits. Part-time students may be denied university housing. Degree candidates who matriculated through continuing education or are employees should confer with their academic dean about course load requirements.

Resident and Nonresident Status

See the section Living Expenses.

Nondegree to Degree Status

A nondegree student must apply to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for admission to degree candidacy.

Undergraduate Status

An undergraduate student admitted to Trinity College or Pratt School of Engineering officially becomes a Duke undergraduate student at the point of matriculation and is accorded all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a Duke student at that time. When an undergraduate has completed all of the requirements of the bachelor’s degree and is no longer enrolled in coursework toward the degree, the student ceases to be a Duke undergraduate student in the strict sense of the word. Their rights and privileges are then defined by the Duke Alumni Association. (This definition also applies to nondegree-seeking visiting students during the period of their enrollment at Duke.)