Changes in Status

Withdrawal and Readmission

Students who wish to withdraw from the college must give official notification to their academic dean. 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 own 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 by the student’s academic dean. Withdrawals from the university during a semester will not be approved after the last day of classes. Students who withdraw voluntarily during the last four weeks of classes may not apply for readmission for the subsequent semester.

Students may be involuntarily withdrawn for academic reasons, financial reasons, violation of academic regulations, disciplinary reasons, as well as administratively.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 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.

Applications for readmission are made to the appropriate school or college through the Time Away Office. Each application is reviewed by the appropriate academic officer(s) and health provider(s). A return decision is made on the basis of the applicant’s previous record at Duke, evidence of increasing maturity and discipline, and general readiness to return and wellness assessment. Students who are readmitted 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.

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

Leave of Absence

Most leaves of absence are granted for two reasons: personal or medical. After reaching the second semester of the first year, students in good standing may request a personal leave of absence for one or two semesters by completing a leave request form and submitting it to their academic dean prior to the first day of classes of the term in which the leave is granted. A personal leave of absence starts after one semester ends and before the next semester begins. A personal leave of absence is not granted for a term in which classes have begun. In extreme cases such as family death or recent diagnosis of terminal illness an administrative leave of absence will be granted. A medical leave of absence with proper documentation may be granted at any time but with one restriction.

Students requesting a medical leave of absence during a current term must file the leave of absence forms with their academic dean prior to the end of the last day of classes 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 approved leaves 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. Students who fail to return as expected will be withdrawn from the university and will have to apply for readmission. Detailed information about requesting and returning from a leave of absence is provided on the request form available in the academic deans’ offices and on the respective websites. 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 student 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 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 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 apply for readmission to Duke within one academic year of their original withdrawal date. One academic year is defined as one fall term and one spring term, not including summer terms. 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.

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 register their intention to be part-time prior to the first day of class of the semester in which the part-time status is requested. 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.)