Registration, Enrollment & Withdrawal

Registration and Enrollment

Course Registration

Registration must be for a specified number of courses. Regardless of the number of course credits previously earned, degree candidates must elect at least the minimum number of three courses required each semester. The faculty adviser's signature is required for the initial schedule each semester and for subsequent changes.

Course Cancellation

The University reserves the right to cancel any course for which fewer than eight students are registered, or for other cogent reasons.

Courses That May Not Be Elected for Credit

No credit will be given (nor may a second grade be earned) for a course previously passed or for a course with content similar to one previously completed. (A list of such cross-listed courses is published in each semester’s Schedule of Classes.) In addition, courses that have been audited may not be taken subsequently for credit. Language courses that are below the student’s language placement may not be elected for credit unless, in extenuating circumstances, authorized by the language department chair (or program director) and the dean of the student’s college.

Military Science

In addition to electing courses for credit each semester, a student may elect the basic course in military science of the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Credit for one elective course may be granted for the satisfactory completion of the advanced course in military science; request for such credit must be made to the associate dean of the student’s college.

Auditing

By definition, it is not appropriate to enroll as an auditor for courses involving studio art, dance, sign language, independent study, thesis preparation, or for any course requiring extra time and attention from the instructor. Note that courses that have been audited may not be taken subsequently for credit.

Regularly enrolled, full-time undergraduate students may carry audits in addition to their regular course load without additional charge. For any audit by all other students, the course audit fee is charged. For full-time undergraduates permission is not required. However, the criteria for successfully completing an audit is determined by the individual faculty member. Students are advised to check with their faculty to clarify these expectations.

Financial Obligations

To be admitted to any course, a student – whether a graduate or an undergraduate – must pay the semester's bill in full, or make satisfactory arrangements with the Office of Finance.

Several plans for payment of tuition and other charges are available. Students and parents receive information about these plans directly and make arrangements with the organization of their choice.

Adding and Dropping Courses

Students may add and drop courses, subject to space availability, during the first two weeks of the semester.

Withdrawal from Courses

Withdrawal from (Dropping) Courses

Students may withdraw from a course during the usual two-week drop/add period by filing a completed Drop/Add form with the registrar. If another course is not added, the remaining course load must be no less than the minimum required three course credits and normal progress toward the degree will be considered. Reducing the course load to three course credits requires the approval of the faculty adviser and academic dean. (Financial aid packages are not likely to be extended or redefined to cover extra summers or semesters when the student elects a less-than-average course load, thereby requiring additional periods of enrollment. Questions concerning the Financial Aid ramifications of "less-than-average course loads" should be pursued directly with the Office of Financial Aid.)

After the usual two-week drop/add period, all course withdrawals must be approved by the student's academic dean. In unusual circumstances, dropping a course may be approved through the fourth week of the semester if the student is still carrying three course credits; in two semesters, as exceptions to this four-week limit, dropping a course may be permitted through the 10th week of the semester. The grade of "W" is assigned for all such approved course withdrawals after the first two weeks of the semester.

Exceptions to these deadlines may be approved only if there are serious health difficulties or similar extenuating circumstances. Poor performance, anticipation of poor performance, extracurricular obligations, changes in educational plans or interests, or the existence of extra course credits are not considered extenuating circumstances.

Policy on Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, and Reinstatement

Separation from Bucknell

There are several reasons why a student may be separated from the University. The forms of separation recognized by the University include two general categories, Withdrawal and Leave of Absence, with the former denoting that the student does not intend to return to Bucknell and the latter that the student does intend to return to complete their degree requirements. As defined below, several sub-categories exist within each category.

Students on any type of separation must leave campus within 24 hours of approval or notification of the separation, unless otherwise directed by the Dean of Students. Students subject to any separation covered by this policy may not attend classes, participate as a member of a student organization or athletic team, or be on campus for any reason without prior written permission from the Dean of Students.

Separations are not indicated on a student’s transcript. Separated students will retain access to their Bucknell (bucknell.edu) email, except in the case of a mandated withdrawal. In all cases, a separation occurring after the start of the semester will result in the loss of some or all tuition (see Credit and Refund Policy and Finance and Financial Aid Information).

WITHDRAWAL

Voluntary Withdrawal – a separation denoting that the student has decided, for any reason, to leave the University without the intention to return to Bucknell at a later date. Students interested in withdrawing from Bucknell should contact the Dean of Students or the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college to initiate the process. To complete this process, the student must fill out a form that is available online at a link that may be obtained from the Dean of Students or appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. A voluntary withdrawal is not effective until approved. Students may not voluntarily withdraw in order to avoid student conduct, academic misconduct or other disciplinary proceedings.

A voluntary withdrawal after the fourth week of the semester will result in the recording of WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) grades for each course. It should be noted that grades of WF will be factored into the student’s GPA as failing grades.

A student who has withdrawn from Bucknell, enrolled as a full-time student at another institution, and wishes to be considered for return to Bucknell must apply using the same process as students applying to transfer to Bucknell. A student who has withdrawn from Bucknell but has not enrolled as a full-time student at another institution who wishes to be considered for return to Bucknell must submit a written request to the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. This request must be received before June 1 for a fall semester reinstatement, before November 1 for a spring semester reinstatement, and before March 1 for a summer session reinstatement. 

Mandated Withdrawal (Expulsion) – a separation imposed by the University for disciplinary or academic reasons with the understanding that the student may not return to the University. The record of such a separation is maintained in the appropriate academic dean's office, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the Office of the Registrar.

A mandated withdrawal (expulsion) incurred after the fourth week of the semester will result in the recording of WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) grades for each course. It should be noted that grades of WF will be factored into the student’s GPA as failing grades.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Personal Leave of Absence – a separation denoting that the student has decided to leave the University for personal or other non-health reasons, including, e.g., financial, military service, missionary service, an internship or assessment of future educational and professional plans.

Students may not take a personal leave of absence in order to avoid student conduct, academic misconduct, or other disciplinary proceedings.

A student on a personal leave of absence will receive reinstatement materials from the University during the semester on leave. 

Personal Leave of Absence prior to the start of the semester

A student who wishes to temporarily interrupt studies following the end of a semester and prior to the start of the next semester should contact the Dean of Students or the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college to initiate the process for a personal leave of absence.

The personal leave of absence will be for one semester. A student on leave will not be considered enrolled at the University during the period of the leave. A student may be approved for only one personal leave of absence in any 12-month period. The 12-month period begins on the first day of the student’s leave of absence. 

Applications for a leave of absence should be submitted by August 1 for the fall semester and by January 1 for the spring semester, unless there are circumstances beyond the student’s control. To complete this process, the student must complete a form that is available online at a link that can be obtained from the the Dean of Students or the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college.

During a personal leave of absence, students wishing to take academic courses elsewhere to transfer credits back to Bucknell must receive prior written permission from the the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. No more than two course credits per semester will be approved.

Students on a personal leave of absence who fail to return to the University at the end of the approved personal leave of absence will be placed on an administrative leave of absence (see below) with an effective date reverting to the last date of attendance at Bucknell. If a student intends to enroll at another institution and not return to the University, the student must contact the Dean of Students or appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college and initiate a voluntary withdrawal from the university.

Personal Leave of Absence during the semester

A student who seeks a personal leave of absence after the semester has started should contact the Dean of Students or the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college.

A personal leave of absence after the fourth week of the semester will result in the recording of WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) grades for each course. It should be noted that grades of WF will be factored into the student’s GPA as failing grades. 

A personal leave of absence must be initiated on or before the last day of classes for the semester. To complete this process, the student must fill out a form that is available online at a link that can be obtained from the the Dean of Students or the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. The timeline related to reinstatement following a personal leave of absence taken during the semester must be approved by the Dean of Students or the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college.

Health Leave of Absence – a separation denoting that the student has decided to leave the University for health reasons, with this decision supported by Bucknell Student Health or the Counseling & Student Development Center.

Bucknell Student Health or the Counseling & Student Development Center will consider supporting a student's request for a health leave of absence during a semester based on physical health/illness or mental health reasons, respectively, if the student has been actively engaged in treatment/counseling with one of these offices or another clinician/agency. If a student has not been engaged in treatment/counseling, Bucknell Student Health or the Counseling & Student Development Center will assist the student in efforts to obtain the necessary assessment. This assessment might be with Bucknell Student Health or the Counseling & Student Development Center, with a provider/clinician in the community, or with a provider/clinician at home. A student must initiate a health leave of absence at least two weeks before the last day of regular classes and have all supporting documentation to Bucknell Student Health or the Counseling & Student Development Center by the last day of classes. A health leave of absence after the first four weeks of the semester typically requires the student's absence from the University for at least one complete regular semester before consideration will be given for reinstatement. This is intended to allow the student adequate time to address the issues that necessitated the health leave of absence.

A student on a health leave of absence from the University must apply for reinstatement by submitting a letter of intent to the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. The deadline for submitting a letter of intent is June 1 for a fall semester reinstatement, November 1 for a spring semester reinstatement, and March 1 for a summer session reinstatement. Shortly after the letter is received, the assistant or associate dean will direct the student to provide the Director of Bucknell Student Health or the Director of the Counseling & Student Development Center (as identified in the letter approving leave of absence) the following documentation from their treating clinician(s) or physician(s): 1) diagnosis or clinical assessment; 2) summary of treatment, including progress in treatment and resolution of the issues that prompted the withdrawal; 3) current medications; 4) evaluation of the student’s readiness to resume his/her university responsibilities; and 5) any recommendations that the clinician/physician has provided to the student related to follow-up treatment or support. If after reviewing these materials a determination is made that the student may return, reinstatement procedures can be initiated. The Director of Bucknell Student Health and Director of the Counseling & Student Development Center may refer students applying for reinstatement for a Behavioral Assessment if they feel a more comprehensive assessment of the student’s eligibility for return is required based on the documentation provided.

A health leave of absence incurred after the fourth week of the semester will result in the recording of WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) grades for each course. It should be noted that grades of WF will be factored into the student’s GPA as failing grades.

During a health leave of absence, students wishing to take academic courses elsewhere to transfer credits back to Bucknell must receive prior written permission from the the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. No more than two course credits per semester will be approved.

Academic Leave of Absence (Academic Suspension) – a separation denoting that a student must temporarily leave the University as imposed by the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college for reasons including, but not limited to, lack of attendance, academic misconduct, or GPA below University requirements.
A student may be required to take an academic leave of absence (academic suspension) for one academic year, or in exceptional circumstances one semester, as a result of poor academic performance over a single or several semesters.

An academic leave of absence (academic suspension) imposed after the fourth week of the semester will result in the recording of WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) grades for each course. It should be noted that grades of WF will be factored into the student’s GPA as failing grades.

During an academic leave of absence (academic suspension), students wishing to take academic courses elsewhere to transfer credits back to Bucknell must receive prior written permission from the the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. No more than two course credits per semester will be approved.

A student on an academic leave of absence (academic suspension) from the University must apply for reinstatement by submitting a letter of intent to the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. The deadline for submission of this letter is June 1 for a fall semester reinstatement, November 1 for a spring semester reinstatement, and March 1 for a summer session reinstatement. Such students may be required to provide additional documentation as deemed appropriate. The appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college may refer students applying for reinstatement for a Behavioral Assessment if they feel a more comprehensive assessment of the student’s eligibility for return is required.

A student who is reinstated to the University after a period of academic suspension may not apply for housing or register for classes until after the last semester of their suspension has concluded.

Disciplinary Leave of Absence (Disciplinary Suspension) – a separation denoting that the student must temporarily leave the University as imposed by the Dean of Students as a result of Student Code of Conduct violations or other disciplinary reasons.

The written statement sanctioning the student with a disciplinary leave of absence (disciplinary suspension) will include the date when the suspension shall take effect, the earliest date that the student is eligible for reinstatement to the University, and any conditions that must be met before reinstatement is granted.

A disciplinary leave of absence (disciplinary suspension) imposed after the fourth week of the semester will result in the recording of WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) grades for each course. It should be noted that grades of WF will be factored into the student’s GPA as failing grades.

A student placed on a disciplinary leave of absence (disciplinary suspension) may not transfer any academic credit completed within the period of suspension from other institutions of higher education.

A student may apply for reinstatement to the University for the semester after their suspension has ended by contacting the Dean of Students. In their written request for reinstatement, students should discuss how they have spent their time away from the University. This request should highlight areas of change for the better with a focus on how they have addressed the behavioral concern that resulted in their suspension. Any additional supporting documentation that is required as condition of their reinstatement should also be included. This request must be received before June 1 for a fall semester reinstatement, before November 1 for a spring semester reinstatement, and before March 1 for a summer session reinstatement. Additionally, the Dean of Students may refer students applying for reinstatement for a Behavioral Assessment if they feel a more comprehensive assessment of the student’s eligibility for return is required.

A student who is reinstated to the University after a period of disciplinary suspension may not apply for housing or register for classes until after the last semester of their suspension has concluded.

Administrative Leave of Absence

Behavioral – a separation imposed by the Dean of Students, which denotes that the student must temporarily leave the University as a result of behavioral concerns not subject to a disciplinary suspension.

Bucknell University endeavors to provide a safe and orderly environment in which all students are able to pursue their academic and social development. Following a behavioral assessment, the Dean of Students reserves the right to require a leave of absence for a student who engages in certain disruptive conduct, including, e.g.:

  • Engages or threatens to engage in conduct posing a danger of harm to self or others.
  • Engages or threatens to engage in conduct causing significant property damage, which directly and substantially impedes the lawful activities of other members of the University.
  • Demonstrates a failure to fulfill personal needs (e.g., nourishment, shelter), leading to a good-faith determination that serious physical harm or death, serious negative impact on the well-being of other students, or serious disruption of University operations is likely to occur.
  • Commits a violation of the University's Student Conduct Code and demonstrates an inability to effectively participate in the University's disciplinary process.

An administrative leave of absence (behavioral) imposed after the fourth week of the semester will result in the recording of WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) grades for each course. It should be noted that grades of WF will be factored into the student’s GPA as failing grades.

A student placed on an administrative leave of absence (behavioral) will typically not be permitted to transfer any academic credit completed within the period of the leave from other institutions of higher education. 

A student may apply for reinstatement to the University for the semester after their administrative leave of absence (behavioral) has ended by contacting the Dean of Students. In their written request for reinstatement, students should discuss how they have spent their time away from the University. This request should highlight areas of change for the better with a focus on how they have addressed the behavioral concern that resulted in their suspension. Any additional supporting documentation that is required as condition of their reinstatement should also be included. This request must be received before June 1 for a fall semester reinstatement, before November 1 for a spring semester reinstatement, and before March 1 for a summer session reinstatement. Additionally, the Dean of Students may refer students applying for reinstatement for a Behavioral Assessment if they feel a more comprehensive assessment of the student’s eligibility for return is required. 

A student who is reinstated to the University after an administrative leave of absence (behavioral) may not apply for housing or register for classes until after the last semester of their imposed leave has concluded. 

Academic – a separation imposed by the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college, which denotes that the student did not return from a personal leave of absence after one semester. 

An administrative leave of absence (academic) imposed after the fourth week of the semester will result in the recording of WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) grades for each course. It should be noted that grades of WF will be factored into the student’s GPA as failing grades. 

During an administrative leave of absence (academic), students wishing to take academic courses elsewhere to transfer credits back to Bucknell must receive prior written permission from the the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. No more than two course credits per semester will be approved. 

A student on an administrative leave of absence (academic) from the University must apply for reinstatement by submitting a letter of intent to the appropriate assistant or associate academic dean of their college. The deadline for submission of this letter is June 1 for a fall semester reinstatement, November 1 for a spring semester reinstatement, and March 1 for a summer session reinstatement. Such students may be required to provide additional documentation as deemed appropriate.

BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT

In certain circumstances, a Behavioral Assessment is used to determine a student’s ability to meet the responsibilities of continued attendance at Bucknell University. The Behavioral Assessment Committee is chaired by the Dean of Students and also includes the Director of Bucknell Student Health and the Director of the Counseling & Student Development Center. Students have the opportunity to fully and completely discuss their situation and provide all information they deem relevant to the Committee. Students may request an independent professional review in accordance with the stated Behavioral Assessment procedures. The decision of the Dean of Students at the conclusion of the Behavioral Assessment process is final.

The result of a Behavioral Assessment may include relevant restrictions while the student remains on campus (e.g., the student might be required to refrain from consuming substances that intensify problematic behavior, to relocate to more appropriate housing on campus, etc.). In certain cases, the student may be required to take time away from the University to focus on the issues at hand in the form of an administrative leave of absence.

The student referred for a Behavioral Assessment is required to sign a release of information so that appropriate treating professionals may discuss the student’s general circumstances with the Dean of Students and other members of the Committee, as appropriate. The release does not require that the treating professional discuss all the details or background of the student’s case, but it must allow the treating professional to share information on four elements: 1) that the student has been seen; 2) the general nature of the problem; 3) that a course of treatment has been set and is either on-going or completed; and 4) whether, in the professional opinion(s) of the treating professional, the student is fit or unfit to return to studies and represents (or does not represent) a continuing threat to himself/herself or others. A student who refuses to comply with a Behavioral Assessment, and/or who refuses to sign limited releases (noted above), will have their case assessed on the behavioral circumstances by the Dean of Students.

Where disruptive conduct includes a threat of suicide, suicide attempt or serious self-harm, or harm to others, the Dean of Students must consider both the welfare of the individual and the wider University community, including disruptions to University operations. In situations characterized by a health or safety emergency, the Dean of Students reserves the right to consult with the parents, guardians or emergency contact of the individual in danger, or other persons as appropriate.

FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION

If the student is a current financial aid recipient when they take a leave of absence or withdraw, federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to calculate the percentage of the semester completed to determine whether the University must return any of the federal financial aid to the federal government and/or Bucknell financial aid to the University. As a result, it is possible that the student will owe the University a balance because financial aid eligibility will have changed. In addition, federal loans that have been borrowed will go into repayment six months after the student drops below half-time enrollment, unless they are on an approved leave of absence status as defined by the federal government for Title IV financial aid purposes. However, the federal Title IV leave of absence definition is more stringent than the Bucknell leave of absence definition. In the vast majority of cases, a University leave of absence does not qualify as a federal Title IV leave of absence. Therefore, the student’s official status to the federal government must be reported as a withdrawal and loan repayment will begin six months after the effective date.

In all cases of a leave of absence and cases of a voluntary withdrawal, the student must reapply for financial aid. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid for important deadlines.

Credit and Refund Policies/Tuition and Room Fees

Such fees will be credited to a student’s account subject to the conditions as outlined under “Credit and Refund Policies” on the Finance Office web page. Questions regarding the policy should be directed to Bursar Services in the Finance Office at 570-577-3733 or email bursar@bucknell.edu.