Suspension, Leaves of Absence, and Reinstatement

Students are expected to be enrolled continuously from their matriculation through graduation. Understanding that unexpected events may occur, however, the College allows for leaves of absence. If a student withdraws from a course during the last five weeks of the semester, the student will receive an F (failure) in the course unless granted a withdrawal for approved medical reasons.

For enrollment accounting purposes, all students will be withdrawn after 180 days from the last day of class attendance. Students who have been suspended, placed on leave, or withdrawn do not have to reapply for admission to the College, but they may be required to submit information for review and approval before being reinstated. Any such requirements will be set forth when the suspension or leave is initiated. Students may also voluntarily, permanently withdraw from the College.

Students who have been suspended, placed on leave, or withdrawn may not remain on campus and may not participate in College activities.

Gettysburg College reserves the right to initiate or require a leave or suspension for academic, disciplinary, wellness, or behavioral reasons and reserves the right to defer or refuse reinstatement or return.


A student may be suspended for academic or student conduct reasons. Please refer to the College policy on Academic Standing for additional information on academic related suspensions or the Community Standards for additional information on student conduct related suspensions. At the time of suspension, the student will be notified of the semester that the student may be eligible for readmission to the College. A student academically suspended for a second time is not eligible for readmission.

Leaves of Absence

Student-Initiated Leave

Students may apply to the Center for Student Success for a voluntary leave of absence when personal circumstances make a temporary absence advisable and a commitment to return to the College is evident. The length of the leave is determined by the student’s needs, but normally will not exceed one calendar year.

Student-Initiated Wellness Leave

Student-initiated leaves may include voluntary leaves of absence to address medical or mental health concerns. The Center for Student Success, in consultation with health professionals as necessary, may specify conditions to be satisfied (if any) before the student may return to Gettysburg College. (See Criteria for Return Following Wellness Leave below.)

College-Initiated Wellness Leave

The Dean of Student Success or their designee may place a student on Wellness Leave following an individualized assessment of a student in which the College determines in the exercise of its judgment that a student reasonably meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The student’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of any person or the campus community.
  • The student’s behavior has substantially disrupted others or the academic environment. This includes behavior that causes emotional, psychological or physical distress substantially above that normally experienced in daily life or that disrupts College operations.
  • The student fails to comply with an assessment or intervention recommended by the College because of academic, medical, or behavioral concerns.

The College’s assessment will consider the relevant circumstances and information and will provide the student with an opportunity to submit information for the College’s consideration. The College will provide the student with written notice of its decision to place the student on College-initiated Wellness Leave, including an explanation of the basis for the decision.

Criteria for Return Following Wellness Leave

A student who is returning to Gettysburg College after a Wellness Leave must initiate the process by contacting the Center for Student Success. Decisions regarding a return from a Wellness Leave will include a review of current, medical documentation and will be made on a case-by-case basis. The Center for Student Success will connect the student with Counseling and Wellness or the Health Center to submit necessary medical documentation for clearance to return.

In order to receive clearance, the appropriate campus health professional (i.e. Executive Director of Counseling and Wellness or Director of the Health Center) must be provided with written documentation from a licensed medical or mental health professional at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester for which the student intends to return. The documentation must include the following

  • Recommendations supporting the student’s readiness to return to the academic and social demands of full-time enrollment at the College by the beginning of the term for which the student is petitioning to return from Wellness Leave. The statement should include the basis for their opinion on the student’s readiness to return.
  • If there are concerns about the student’s readiness to return to full-time enrollment, the treatment provider should explain. The treatment provider should include any recommendations that would mitigate those concerns, including any reasonable modifications, such as a course load reduction, that would enable the student to successfully participate in Gettysburg’s programs.
  • Counseling and Wellness, the Health Center, or Center for Student Success may request additional information on a case-by-case basis.

The appropriate campus health professional will make a recommendation for return to the Dean of the Center for Student Success or designee. Students will be cleared to return from Wellness Leave if the following conditions are met:

  • The student no longer presents a direct threat to health or safety.
  • The student is able pursue their education without substantially disrupting others.
  • The student is otherwise qualified to participate in Gettysburg’s educational program. Any other conditions outlined in accordance with this policy and/or any conduct sanctions must also be completed.

The College may extend the timeline for submission of documentation based upon extenuating circumstances. The College will provide the student with written notice of any decision to deny the student’s request to return from a Wellness Leave, including an explanation of the basis for the decision.

College-Initiated Wellness Leave – Appeal

Students may appeal either a College-Initiated Wellness Leave or denial of clearance to return from a Wellness Leave within five business days of notification based on one of the following grounds:

  • There is relevant new information that was not reasonably available at the time of the original decision.
  • There was a material lack of fairness in the procedures or process that may have altered the outcome.

The student should submit their appeal in writing to the Vice President for College Life or designee. Appeal decisions will be communicated to the student within ten business days of the appeal deadline.