There are two mechanisms by which a student may spend one or more semesters away from Yale.
Leave of Absence
Upon petition to the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing through the residential college dean, students may take one or two terms of leave of absence. The student must depart in good academic standing at the end of a term and return at the beginning of a term.
Students should communicate their intentions to take a leave of absence to the residential college dean as soon as possible, ideally by the end of the semester preceding the leave of absence. The final deadline for submitting a petition is the fifteenth day of the semester in which the leave of absence is to begin.
Students taking a leave of absence ordinarily do not have to apply for reinstatement in order to return to Yale College.
For the complete regulations, refer to the Yale College Programs of Study.
Withdrawal and Reinstatement
There are five types of withdrawal: academic, medical, personal, financial, and disciplinary. Any student may voluntarily withdraw; Yale College also reserves the right to require students to withdraw in certain cases.
Students on withdrawal may not stay in residences on campus, attend classes, participate in extracurricular activities, or use University facilities. They may come to campus only upon receiving prior permission from their residential college dean or the Dean of Student Affairs. Withdrawn students are required remain away for a certain number of terms, depending on the type of withdrawal.
Withdrawn students may only return to Yale after a successful application for reinstatement. Among the requirements are the application are strong academic performance in coursework taken outside Yale or at Yale Summer Session; recommendation letters; an interview with the Chair of the Reinstatement Committee; and, in cases of medical withdrawal, a second interview with an administrator at Yale Health.