Academic Affairs

Academic Advising

The College believes that academic advising is central to helping students make the most effective use of the diverse curricular and co-curricular options available to them at Connecticut College. Our academic advising features a team advising approach for a student’s first two years that includes a pre-major faculty adviser, staff member, and student advisers. This team assists in the transition to the major faculty advisor, typically during the sophomore year. Of course, many faculty and staff are available to work with students as they plan their academic programs, and we encourage students to take advantage of advising assistance throughout their years at the College.

New students receive information and advising from the dean of first-year students or from a pre-major faculty adviser assigned the summer prior to matriculation. The dean of sophomores and dean of juniors and seniors advise upper-class students, in close consultation with the student’s major adviser, who will be assigned when the student declares a major. Students may declare a major at any time prior to the second semester of their sophomore year, at which point a declaration of major is mandatory.

Academic deans and advisers in the major field advise transfer students, and advisers in the Psychology department advise graduate students in the M.A. program in Psychology. A pre-major adviser advises students in the Return to College (RTC) program until they declare a major. Students interested in single-course exchanges with Wesleyan University, Trinity College or the U.S. Coast Guard Academy should consult with the registrar. Special students are under the administrative purview of either the dean of first year students or the registrar.

Additional counseling and advising assistance is available through the offices of Career and Professional Development, the Dean of Students, Student Counseling Services, Academic Resource Center, Student Accessibility Services, the Writing Center, and Residential Education and Living.

Attendance at Classes

A student who pre-registers for a course has the obligation to appear at the first meeting of that course. In the case of absence, the student must notify the instructor within two working days of the first class meeting of his/her intention to continue in the class. Otherwise, an instructor is not obligated to keep that student on the class list and may assign his/her place to another student not pre-registered.

Regular attendance at classes and other scheduled academic appointments is expected of all students. Instructors are requested to call to the attention of the appropriate academic dean any case of extended or repeated absence. After warnings from the instructor and the academic dean, excessive absence may result in failure in the course. No instructor is expected to give extra help or to grant extensions to a student who has missed classes voluntarily.

Last Date of Attendance

A student who, for unexpected reasons, requests a leave or withdrawal during a semester must complete a Leave/Withdrawal Form with his or her academic dean. The student is required to indicate his or her last date of class attendance for the semester.* Financial Aid Services will confirm the last date of attendance by requesting that the student’s instructors for the semester the student is leaving fill out a Last Date of Attendance Form. The Last Date of Attendance Form will be returned to Financial Aid Services.

Students may not take personal leaves during the semester although they may apply for a personal leave for the following academic term.

Study Away

Students interested in studying abroad must apply for approval through the Office of Study Away. Approval to study away is contingent on the students’ academic records and adherence to application processes and deadlines.

Students who elect to take part of the degree requirements elsewhere are reminded that the transcripts from other institutions are evaluated by the Office of the Registrar and the course work is posted to the student’s transcript with grades and credits. It is the student’s responsibility to have an official transcript sent from his/her Study Abroad or Study Away institution.

For current and more specific information on application processes and programs for study away, contact the Office of Study Away.

Personal Leave

Students who are in good standing may be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing to take a personal leave for purposes of work, travel or other nonacademic experience. Normally, academic work completed during personal leave cannot be transferred back to Connecticut College. Work activities may be explored through the Office of Career and Professional Development.  Applications for personal leave must be approved by May 1 or Dec. 1 of the preceding semester.

In all cases, students planning to take a personal leave should consult with their academic dean and the appropriately executed leave form should be filed with the Office of the Dean of the College. No personal leave will be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing after the stated deadlines. Thereafter, all departures will be considered voluntary withdrawals.

It is the student’s responsibility, whether on approved leave or voluntary withdrawal, to ensure that completed re-entry materials are submitted by the stated deadlines.

Students who plan to return from personal leave must formally notify the Office of the Dean of the College no later than April 1 for re-entry in the fall semester or Nov. 1 for re-entry in the spring semester. Notification by these deadlines is necessary to help the College project enrollment and space needs to guarantee access to pre-registration and housing. The burden is on the student to make the notification, to make appropriate financial arrangements with the accounting office, and to forward housing requests (residential hall or off-campus) to the director of Residential Education and Living.

Re-Entry Following Leave

Students on an approved Study Away/Teach Away (SATA) or other Connecticut College program are assumed to be returning to campus the following semester. Students who will not be returning must formally notify the Office of the Dean of the College.  Students should review the financial aid section of this catalog and the section on satisfactory academic progress.


Students may withdraw from Connecticut College on a voluntary basis, may be advised or directed to withdraw following a review of academic progress, or may be directed to withdraw for other than academic reasons.

Readmission Following Withdrawal

Students who wish to be considered for readmission must formally apply to the Office of the Dean of the College no later than Nov. 1 (for the second semester) or April 1 (for the first semester) and inform their academic dean of their intent to return. In all cases of readmission, the burden is on the student to initiate the application process (supplemented by supporting evidence where required), to make the appropriate financial arrangements with the accounting office, and to forward housing requests (dormitory or off-campus) to the director of Residential Education and Living.

In cases of voluntary withdrawal, the student must demonstrate readiness to resume full-time studies and must summarize in a letter to the former academic dean any activities since last enrolled in the College.

Students who have been advised to withdraw or directed to withdraw for academic reasons will under no circumstances be considered for readmission without a full statement of the interim activity as well as evidence of growth in personal maturity and capacity for further academic work. Carefully composed letters, supplemented by relevant supporting material, should be sent to the dean, who will present the case to the Committee on Academic Standing.

A student placed on directed withdrawal for reasons other than academics who subsequently petitions the College to return will be required to demonstrate that the circumstances that led to the leave have been addressed and resolved, as outlined in the notice of directed withdrawal. The student is permitted to return upon the end of the designated period, subject only to any conditions or restrictions outlined and agreed to prior to the withdrawal. Each circumstance may have a different set of procedures depending on the type of directed withdrawal. The Dean of the College, the Dean of Students, or the Dean of the College in consultation with appropriate College staff, will review requests to return to campus and clarify the process for return.

Student-Initiated Medical Leave

Students may initiate a leave from the College for medical or mental health reasons.  At the discretion of the Dean of Students (or designee), and subject to the refund policies of the College, arrangements may be made for partial or complete refund of tuition and/or fees. Arrangements for incomplete grades or other academic accommodations may be made as well, subject to the approval of the Dean of the College in collaboration with the Academic Dean. Modifications to housing contracts may also be possible with the approval of the Dean of Students.

The student is permitted to return upon the end of the designated leave. Students are expected to follow any conditions outlined and agreed to prior to the leave. Students are expected to include a letter from the medical or mental health professional who provided care to the student during his or her leave. The contents of the letter shall include medical verification that the student has taken steps to treat the condition that led to the leave, and that the student is ready to return to school, and does not pose a threat to himself or herself or to the health and safety of others. Additionally, students are expected to provide information regarding their current mental/medical health status, current diagnosis and prognosis, prescribed medications, treatment recommendations, and recommended accommodations. The student will be expected to provide permission for the providers to review the circumstances leading to the leave and to engage in discussion with the College providers reviewing the student’s materials. This letter should be sent to the Director of Student Counseling or Director of Student Health Services, whoever is the appropriate service given the circumstances of the original leave. The student will be expected to provide signed consents to the appropriate Director in order to allow communications with the outside health provider as needed, and the College, to provide information regarding return. Any conditions should be designed to ensure the success of the student upon return to the College.

College-Initiated Medical Leave

Students at Connecticut College may be placed on College-initiated medical leave due to risk to the community, which means posing a legitimate safety concern of harm to himself or herself, or a direct threat of harm to others where reasonable program modifications will not effectively mitigate the risk.  Before a College-initiated medical leave is considered, efforts will be made to explore with the student options to take a student-initiated medical leave.

A student who engages in threats to others, or engages in self-harm behaviors that cause a significant disruption to the community may also be subject to the student code of conduct. In those instances, an interim suspension may be imposed.  A student may not take a voluntary leave or withdraw from the College before the resolution of student conduct violations unless the Dean of Students has granted permission.  In such circumstances, the student’s return to the College may be contingent upon the completion of student conduct proceedings.