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MUSC Bulletin | Academic Policies

Leaving the University

Students may leave the University upon graduating, or while on an approved leave of absence, or because of withdrawal.


The expected date of graduation is determined administratively upon admission. However, students themselves must confirm their intention to graduate directly with their college dean’s office in the semester prior to graduation. The University holds only one commencement ceremony in May of each year. Spring degrees are granted as of that day; summer and fall semester degrees are awarded on the day after the final examination period that is shown on the University calendar for those semesters. A student is awarded a graduation date subsequent to completion of all requirements for the degree. Specific degree requirements are described in each college section of this bulletin. Approval to graduate requires permission of the college dean or designee with approval by the University Board of Trustees.

Certain programs at MUSC have as a degree requirement that students must pass a national board exam for their intended profession.  In some cases these examinations, or the opportunity to retake  them if needed, are scheduled after a student's final registered semester at MUSC. Students who have completed required coursework, but who have not completed other  requirements for their  degree,  will be allowed to participate in the commencement  ceremony, but the ceremony  program will be  annotated indicating that their diploma is pending completion of requirements. Such students will not receive a degree or diploma and will be reported as being on a Leave of Absence until all requirements are met.

Leave of Absence

Leaves of absence constitute interruptions in progress and are generally discouraged. A student in good standing who must interrupt study for compelling circumstances beyond his/her control may petition the college dean for a leave, usually not to exceed one year. Students who fail to return after the leave has expired are not considered to be in the degree program any longer and must reapply for subsequent readmission. During the period of leave, the transcript carries a designation of “LOA” and the date. Students on approved leave are considered inactive and are ineligible for those Education & Student Life services normally provided to enrolled students.  However, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Health may provide services for up to 30 days in order to facilitate transfer of care.

Voluntary Withdrawal

Voluntary withdrawal from the University (as well as from individual courses) during the drop/add period results in no transcript entry. The drop/add period extends through the first 14 calendar days of each semester (seven days in Summer). For courses of less duration than the length of the full semester, the drop period shall be up to 15% of the length of that course as measured in clock hours. Course change forms (available from dean’s offices and from Enrollment Management) must be appropriately signed and returned to Enrollment Management. Courses dropped during this period do not appear on the academic record.

After this period, withdrawal of any type results in withdrawal grades if approved by the college dean. Failure to return for the succeeding semester constitutes disruption of studies. Readmission in each instance requires the student to complete again the entire application process.

Involuntary Withdrawal

Students dismissed are customarily ineligible to return except upon meeting specific conditions stipulated by each college. A notice of “dismissed” and the date are documented on the transcript.

Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Effective Date Policy

A student's effective last date of attendance is important for calculating potential tuition refunds and return of federal financial aid for students who are granted a leave of absence, voluntarily withdraw, or are suspended or dismissed. The University is required by regulation to notify government and lenders promptly upon a student's withdrawal. Failure to do so can result in the University being prohibited from providing federal aid in the future.

The student's dean's office must ensure the registrar's office receives the withdrawal form no later than 2 weeks after the student's effective date of last attendance. The following policies determine the effective date of last attendance for withdrawn students:

Leave of Absence or Student-Initiated Withdrawal
The effective date of last attendance will be the date given on the withdrawal form signed by the dean's office.

Dismissal or Suspension
The effective date of last attendance will be the latter of either the date the student agrees not to appeal the dismissal or suspension as indicated by a signature on the withdrawal form, or at the completion of any appeals process. The student's access to some campus resources may be restricted immediately upon notification of dismissal or suspension, but it is expected that the student will remain engaged in academic study during the time of appeal through communication with faculty.

Last Published with Edits:November 17, 2015 11:41 AM
Last Comprehensive Review:Fall 2013

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