Office of Student Returns

Review Process FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Leave and Return Process

Leave and Return Policy Questions 

Review/Process Questions

Health Related Questions

Post Decision Questions

Leave and Return Policy Questions 

I have been separated from Duke multiple times, am I still eligible to apply to return?

There are seven distinct separation categories at Duke. Of those, two (e.g., academic dismissal and suspension for academic dishonesty or expulsion) have explicit policy governing eligibility to apply after repeated experiences. Students who experience a second academic dismissal are not eligible to return to return to Duke prior to the passing of five years since their last date of enrollment. Similarly, students who experience a second disciplinary suspension for academic dishonesty are not eligible to apply to return prior to the passing of five years. You should have a conversation with your Academic Dean to discuss your particular concerns regardless of your separation category.

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May I extend my medical and/or personal leave of absence?

Yes. Students on medical or personal leave are not required to return by an exact term date. If your time away exceeds two years, please contact you academic dean to share your intentions. 

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I was given permission to return to Duke, may I defer my return term?

Students who submit a request for return are given permission to return for a specified term may, at the discretion of their review committee, be required to submit a new request for return or submit updates of distinct portions of their most recent request for return. Students who choose not to return to Duke after submitting their request for return, will be returned to inactive status.

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May I apply to return early from a medical leave of absence?

Students who take a medical leave of absence should prioritize their heath needs. Duke encourages students to take adequate time for transition, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization so that the student can return to Duke from a position of strength. The time away may vary from student-to-student. To initiate the returns process, students submit request for return materials according to established procedures and deadline dates applicable to their desired return term and separation category.  Duke will review the request for return materials and make return decisions based on the standards set forth in those procedures. Students who take a medical leave are not required to return by an exact term date. If your time away exceeds two years, please contact your academic dean to share your intentions.

May I apply to return early from a personal leave of absence?

Yes, students wishing to return from a personal leave of absence prior to their anticipated return date should apply during the regular return cycle. Students are not permitted to return from a leave of absence during the middle of a term, or after classes have started for the targetted term.

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May I be on campus during my separation period?

Students who have been separated from Duke are considered inactive students and therefore, can observe the same rights as the public when entering Duke's campus.  During separation, students are not allowed to enter university residential buildings (permission under the Housing Guest Policy does not apply to students on leave, or otherwise separated from Duke), participate in student activities, or access student resources and services. Students are ineligible to work for Duke University units in job categories reserved for students. If you have been hired in a position on the basis of your student status, and experience a subsequent separation from Duke, you are no longer eligible to accept the position. While on leave, students are not permitted to attend or audit Duke courses.  If you are a student-athlete, a club member, member of a performance group, or hold an office in a student organization, you are not permitted to participate in meetings, rehearsals, practice sessions, have access to studios, stages, locker rooms, strength conditioning and film areas of DUAA or sit on the bench during contests.  If you believe there are compelling reasons for you to access resources on campus, you must obtain written permission from your academic dean.  You must submit a written note via email requesting special dispensation for limited access to specific campus resources and specify the time and duration of access. Your written request must be submitted seventy-two business hours before your anticipated time on campus. Students who do not adhere to this policy will jeopardize their ability to return to Duke.

May I visit Duke Gardens during my separation period?

You may visit Duke Gardens during your separation period.

May I enroll in a course at Duke during my separation period?

During your separation period, you may not enroll, attend, or audit a Duke course.  Students who do not adhere to this policy will jeopardize their ability to return to Duke.

May I visit Duke Medical Center (the hospital) during my separation period?

Yes, you may.

Review/Process Questions

Who is on my review committee?

Your academic dean, other academic deans, Case Managers from Duke Reach, SDAO staff and other support staff are customary members of review committees, depending on the nature of the leave taken. Other committee members are assigned on an ad hoc basis according to the circumstances that preceded your separation as well as your official separation category. For example, a representative from a Duke health-related unit (e.g., Academic Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services, Duke Medical Hospital) may be asked to review a request for return submitted by a student petitioning to return from a medical leave of absence, or a student who was academically dismissed due to health challenges. A representative from the Office of Student Conduct may review the request for return of a student who experienced a separation due to disciplinary matters.

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Is the review process the same for all students who are applying to return to Duke?

The review process (and the requested request for return materials) is based on a student’s separation category and the nature of the circumstances that caused the separation. Please visit the Office of Student Returns website for instructions related to a specific separation category. Keep in mind that your review committee reserves the right to request additional materials upon review of your request for return. Regardless of your separation type, if you were advised to seek treatment while away, you will be required to submit supporting documentation of your treatment.

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Who has access to materials in my return request for return packet?

During the review process, all members of your review committee have access to all materials included in your return packet. After a decision has been made regarding your return to Duke, your return packet remains in the Office of Student Returns. 

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How long is the review process?

All requests for return are reviewed as expeditiously as possible. A complete request for return is one in which all requested documents have been submitted to the Office of Student Returns. You should visit the website and read the return instructions carefully to ensure that you identify and submit, or request of others to submit, the appropriate documents in a timely manner. Please visit http://trinity.duke.edu/osr.

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Will I be able to register for my classes, while my request for return is being reviewed?

You are not eligible to register for classes until your review committee reviews your request for return and grants you permission to return. You will receive your decision letter via email sent to the email address you provide in your request for return. If you are returned to Duke you must sign and return your decision letter to the Office of Student Returns. Your signature indicates that you have read the conditions of your return and you agree to comply with them. Your registration will be activated according to your scheduled registration window, or within 1-3 days of receipt of your signed letter, whichever is latest. Please note that if you have outstanding financial matters with the University, you will not be able to enroll in classes.

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I was informed that my request for return​​​​​​​ packet was complete. Why is my review committee asking for additional documents/information?

Additional documentation may be requested by the committee in order to provide clarity on a key concern(s).

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How will I be notified of my review committee’s decision regarding my return?

You will receive your decision letter via email to the address you provide in your return request for return. If you are granted permission to return to Duke you must sign and return your decision letter to the Office of Student Returns. Your signature indicates that you have read the conditions of your return and you agree to comply with them.

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What happens to my request for return​​​​​​​ once a decision is made?

Your return request for return remains in the Office of Student Returns. Upon your graduation it will be shredded/deleted, or purged of all identifying markers.

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If I wish to appeal the committee decision, who would I contact? 

If you want to appeal the final decision of your review committee, please contact Gerald Wilson, Senior Associate Dean of Trinity College (gerald.wilson@duke.edu)  The appeal officer will consider the information submitted to OSR and determine whether there was a reasonable basis for review committee’s decision. 

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Health Related Questions

I have been directed to seek treatment from a professional in the Durham community. Before my separation I received treatment in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and or the Duke Student Health Center, why am I not able to continue my treatment with them upon my return to Duke?

If your health condition was serious enough to warrant a separation from Duke, the appropriate treatment might be beyond the scope of CAPS or Duke Student Health services.  CAPS or Student Health will evaluate your request for return and determine the appropriateness of on-campus treatment. If they determine that you should seek treatment from a specialist in the Durham community, they will make that recommendation at the time of their return decision. CAPS, Student Health, and DukeReach can assist you in finding local support resources.

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I was granted permission to return to Duke provided that I agree to comply with certain medical treatment conditions. I feel much better, why was I given treatment conditions?

Treatment conditions function to enhance your chance of a successful transition back to Duke. They are grounded in your review committee’s awareness of the Duke culture and their years of experience supporting and advocating for the success of students who have had experiences and or challenges similar to yours. Your individual treatment conditions are based on your review committee’s evaluation of your complete request for return, current health condition as assessed by our Duke health professionals and your treatment provider(s) during your time way.

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I do not believe that I need the health treatment required of me as a condition of my return to Duke. How long must I comply with the return conditions? How can I get them changed?

Your conditions of return were determined by your academic dean and Duke health professionals after a review of your complete request for return. You must comply with the conditions of your return for the period of time stipulated in your return letter. As your post-return treatment progresses, you may feel that a lesser/greater frequency, or different treatment type is more appropriate. Feel free to discuss your concerns with your treatment provider. If the two of you agree that your treatment plan should be adjusted, ask your provider to notify (in writing) your Duke Reach Case Manager about the new treatment plan. If you have more than one treatment provider, please understand that you cannot obtain the opinion of one to stop the treatment sessions of another without proper consultation and agreement between the two treatment providers.

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I do not like my Durham treatment provider, may I change providers?

It takes time to establish relationships. Be sure to give it a chance and share any concerns with your treatment provider. If for any reason, you still believe it is best to change treatment providers, you must notify your Duke Reach Case Manager. The two of you can work out arrangements to change with minimum interruption to your treatment frequency.

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Post Decision Questions

I have submitted my signed decision letter and have no outstanding financial obligations to the university. Why am I unable to register for classes?

Upon receipt of your signed decision letter, your registration will be activated according to your scheduled registration window, or 1-3 days of receipt of your signed letter, whichever is latest. After waiting a minimum of 72 hours, please contact your academic dean or the Office of Student Returns with additional questions. Please email officeofstudentreturns@duke.edu.

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I have been given permission to return to Duke. Why is my Duke Card not working?

There are several reasons a Duke Card may not be activated:

1) A student must submit their signed decision letter to the Office of Student Returns before their student record is reactivated. The Duke Card Office does not activate the card of  "inactive" students. 2) A student has submitted their signed decision letter but has not allowed adequate time for reactivation. Students must allow 72 business hours from the time they submit their signed decision letter; 3) A student has a bursar's block; 4) A student has "active" status but has not enrolled in any courses for their anticipated return term; 5) The move-in date for housing has not occurred. Relatedly, the card will not be activated for off-campus students prior to the housing move-in date; 6) There may be a disciplinary restriction on your Duke Card.

Upon my return, do I remain on academic or disciplinary probation?

Yes, you will remain on probation. If you are on academic probation you can clear probation within one semester of returning, per university policy. If you are on disciplinary probation, you will remain on disciplinary probation for the remainder of your undergraduate career at Duke. Disciplinary probation may restrict a student’s ability to study away from Duke through the Global Education Office for Undergraduates, participate in DukeEngage, and be released early from the three-year residency requirement. It also may impact other opportunities in which a student’s disciplinary record is considered as a criterion for participation. If you have questions about your disciplinary status and eligibility for opportunities, please conduct the Office of Student Conduct.

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My healthcare provider’s letter of recommendation stated that I am ready to return to Duke and enroll in a full course load (4 s.c.). Why was I denied readmission?

The recommendation of your health care provider is considered in your review committee’s deliberation. It is not, however, the only consideration. It is not uncommon for a student to feel healthy and competent when they are no longer required to negotiate the daily challenges of being a Duke student. Your health care provider(s) evaluates your wellness outside of the Duke environment. Your reviewers determine your readiness to return from a social and medical perspective. They have a very intimate knowledge of college life, a particular appreciation of the Duke undergraduate experience and, more importantly, an understanding of treatment recommendations prior to your leave. It is for this reason that your review committee may deny or delay your return to Duke despite the recommendation to return by your private healthcare provider.

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If I am not granted permission to return to Duke, must I submit a new request for return in order to be considered for a future enrollment term?

Yes, the Office of Student Returns does not “rollover” request for returns to be considered in future review cycles. It is important that each review committee has the most current information to make an informed decision.

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I have been given permission to return for a pernding term, may I participate in a program that begins, or takes place, prior to the official start of the term for which I have been granted permission to return? 

 

Your request for return is being reviewed for a targeted term. Your permission to return is in reference to the official start date of the term for which you petitioned. You are not eligible to participate in programs that have a completion or start date that precedes the official start date of your return term. The activation of your student account prior to the atart of the pending term is only to facilitate your course registration and potential housing assignment.