Withdrawal: Academic Dismissal


You may be involuntarily withdrawn for academic reasons, if

  • at the end of your first fall or spring semester at Duke, you have not passed at least two course credits (2.0 credits) and thus do not meet semester continuation requirements;
  • at the end of your second and all subsequent fall and spring semesters, you have not passed at least three course credits (3.0 credits) and thus do not meet semester continuation requirements;
  • you fail more than one full (1.0 credit) course in a summer session at Duke;
  • you are on probation and at the end of your probationary semester you have failed to clear probation (i.e., earn grades of C- or better in each of the four courses completed that semester or a C average for that semester); or
  • before the beginning of any fall term, you have not passed a sufficient number of credits and thus do not meet annual continuation requirements.

The effective date of your dismissal for failure to meet semester continuation is usually the end of the semester. The exception to this is when course grades are missing at the end of a semester so that your ability to meet semester continuation is uncertain. When this is the case for the fall semester, you must complete your coursework and have sufficient passing grades assigned by 4 p.m. on the day before the first day of the spring semester, or you will be dismissed on that date.  When semester continuation is in question at the end of the spring semester, you must have sufficient grades posted by 4 p.m. on the day one week prior to the first day of summer term II classes, or you will be dismissed on that date. If dismissed for continuation reasons, any remaining I and X grades will remain on your record and you may finish those classes at a later time. The effective date of a dismissal for failure to meet annual continuation is the last working day before fall classes begin. For more information and details, see Continuation Requirements.   

The period of an academic dismissal is two semesters (the summer will count as one semester).  After that time, you may apply to return to Duke through the Time Away Office. Students who receive a second academic dismissal, however, are eligible to return after two years or six semesters (summer sessions count in the dismissal period). 

  • Students on academic dismissal can take up to two classes for transfer credit during their academic dismissal period as long as they have not already used their maximum of two institutional transfer credits

You may appeal your academic dismissal by sending an appeal letter to the Lead Academic Dean/Senior Associate Dean. The two grounds for consideration of an appeal are: 1) New information not reasonably available previously; 2) Miscalculation of the final grade. Please follow the procedures described in the Grades Complaints at End of Term policy before submitting an appeal letter.


Your Academic Dean will notify you of a dismissal as well as the Time Away Office, who will process the required paperwork and reach out to you to discuss your time away and help you developed an individualized plan. The Time Away Office will help you navigate the time away and return process. 

Questions about an academic dismissal should be directed to your academic dean. Questions about financial obligations should be directed to the Bursar's Office. If you are withdrawn and have student loans, you must be in touch with the Student Loan Office to complete a Student Loan Exit Interview and to receive information on how to manage any loan payments that may become due while you are not enrolled. For information on returning from a dismissal, see Time Away Office.

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