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Taking Time Off

Dean Bond Rose Garden next to Parrish Hall

Sometimes students take a leave of absence from Swarthmore. Time away can be a valuable and productive experience. Students who take a leave of absence may engage in a wide range of activities during their time away. Those activities frequently include tending to health concerns, volunteering at an organization, working in a paid job, taking classes at another college or university (see Swarthmore "Transfer Credit" Policy), tending to personal or family concerns, resting, or reflecting.


  • Leave Request Timeline: Students should request a leave of absence by November 15 for a Spring semester leave of absence, or by April 15 for a Fall semester leave of absence. If you are considering a leave of absence after these dates, please reach out to Dean Derickson or your assigned dean right away for advice. See the Leaving webpage for important details.
  • Return Request Deadlines: November 15 for a Spring semester return, July 1 for a Fall semester return (April 1 recommended, if possible). See the Returning webpage for important details.

Communication is key. Be sure to regularly read and respond to your Swarthmore email account, as that is our official way of communicating with you.

For more details, please see the website sections Leaving or Returning. Please also consult the Student Handbook, and the College Catalog sections on expenses & faculty regulations 8.5. Leaves from the College may occur for academic, disciplinary, health, or personal reasons and may be voluntary or required by the College.

Questions? Concerns? Please reach out to your assigned dean and/or Dean Liz Derickson.