Academic Policies

Registration

All students register online, using the Online Course Selection system, during the period stated in the academic calendar. Failure to submit the electronic schedule worksheet to the faculty adviser by the due date will result in a $100 late registration fee. There will be no charge for course changes made prior to the beginning of the second week of the term, but there will be a $25 fee for each course change made after online registration has ended.

The student’s program is subject to review by the Professional Studies Committee, with particular attention to the distribution of the courses among fields in the curriculum and to the relevance of the individual’s program for vocational objectives.

A student may not enter a course later than the final date of online registration as specified in the academic calendar without the permission of the faculty adviser and the instructor involved. Under no circumstances will students be enrolled in a course after the third week of classes. A student may not drop/withdraw from a course later than the “last day to drop a course” as specified in the academic calendar.

Duly enrolled students who expect to continue their studies at Yale Divinity School during the next year are required to record that intention at the registrar’s office before April 1, in order to reserve a place in the School. Failure to do so will result in a fee of $50.

Schedule of Study

The schedule of study at YDS normally consists of twelve credit hours each term. Students in their first term are strongly discouraged from registering for more than fourteen credit hours of study. Students considering part-time study should be aware of policies regarding the pace of study for international students, eligibility for Yale Health coverage, living in Graduate Housing, and applying for or receiving federal student loans.

A student must take at least one-half of each term’s work with members of the YDS faculty. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with and consider relevant courses offered elsewhere in the University. Graduate- or professional-level courses given by other departments and schools of the University may be taken with approval of the faculty adviser, and with the permission of the instructor of the course. Additional work is normally required in undergraduate courses presented for YDS credit. (For regulations governing interdepartmental study, see Interdepartmental Studies.) Bus service is provided every twenty minutes from YDS through the central campus to the School of Medicine.

Each course in YDS normally carries three hours of credit unless otherwise stated. It is possible to arrange to take courses for more or fewer credit hours. This flexible system of credit permits students to concentrate their efforts or pursue special concerns when advantageous or advisable. Alteration of the announced number of credit hours requires permission of both the instructor and the faculty adviser.

Transfer of Credit

Applications for transfer of credit for work completed at Yale or another school may be made after a full term’s work at YDS. Credits are transferred upon authorization by the senior associate dean of academic affairs, acting for the Professional Studies Committee. Normally transfer credit will be recorded as electives. After six credits have been transferred as electives, however, a maximum of six additional credits for the M.A.R. degree and eighteen additional credits for the M.Div. degree may become eligible for transfer to the appropriate areas. Except in the case of students on approved exchange study, these credits will be included in the total hours required for an area but not counted as fulfilling particular requirements within the area. In the case of students on approved exchange study, once course work has been preapproved, students may request a waiver of the policy restricting the first six transfer credits to electives and/or to the policy prohibiting transfer credits from fulfilling particular requirements within a curricular area. Matriculated students must secure approval in advance for courses they wish to take elsewhere if transfer credit is desired. No more than six hours of credit can be earned each year through study during the summer. All course work accepted for transfer credit is posted to the YDS transcript with the grade of “CR” (credit). Titles of courses accepted for transfer credit are maintained in the student’s file but are not listed on the transcript.

To be eligible for transfer toward a Yale Divinity School degree, a course completed at Yale or another school must meet the following requirements:

  1. The course must have been taken at an accredited institution.
  2. The course must have been taken at the graduate or professional level.
  3. The student must have completed a baccalaureate degree before taking the course.
  4. The course should be clearly relevant to the student’s program at the Divinity School.
  5. Normally, the course must have been taken within the seven years prior to matriculation at the Divinity School.
  6. Courses credited toward another graduate degree, either received or anticipated, are not normally transferred. Exceptions may be made for some of the courses credited toward a previous full two-year master’s degree.
  7. No more than twelve hours will be transferred from a nontheological graduate program. If twelve hours are to be transferred, the student will be required to demonstrate to the Professional Studies Committee how the work previously completed is integral to the program of study pursued at Yale Divinity School.
  8. Normally, courses taken online cannot be transferred for Divinity School credit. Petitions for exceptions must be made to the Professional Studies Committee. In all cases students are required to inform the academic dean if courses proposed for transfer credit were taken online.
  9. Intensive courses lasting less than two weeks cannot be transferred for Divinity School credit.
  10. The minimum grade accepted for transfer credit is B- (HP-) or its equivalent.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core value of the Yale Divinity School community. It includes honesty and fairness in our scholarship and research, respect for each other, and responsibility for our conduct.1 These are commitments that govern us as a community of learning. Excellent scholarship rests on honest originality, and this honesty takes many forms. It means, among other things, truth in presentation, diligence and precision in citing works and ideas we have used, and acknowledging our collaborations with others.

As history of religions scholar Bruce Lincoln writes, “Those who enter a field that constitutes itself as one of rigorous, disciplined inquiry do so in good faith. They pledge that their labor is honest, in token of which they ‘show their work’ or ‘cite their sources.’ Second, they go beyond offering their results to an audience of consumers. They also display the processes through which they arrived at those results for an audience of would-be critics, whom they accept as peers and superiors consistent with their control over the knowledge and principles that constitute the field. Third, they agree that if any challenges are forthcoming to their data, methods, or results, they will consider them thoroughly, defending or revising their positions as necessary, learning and/or teaching in the process.”2

Plagiarism, whether deliberate or through negligence or ignorance, is a serious violation of conduct at Yale Divinity School. Plagiarism is defined as “the use of another’s work, words, or ideas without attribution.”3 Because cultural norms vary, it is important for all students to understand that plagiarism is considered a form of academic dishonesty and a serious violation of academic integrity.

Other forms of academic dishonesty include the following:

  • unauthorized collaboration
  • falsifying data
  • submitting the same or a similar paper for multiple classes without explicit permission from all of the instructors involved
  • submitting for a course material previously published (electronically or in print)
  • quoting from a paper you have written for another context
  • copying from another student on exams or assignments
  • the use of unauthorized materials during examinations.4

The prohibition on plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty applies to all kinds of academic and scholarly work, such as:

  • short classroom assignments
  • papers
  • exams
  • class presentations
  • conference presentations
  • publications, whether print or online. 

Failing to acknowledge sources and credit influence is considered a form of theft. Material drawn from the Internet is no different than material drawn from other sources and must also be cited appropriately. Most faculty at the Divinity School prefer that students cite using guidelines from The Chicago Manual of Style. Extensive resources for citing appropriately and avoiding plagiarism are available from the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning: https://ctl.yale.edu/writing/using-sources

Scholarly work often involves collaboration. However, collaboration on an assignment is appropriate only if explicitly authorized by the instructor of the course. The fact that an instructor has authorized collaboration of a specific kind on a specific assignment does not mean that other forms of collaboration, or collaboration on other assignments, is also authorized. If students are uncertain about whether collaboration is permissible, and of what sort, they should consult with the course instructor. 

Further information on avoiding plagiarism and appropriate citation is available in the Yale Divinity School Student Handbook under Learning and Planning Resources and from the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning: https://ctl.yale.edu/writing/using-sources/understanding-and-avoiding-plagiarism.

Suspected cases of academic dishonesty are referred to the Professional Studies Committee. A detailed description of the procedures for handling such cases is available on the Divinity website and in the Student Handbook.

1

Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, “Professional Ethics and Regulations,” https://gsas.yale.edu/academic-professional-development/professional-ethics-regulations.

2

Bruce Lincoln, Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 209.

3

Center for Teaching and Learning, Yale University, “What Is Plagiarism?” https://ctl.yale.edu/writing/using-sources/understanding-and-avoiding-plagiarism/what-plagiarism.

4

Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, “Professional Ethics and Regulations,” https://gsas/yale.edu/academic-professional-development/professional-ethics-regulations.


Rights and Representation

 

Governance

The work of YDS is carried on through the Governing Board (tenured faculty), the General Faculty, and the Standing Committees of the Faculty: Admissions and Financial Aid, Community Life, Curriculum, Ministerial Studies, Professional Studies, and Spiritual Formation. Each committee has an equal number of faculty and students. Faculty members of the committees are appointed by the dean and confirmed by the General Faculty; student members are elected by the entire student body, with the exception of student members of the Standing Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, who are chosen by the associate dean of admissions and financial aid.

General Conduct and Discipline

Seeking to foster the knowledge and love of God through critical engagement with the traditions of the Christian churches, Yale Divinity School upholds the value of broad inclusivity and diversity in our academic, worship, and communal life. Its members freely associate themselves with the University and in doing so affirm their commitment to a philosophy of tolerance and respect for all members of the community. They pledge to help sustain the intellectual integrity of Yale University and to uphold its standards of honesty, free expression, and inquiry.

Students of Yale Divinity School are expected to abide by the regulations of the University. They are also expected to obey local, state, and federal laws, and violations of these may be cause for discipline by Yale Divinity School as well as subject them to legal action. Students are required to report within fourteen days misdemeanor and felony charges to the associate dean of student affairs.

Yale Divinity School specifically prohibits the following forms of behavior by its students:

  1. Cheating on examinations, quizzes, and any other form of test.
  2. Plagiarism, that is, the failure in a thesis, essay, or other written exercise to acknowledge ideas, research, or language taken from others.
  3. Multiple submission of substantially the same work without obtaining explicit written permission from the instructors involved before the material is submitted.
  4. Misuse of the materials or facilities of University libraries.
  5. Unauthorized use of University services, equipment, or facilities, such as telephones and photocopying equipment.
  6. Violation of University rules for using information technology services and facilities, including computers, the University network, and electronic mail. (See Information Technology Appropriate Use Policy, http://its.yale.edu/forms-policies/appropriate-use).
  7. Assault on, or coercion, harassment, or intimidation of, any member of the University community, including harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a protected veteran, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression; or the use of a leadership position to harass or intimidate another student.
  8. Actions in violation of the University’s “Policy on Teacher-Student Consensual Relations” or the YDS “Statement on Consensual Relations.”
  9. Disruption of a legitimate function or activity of the University community, which might include disrupting classes and meetings, blocking entrances and exits to University buildings, and unauthorized occupation of any space on the Yale campus, in such a way as to interfere substantially with the educational mission of the School, or prevent the free expression or dissemination of ideas. (See Freedom of Expression, below.)
  10. Refusal to comply with the direction of University police officers or other University officials acting in the performance of their duties.
  11. Misuse, alteration, or fabrication of University credentials or documents, such as an identification card or a transcript or grade list, including grade lists submitted by teaching fellows.
  12. Misrepresentation or lying during a formal inquiry by University officials.
  13. Misrepresentation in applying for admission or financial aid.
  14. Theft, misuse of funds, or willful damage of University property. Off-campus misconduct may result in disciplinary action if such conduct imperils the integrity and values of the University community. Off-campus violations committed in the course of a Yale-sponsored program anywhere in the world could also be subject to disciplinary charges.
  15. Trespassing on University property to which access is prohibited.
  16. Possession or use of explosives, incendiary devices, or weapons on or about the campus.
  17. Interference with the proper operation of safety or security devices, including fire alarms, electronic gates, and sprinkler systems.
  18. Unlawful manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol on University property or as part of any University activity.

Violations of any of the above regulations (with the exceptions noted below) will be referred to the YDS Disciplinary Committee, which shall be appointed by the dean and shall be comprised of three faculty members (one junior faculty member, if possible), three students, and the associate dean of student affairs ex officio. Violations involving academic dishonesty will be referred to the Professional Studies Committee. Violations of regulations pertaining to sexual misconduct or the University’s Consensual Relations policy will be referred to a Title IX coordinator and, in some cases, to the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. Students found guilty of such violations will be subject to one or more of the following disciplinary penalties:

  • Reprimand
  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Restitution
  • Removal from campus housing
  • Restriction
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal

Penalties of suspension or dismissal will be noted on the student’s transcript. The decision to dismiss a student is made by the General Faculty on recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee, Professional Studies Committee, or University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. Pending disciplinary charges will be noted on a student’s transcript if the student withdraws from Yale Divinity School after being formally charged but before such charges have been resolved. A student will not receive a degree while charges are pending or while serving a suspension. A student dismissed for misconduct will not receive a degree from Yale Divinity School regardless of requirements fulfilled before the infraction occurred. Yale Divinity School reserves the right to impose fines as appropriate, in addition to requiring payment for costs resulting from or associated with the offenses. In addition to imposing these penalties for offenses subject to disciplinary action, Yale Divinity School may refer students for prosecution, and students found guilty of unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol on University property or as part of any University activity may be required to complete an appropriate rehabilitation program.

Copies of the procedures of the Disciplinary Committee may be obtained from the Office of the Dean. A copy of the procedures is sent automatically to any student who is charged with a violation of Yale Divinity School’s regulations.

Freedom of Expression

The Yale Divinity School is committed to the protection of free inquiry and expression in the classroom and throughout the school community. In this, the School reflects the University’s commitment to and policy on freedom of expression as eloquently stated in the Woodward Report (Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression at Yale, 1974). See https://studentlife.yale.edu/guidance-regarding-free-expression-and-peaceable-assembly-students-yale.

Statement on Consensual Relations

The Yale Divinity School is a community in which members of the faculty mentor students to help them achieve their full academic, professional, and personal potential. Students rely on the other-centered character of faculty concern for them and approach the relationship in a spirit of trust. For these reasons, members of the YDS faculty shall not have amorous or sexual relations with a YDS student, defined as anyone taking a course at YDS, even when they are ostensibly consensual. This principle is supported by the School’s pedagogy with regard to relationships between a member of the congregation and a minister, priest, or lay professional who has a role of pastoral leadership. Just as we teach that such sexual relations are harmful to the congregant and to the ethos of the congregation as a whole, we take the same position with regard to faculty and master’s-level students regardless of whether the faculty member in question has or might reasonably expect to have pedagogical or direct supervisory responsibilities over the student in question. This policy applies to all YDS faculty. YDS faculty are also subject to the University Policy on Teacher-Student Consensual Relations. The YDS policy does not pertain to relationships established before the student’s or the faculty member’s affiliation with YDS. In the case of these relationships, the University Policy does pertain: that is, the faculty members in question may not have direct pedagogical or supervisory responsibilities. Violations of the YDS or the University Policy by an instructor will normally lead to appropriate disciplinary action.

Adopted by the Yale Divinity School faculty, May 4, 2010.


 

Grading System

The Divinity School uses the following grading system:

Honors (H)

= Exemplary

Honors minus (H–)

= Excellent

High Pass plus (HP+)

= Very Good

High Pass (HP)

= Good

High Pass minus (HP–)

= Satisfactory

Low Pass (LP)

= Marginally Passable

Fail (F)

 

Credit (CR)

 

No Credit (NC)

 

Withdrew (W)

 

If the YDS grading system were to be translated into a traditional grading system on the graduate level, Honors would represent a strong A and A+; Honors minus, A–; High Pass plus, B+; High Pass, B; High Pass minus, B–; Low Pass, C.

There is also a Credit/No Credit system. The Credit/No Credit option for a course may be chosen by the instructor, in which case the entire class will be graded thus. Individual students in such a course may request the instructor’s approval to take the course on the regular grading system. Conversely, a student taking a course graded on the regular grading system may request the instructor’s approval to be graded Credit/No Credit. The grade of CR in the Credit/No Credit system requires achievement at the level of HP– or better. Requests for departures from the grading systems under which courses are taught must be made on a form supplied by the registrar’s office. Options are elected during the first two weeks of the term, and the decision is irreversible. The option of a Credit/No Credit grade is not available under the S.T.M. program.

In both grading systems, the W is to be used only under extraordinary circumstances by permission of the senior associate dean of academic affairs in consultation with the Professional Studies Committee. Students who receive one or more LP, F, or NC grades in a given term are subject to being placed on academic warning or academic probation (see section on Academic Deficiencies below).

Grade Changes

Once submitted, a grade may not be changed by the instructor except:

  1. In the event of a computational or clerical error, or
  2. After a reevaluation of a student’s work in consultation with the senior associate dean of academic affairs.

Academic Deficiencies

Academic Warning

The Professional Studies Committee will review the academic performances of students and place them on warning if their record in any term shows a significant decline or reason for concern about the quality of their work, e.g., a course graded Low Pass (LP), Fail (F), or No Credit (NC). Students placed on warning will be reviewed by the committee following the end of the term, and either removed from warning, continued on warning, or placed on probation. The warning notation will not be placed on students’ transcripts. Both the student and the faculty adviser will be notified in writing of the warning.


Academic Probation

The Professional Studies Committee will place on probation students whose academic work is unsatisfactory. In every case the committee will take into account the personal situation of the student; but the following record, accumulated during the course of any one term, will normally result in probation:

  1. two courses graded Low Pass, or
  2. two Incompletes, or
  3. two Fs or NCs, or
  4. any combination of inadequate or incomplete work in two or more courses.

In addition, students may be placed on probation if their records show a pattern of academic warnings in multiple terms.

Students are responsible for knowing at the end of a term whether or not they have completed each course satisfactorily. As information becomes available to the Professional Studies Committee, written notice of probation will be given both to the student and to the faculty adviser, and the notation will be placed on the transcript. The student must meet with the academic dean to develop a plan for a return to good academic standing. Failure to successfully complete this academic plan can result in the loss of federal financial aid eligibility. For more information about Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and financial aid eligibility, see below.

Students on academic probation must observe the following conditions when they register for courses:

  1. during the term in which students are on academic probation they may not take more than twelve hours of course work;
  2. they may not take any reading courses;
  3. they may not register to begin a thesis.

Students will be removed from probation when they have completed four courses (twelve credits) under the following conditions:

  1. all work for each course must be completed by the end of its term, without extensions;
  2. all incomplete work from previous terms must be completed;
  3. the grade received in each course must be HP– or better.

Dismissal for Academic Reasons

Any student who remains on academic probation for two consecutive terms may be recommended to the faculty for dismissal from YDS.

A student who receives a grade of Fail/No Credit in nine or more credits attempted in a given term, or, for part-time students, nine credits attempted over consecutive terms, shall be dismissed from the Divinity School. A student who is dismissed for this reason may appeal in writing to the Professional Studies Committee within five days of the notice of dismissal, presenting information concerning relevant extenuating circumstances; the Professional Studies Committee then issues a final decision concerning dismissal. The outcome of the appeal will be determined prior to the day on which online registration ends for the term.


Special Examinations and Extensions

Special examinations, at hours other than those regularly scheduled, will be given only under extraordinary circumstances. Except in the case of unforeseen emergencies, the request for a special examination must be submitted two weeks before the date of the regular examination. At the discretion of the instructor, students who are non-native speakers of English may be granted additional time, to a maximum of time-and-a-half, to complete written examinations.

All work for the first term is due by the end of the term, unless the instructor specifies an earlier date. In exceptional circumstances, such as illness or family crisis, the instructor in the course may grant a “faculty extension” up to the day on which grades from the first term are due, but no later. No work from the first term can be accepted by a faculty member after that date. However, a student may appeal to the senior associate dean of academic affairs for a “dean’s extension.” Such an appeal must be made in writing by the day that grades from the first term are due, on a form provided by the registrar’s office. Extensions will be considered by the academic dean only in exceptional circumstances, such as those indicated above. An Incomplete grade will automatically be recorded as Fail (F) or No Credit (NC), unless a petition for a dean’s extension is filed by the deadline specified above.

All work for the second term is due by the end of the term, unless the instructor specifies an earlier date. In exceptional circumstances, such as illness or family crisis, the instructor may grant a “faculty extension” during the summer, but no extension can be given beyond the day on which grades from the second term are due. No work from the second term can be accepted by a faculty member after that date. However, a student may appeal to the senior associate dean of academic affairs for a “dean’s extension.” Such an appeal must be made in writing by the day that grades from the second term are due, on a form provided by the registrar’s office. Extensions will be considered by the academic dean only in exceptional circumstances, such as those indicated above. An Incomplete grade will automatically be recorded as Fail (F) or No Credit (NC), unless a petition for an extension is filed by the designated date.

All work for summer courses is due by the end of the course, unless the instructor specifies a different date. In exceptional circumstances, such as illness or family crisis, the instructor in the course may grant a “faculty extension” up to, but not beyond, the first day of the fall term. No work from the summer can be accepted by a faculty member after that date. However, a student may appeal to the senior associate dean of academic affairs for a “dean’s extension.” Such an appeal must be made in writing by the first day of the fall term, on a form provided by the registrar’s office. Extensions will be considered by the academic dean only in exceptional circumstances, such as those indicated above.  An Incomplete grade will automatically be recorded as Fail (F) or No Credit (NC), unless a petition for an extension is filed by the first day of the fall term. Unless otherwise noted, the following deadlines apply to summer courses: the last day to add a summer course is the first day of the second quarter of the course; the last day to drop a summer course is the first day of the second half of the course.


Leave of Absence

Students who wish or need to interrupt their study temporarily may request a leave of absence. There are three types of leave—personal, medical, and parental—all of which are described below. The general policies that apply to all types of leave are:

  1. Leave of absence application forms may be obtained by contacting the registrar’s office at YDS.
  2. All leaves of absence must be approved by the senior associate dean of academic affairs. Medical leaves also require the written recommendation of a chief physician or designee on the staff of Yale Health, as described below.
  3. A student may be granted a leave of absence for one, two, or three terms. Students may not normally be granted more than three terms of leave total during their study at YDS, but under extraordinary circumstances the academic dean may grant a student a fourth term of leave.
  4. A student is not normally granted a leave of absence to take on a professional commitment.
  5. International students who apply for a leave of absence must consult with OISS regarding their visa status.
  6. A student on leave of absence may complete outstanding work in any course for which the student has been granted extensions. The student may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave.
  7. A student on leave of absence is ineligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases, student loans are not deferred during periods of nonenrollment.
  8. A student on leave of absence is ineligible for the use of any University facilities normally available to enrolled students.
  9. A student on leave of absence may continue to be enrolled in Yale Health by purchasing coverage through the Student Affiliate Coverage plan. In order to secure continuous coverage from Yale Health, enrollment in this plan must be requested prior to the beginning of the term in which the student will be on leave or, if the leave commences during the term, within thirty days of the date of determination. Coverage is not automatic; enrollment forms are available from the Member Services department of Yale Health, 203.432.0246.
  10. Students on leave of absence do not have to file a formal application for readmission. However, they must obtain the approval of the senior associate dean of academic affairs to return and must notify the registrar in writing of their intention to return at least eight weeks prior to the end of the approved leave. In addition, returning students who wish to be considered for financial aid must submit appropriate financial aid applications to YDS’s Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility.
  11. A student on leave of absence who does not return at the end of the approved leave, and does not request and receive an extension, is automatically dismissed from YDS.
  12. Leaves of absence shall not be granted retroactively after a term has ended.

Personal Leave of Absence

A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies may request a personal leave of absence with the approval of the senior associate dean of academic affairs. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. Students who are current with their degree requirements are eligible for a personal leave after satisfactory completion of at least one term of study. Personal leaves cannot be granted retroactively and normally will not be approved after the tenth day of a term.

To request a personal leave of absence, the student must complete the form available in the registrar’s office before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave, and the address (both physical and electronic) at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. If the senior associate dean of academic affairs approves, the leave is granted. In any case, the student will be informed in writing of the action taken. A student who does not apply for a personal leave of absence, or whose application for a leave is denied, and who does not register for any term, will be considered to have withdrawn from YDS.


Medical Leave of Absence

A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the senior associate dean of academic affairs, on the written recommendation of a chief physician or designee on the staff of Yale Health. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. Students who are making satisfactory progress toward their degree requirements are eligible for a medical leave any time after matriculation. The final decision concerning a request for a medical leave of absence will be communicated in writing by the senior associate dean of academic affairs.

YDS reserves the right to place a student on a medical leave of absence when, on the recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Department of Mental Health and Counseling, the dean of YDS determines that the student is a danger to self or others because of a serious medical problem.

Students who are placed on medical leave during any term will have their tuition adjusted according to the same schedule used for withdrawals (see Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy under Tuition and Fees). Before re-registering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission to return from a Yale Health physician.


Leave of Absence for Parental Responsibilities

A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, maternity care, or paternity care may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. Students who are making satisfactory progress toward their degree requirements are eligible for parental leave of absence any time after matriculation.

To request a leave of absence for parental responsibilities, a student must complete the form available in the registrar’s office before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave, and the address (both physical and electronic) at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. If the senior associate dean of academic affairs approves, the leave is granted. In any case, the student will be informed in writing of the action taken.

Students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contract and the related polices of the Yale Housing Office before applying to YDS for a parental leave of absence. Students granted a parental leave may continue to reside in University housing to the end of the academic term for which the leave was first granted, but no longer.


Withdrawal and Readmission

Students who wish to terminate their program of study should confer with the senior associate dean of academic affairs regarding withdrawal. The senior associate dean of academic affairs will determine the effective date of the withdrawal. The University identification card must be submitted with the approved withdrawal form in order for withdrawal in good standing to be recorded. Withdrawal forms are available in the registrar’s office. Students who do not register for any fall or spring term, and for whom a leave of absence has not been approved by the associate dean, or who do not return from or ask for and receive an extension of an approved leave, are considered to have withdrawn from YDS.

Students who discontinue their program of study during the academic year without submitting an approved withdrawal form and the University identification card will be liable for the tuition charge for the term in which the withdrawal occurs. Tuition charges for students who withdraw in good standing will be adjusted as described in the Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy (under Tuition and Fees).

A student who has withdrawn from YDS in good standing and who wishes to resume study at a later date must apply for readmission. Neither readmission nor financial aid is guaranteed to students who withdraw. The deadline for making application for readmission is February 1 of the year in which the student wishes to return to YDS. The student’s application will be considered by the Admissions Office.

U.S. Military Leave Readmissions Policy

Students who wish or need to interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave readmissions policy. In the event a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from YDS to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed readmission under the following conditions:

  1. The student must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days;
  2. The student must give advance written or verbal notice of such service to the senior associate dean of academic affairs. In providing the advance notice the student does not need to indicate an intent to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this notice requirement can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks readmission, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.
  3. The student must not be away from YDS to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from YDS to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, the student should contact the senior associate dean of academic affairs to determine if the student remains eligible for guaranteed readmission.
  4. Students must notify YDS (the registrar, and/or the senior associate dean of academic affairs, or the associate dean of admissions and financial aid) within three years of the end of their U.S. military service of their intention to return. However, students who are hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service have up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify YDS of their intent to return.
  5. The student cannot have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.

A student who meets all of these conditions will be readmitted for the next term, unless the student requests a later date of readmission. Any student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be readmitted under the general readmission policy but is not guaranteed readmission.

Upon returning to YDS, students will resume their education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. The student will have the same enrolled status last held and with the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which the student left the institution. Yale may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees other students are assessed, however, if veteran’s education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left.

In the case of students who are not prepared to resume their studies with the same academic status at the same point where they left off or who will not be able to complete the program of study, YDS will undertake reasonable efforts to help the student become prepared. If after reasonable efforts YDS determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program, or after YDS determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, YDS may deny the student readmission.


Commencement

All candidates on whom degrees are to be conferred must be present at the Commencement exercises of the University, unless excused for urgent reasons by the dean’s office.

Contact

Academic Affairs

(203) 432-6340
(203) 432-7475
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