Actions of the Administrative Board

It should be noted that a student is considered in good standing when he or she is not on probation and has not been required to withdraw, dismissed, or expelled from the College for either academic or disciplinary reasons. Warnings and admonitions do not affect a student's good standing.

In disciplinary cases, if the Board determines that wrongdoing occurred, it may take the following action:

  1. Warn or Admonish: a reprimand to a student whose behavior violates the rules or standards of conduct of the community. A warning becomes part of the student’s official record, but is not considered a formal disciplinary action.

  2. Disciplinary Probation: a strong warning to a student whose conduct gives serious cause for concern. Probation is a formal disciplinary action of the College and becomes part of the student's official record.

    During the period of time (to be specified by the Board) that a student is on probation, any further instance of misconduct will cause the Board seriously to consider requiring the student to withdraw from the College. A student on probation must be especially conscientious about his or her behavior and responsibilities. If the offense is related to participation in extracurricular activity, the Board may at its discretion restrict such participation; in cases in which management of time appears to contribute to the problem, the Board may require that the student obtain the Board’s permission for participation in each individual activity. The Board may also attach additional requirements to probation. It is the Board’s hope that the structure imposed by probation will help the student amend his or her conduct so as to meet the standards of this community. Failure to do so is a grave matter, ordinarily leading to further disciplinary action, including requirement to withdraw. A student placed on disciplinary probation is ordinarily relieved of probation at the end of a set period of time (specified by the Board in its decision), if he or she has maintained satisfactory conduct.

    A student on probation may not receive a degree until she or he has been relieved of probation by the Administrative Board.

  3. Requirement to Withdraw for Disciplinary Reasons: action taken in serious disciplinary cases indicating that the student’s behavior is unacceptable in this community. Requirement to withdraw is a formal disciplinary action of the College and becomes part of the student’s official record. Requirement to withdraw ordinarily is effective immediately upon vote of the Administrative Board.

    For students who have been required to withdraw, the rules regarding financial aid and financial obligations (room rent, board, etc.) are the same as for undergraduates who go on leave of absence. This information is contained in Chapter 7. Students who are required to withdraw from the University are not entitled to an identification card until they have been officially readmitted (see also Harvard University Identification Cards).

    A student who is required to withdraw for disciplinary reasons is not in good standing until readmitted, and may not participate in any academic exercises or extracurricular activities. A student may not receive a degree until he or she has been readmitted to good standing in the College. In order to be readmitted, the student ordinarily must have been away from the College for at least one but ordinarily two or more full terms and must have shown an acceptable record of performance during a substantial period (at least six consecutive months) of regular employment. Employment must be full-time, paid, supervised and evaluated, and not in a business owned or controlled by the student’s family. Without exception, students who have been required to withdraw must petition the Board to be readmitted to the College, and the Board’s decision will depend on its judgment of the student’s readiness to rejoin the College community (see also Readmission after Requirement to Withdraw for Disciplinary or Academic Reasons). A student who has twice been required to withdraw from the College will ordinarily not be readmitted. No student who for disciplinary reasons has been required to withdraw for the second and final time or dismissed from Harvard College may ordinarily enroll in the Harvard Summer School or in the Extension School.

  4. Dismissal: action taken in serious disciplinary cases whereby a student’s connection with the University is ended by vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (The action taken by the Board is a vote of requirement to withdraw with a recommendation to the Faculty that the student be dismissed.) Dismissal does not necessarily preclude a student’s return, but readmission is granted rarely and only by vote of the Faculty. A dismissed student is not in good standing until readmitted.

  5. Expulsion: the most extreme disciplinary action possible. It signifies that the student is no longer welcome in the community. Expulsion must be voted by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (The action taken by the Board is a vote of requirement to withdraw with a recommendation to the Faculty that the student be expelled.) A student who is expelled can never be readmitted and restored to good standing.

In cases of academic review the Administrative Board can take any of the following actions:

  1. Academic Probation: a serious warning to a student whose academic performance for the term is unsatisfactory. Academic probation is a formal action of the Administrative Board and becomes part of the student’s official record.

    During the time that a student is on academic probation, any further instance of unsatisfactory academic progress will cause the Administrative Board to give serious consideration to requiring the student to withdraw from the College, ordinarily for two terms. A student on probation must attend all classes and be especially conscientious about all academic responsibilities. If the unsatisfactory academic record is related to participation in extracurricular activity, the Administrative Board may at its discretion restrict participation; in cases in which management of time appears to be the problem, the Administrative Board may require the student to obtain the Board’s permission for participation in each individual extracurricular activity. The Board may also attach additional requirements to probation. It is the hope of the Administrative Board that the structure imposed by probation will help the student resume satisfactory progress toward the degree. Failure of the student to do so is a grave matter and will ordinarily result in requirement to withdraw.

    A student placed on probation for academic reasons is relieved of probation at the end of the next completed term if the record is satisfactory (including the passing of at least three courses). A student on probation may not receive a degree until she or he has been relieved of probation by the Administrative Board.

  2. Requirement to Withdraw for Academic Reasons: action that may be taken in the following circumstances reflecting the Board’s judgment that the record indicates that the student should be given time to reassess his or her academic goals and plans:

  1. Should a first unsatisfactory record result from especially compelling and well-documented extenuating circumstances, the Board could decide to Take No Action and warn a student about his or her academic record instead of placing him or her on academic probation. However, an unsatisfactory record remains so regardless of the action taken by the Board. Therefore all students who have an unsatisfactory record must take care to ensure that they earn all satisfactory grades during their next term in the College.