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There are two kinds of leaves of absence. Approved Off-Campus study, either abroad or in the U.S.A., and Personal Leave, during which time the student normally does not plan to pursue course work elsewhere.

Approved Off-Campus Study-Abroad

A student intending to study abroad should contact the International Study Office. Approval from the International Study Office is required to receive credit for study outside the U.S.A.

Approved Off-Campus Study: U.S.A

A student intending to study at another institution in the United States and to request that credit be transferred toward her Smith degree should read carefully the Guidelines for Transferring Credit from Another U.S. Institution (form available in the Class Deans' Office and on the Web site).

Smith will accept transfer credit from any accredited institution in the U.S.A. Only courses where the student has earned a grade of C or better are acceptable for transfer. 

It is always best to obtain pre-approval for transfer credit. A student can complete a Smith College Petition for Transfer Credit which can be found at and submit  it with catalogue descriptions of the courses she intends to take to the office of her class dean. Courses will not be reviewed unless course descriptions are attached.

It is not uncommon for a student studying elsewhere to discover that a class she had planned to take is not available. In that case she should send the names and descriptions of the courses that she plans to take to her class dean as soon as possible for approval by email. The Dean can then approve or disapprove the course and the transfer of credit form can be filled out upon the student's return to campus.

A student who attends another institution in the U.S. must order an official transcript from that institution to be sent directly to the Smith College Registrar, College Hall 102, as soon as possible after the completion of her course of study.

Students should be aware that Smith will only award the amount of credit awarded by the host institution. If another institution awards three credits per class, Smith will only award 3 credits for that class. Many institutions award three credits per class and expect students to take 5 classes per semester. Smith students should be aware that they may return from study elsewhere with a slight credit shortage. 

Smith College will accept only official transcripts sent directly from the host institution. Student grade reports or transcripts issued to students will not be accepted. 

All students must also keep in mind that college policy requires students entering the senior year to have 96 credits on their Smith college record (these can, of course, include transfer credits).

A student who intends to study away for any part of her senior year must also complete a Senior Year Elsewhere form which can be found at and she should discuss her plans with the senior class dean.

Rescinding a Leave of Absence

A student who decides to rescind part or all of her leave of absence and return to Smith  must notify her class dean in writing. The letter should explain her intent to return and contain both her signature and ID number. The class dean will then notify the Registrar and the Housing Coordinator. A student who rescinds a leave of absence is given the lowest housing priority. Students who rescind leaves of absence are housed on a space-available basis and are not guaranteed housing, and should contact the Housing Coordinator immediately at ext. 4940. 

Normally, students who withdraw from a Smith College Junior Year Abroad program are considered to be withdrawn from Smith College and many may not return to Smith the following semester. Please contact the International Study Office for any questions about rescinding leave while abroad.

Registration and Housing

Registration and housing materials are sent to all students on a leave of absence during the semester immediately preceeding their scheduled return. 

Housing forms for the fall semester (to secure a space in your previous house or to enter the lottery) are due by February 1. If you do not receive these forms by November of the previous year, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at x4940. Please file a leave address with the Smith Registrar.

Questions concerning course registration and transcripts should be addressed to the Office of the Registrar. Questions concerning housing shoud be addressed to the Office of Student Affairs.

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