Taking Time Away: Step-by-Step Guide

Detailed Steps For Taking Time Away From Dartmouth College

Below is more detailed information about taking Time Away.

Students with questions about the process of taking Time Away may contact the undergraduate deans office or the Time Away Director for more detailed information.

  • Explore. 
    • If you are considering taking Time Away from your studies, the first step is to schedule a meeting with your Undergraduate Dean or the Time Away Director to discuss your options for taking time away. Your Dean or the Director can help you understand the Time Away options and walk you through the process.
    • Students considering Time Away for Medical Reasons (TAMR) will need to talk with a licensed clinician. TAMR requests must be supplemented with information from a licensed clinician. Your treating licensed clinician may be at Dartmouth College Health Service (DCHS) or may be an outside licensed clinician.  
      • Your licensed clinician completes an individualized clinical assessment based on the reported physical and/or mental health concerns that are leading you to seek time away. 
      • If your treating licensed clinician is not part of DCHS, you will authorize your licensed clinician to send relevant information about their individualized clinical assessment to the Time Away Director.  
      • The following information is needed by the Undergraduate Dean to make a final determination: the recommendations from the Time Away Committee. Advising deans and academic programs do not receive medical documentation pertaining to your request. Once your information is reviewed by the Time Away Committee, the committee's recommendations are sent to your Undergraduate Dean. 
      • Your licensed clinician (with consultation from DCHS as appropriate) will provide individualized recommendations for treatment while you are away. 
      • The Director of the Time Away Office will work with you on a plan to engage with your treatment while you take time away. 
      • One to two weeks after a student leaves campus, the Director of the Time Away Office contacts the student to ensure they are connected with the supports they need and/or to help facilitate those connections when needed. The student is reminded that the Time Away Office remains available to them for help in connecting to resources, and to answer questions about the return process.
    • International students should consult the Office of Visa and Immigration Services (OVIS) as soon as possible.
  • Connect With Campus Offices That Support You. We strongly encourage students to contact the relevant offices below to obtain needed information about taking time away. We know contacting these offices can be daunting; students should let their undergraduate dean or the Director of the Time Away Office know if they would like assistance with contacting these offices.  
  • Communicate Your Decision. Students who wish to take Time Away from Dartmouth must submit a Request to Take Time Away form. Students can obtain the form from the Undergraduate Deans Office or the Time Away Office. The form may be filled out electronically, or a paper copy will be provided if requested. If a paper copy has been completed, then students should return the form to the Time Away Office. Time away must be approved by the Undergraduate Dean to become effective. 
    • Questions asked on the Request to Take Time Away form may include: 
      • If taking time away for personal reasons: 
        • State in some detail the reasons for your decision to take time away from Dartmouth.
        • What plans (ex. volunteer work, employment, courses) do you have for your time away?
        • Do you anticipate changes toyour academic goals and plans because of your time away?
      • If taking time away due to medical reasons:
        • Which licensed clinician have you been working with?
        • Have you filled out a release of information form for that clinician to contact Dartmouth College Health Service and/or the Time Away Office?
        • If there are additional questions or topics you would like to discuss with the Undergraduate Dean, please note them here.
  • Confirmation Letter. Once your time away is formally processed and approved, you will receive a letter confirming your Time Away along with information about how to return to your academic program when you are ready. 

Understanding Financial and Other Implications of Taking Time Away

It is important to consider the implications of taking time away.  

Email: While taking Time Away, a student retains access to email and other Dartmouth student systems for at least two years.  

Campus Access: Students may access Dartmouth resources that are open to the public and participate in activities that are open to the public. 

Academic work: A student is not expected to continue with their research or academic work while taking Time Away.  

Transcript: A student's transcript does not state the nature of a student's Time Away. While the student is taking time away, their transcript will read "withdrawn". This simply means the student is not enrolled in courses.   

Extensions: There are no limits on for the length of a student's Time Away. 

For international students: A student's visa may be impacted by time away from an academic program. Students should contact the Office of Visa and Immigration Services to understand how taking time away from their studies impacts their immigration status and their ability to remain in the United States. 


Support While Taking Time Away

The Time Away Director is a resource for questions or concerns while students are taking Time Away from Dartmouth. 

Mental Health Support: Students retain access to Uwill and UHelp for two years while taking time away. If students need help finding licensed clinicians in their local area, DCHS or the Time Away Office can support them through this process.  

Health Insurance: If a student takes Time Away for Medical Reasons (TAMR) and is already enrolled in the Dartmouth Student Group Health Plan (DSGHP), the plan will stay in effect through August 31st. A student taking TAMR who is already enrolled in DSGHP may renew the policy for up to one year, and one year only, beyond August 31st, while on TAMR. If a student has questions and/or would like to discuss renewing their DSGHP policy, they should contact the DSGHP office 603-646-9438 or email Dartmouth.Student.Health.Plan@Dartmouth.edu. 

For undergraduate, graduate, or professional students with demonstrated financial need and who are enrolled in DSGHP prior to taking time away for medical reasons, Dartmouth will pay for up to four terms of DSGHP insurance coverage. Students seeking financial support will be asked to sign an attestation declaring financial hardship. Students will need to work with the Time Away Office to discuss this benefit. 

  • If students are covered under an insurance policy (e.g., through parents/guardians), other than DSGHP, we advise students to talk to their insurance agency about the terms of their health insurance coverage. Some carriers will not cover a dependent child over eighteen years of age unless they are a full-time student. It will be important to discuss with the company to confirm coverage if time away from Dartmouth is taken.  

Transferring courses: It may be possible to transfer courses from another institution back to Dartmouth during Time Away, as long as these courses have been pre-approved for transfer through the Registrar's office. To learn more about this process, please visit the Registrar's Transfer Term website

Financial Support: Dartmouth is unable to financially support students who have taken Time Away. Dartmouth wants to allow students to prioritize their health and wellbeing and recognizes that some students taking TAMR may face financial challenges.  Dartmouth will work to identify funds and support on a case-by-case basis with the input of the Time Away Director. 

The Time Away Office as well as the Undergraduate Deans Office remains a resource for questions or concerns while you are away from Dartmouth.  


Important Deadlines

  • The deadline to initiate personal or medical time away after having checked in for the term is the last day of classes for that term. Please refer to the Registrar's calendar for specific dates for each term. 

  • The College has set deadlines for tuition and fee refunds for each term. 

  • Students may choose to take Time Away in between terms or when on a leave term. Students should contact the Time Away Office or their Undergraduate Dean to discuss the process.