Withdrawal, Reinstatement, and Readmission

Required Withdrawal for Academic Reasons

Students will normally be required to withdraw if they do not make adequate academic progress according to the timelines and policies set by their home graduate program and/or the College of Graduate Studies. When a student is required to withdraw, the academic record will indicate "required to withdraw."

A student in any graduate program who is required to withdraw will not normally be eligible to apply for readmission to the University of British Columbia for at least one year. After one year, students who have been required to withdraw from a graduate program may be admitted to a different program in the College of Graduate Studies, provided they meet all admission requirements in effect for that program at the time they apply. Such applications must be accompanied by a statement from the graduate program that recommended withdrawal, outlining the reasons for which the student was required to withdraw. Students who have been required to withdraw from a graduate program may also apply to be readmitted to the same program after at least one year has passed from the effective date of withdrawal. Compelling evidence must be presented that a more successful outcome is likely if the student is to be readmitted. All cases for readmission must be reviewed and approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Students required to withdraw from a graduate program more than once are not eligible to be considered for admission to any program in the College of Graduate Studies.

Voluntary Withdrawal

A student wishing to voluntarily withdraw from the University must obtain the approval of the dean, director or department head, and the graduate coordinator in the home graduate program on the voluntary withdrawal form. When the withdrawal is approved, the academic record will indicate "voluntary withdrawal," the date of withdrawal, and a standing of W in all courses not completed on that date.

If withdrawal is not approved, the student will remain registered in all courses and a final grade and/or standing will be assigned at the end of the term or session.

Withdrawal for Non-Registration

A student who fails to register and/or becomes absent without leave from their program for two or more consecutive terms will normally be withdrawn from the program. The academic record will indicate "withdrawal—did not register." Graduate programs must document that an attempt was made to contact a missing student when recommending a withdrawal for non-registration.

A student who does not complete formal withdrawal procedures will be liable for all assessed fees until such procedures are completed.

Required to Withdraw for Non-Academic Reasons

The College of Graduate Studies reserves the right to require a student to withdraw from a program of study if the College, in consultation with the graduate program, considers the student to be unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of the chosen discipline or field of study. A request to withdraw for non-academic reasons would not prevent the student from immediately applying for entry into a different program of study.


Reinstatement applies when a student's registration has lapsed but the student is permitted to resume the program. Normally, if the student is reinstated, courses that have been completed will be credited to the degree, and only outstanding degree requirements must be completed. The student's start date remains the date of initial entry to the program and the time limit for completion of the degree is not affected.

A student may be reinstated on the recommendation of the graduate program if:

  • the student is in good academic standing;
  • any delinquent fees or charges are paid, including tuition and continuing fees owing for the period during which the student did not register; and
  • the time limit for degree completion, including the sessions in which the student was not registered, has not expired.

Sometimes, even if the student is reinstated, he or she does not have enough time left to complete the outstanding degree requirements. A decision, based on the academic merits of the case, will determine whether the student should be readmitted as a new student or reinstated. In the latter case, an extension of the time limit may be requested. In addition, if more than two years have elapsed since the student last registered, the College of Graduate Studies may impose additional requirements to ensure that the student is current in the field and is academically prepared to complete the degree requirements.

A student who is required to withdraw for academic reasons is not eligible for reinstatement.


Readmission applies when it is appropriate to admit a student who was previously registered, as if for the first time. An application for admission, whether to the same or a different program, will be evaluated as a new application. A new application form and application fee must be submitted.

A maximum of 12 credits or up to 40% of the total number of degree credits of previously completed coursework may be applied toward the new degree program requirements, provided the courses were completed no longer than five years from the date of readmission. Courses eligible for transfer must have been awarded a grade of at least B (74% or higher at the UBC Okanagan campus). Normal program requirements apply, as does the standard time allowed for degree completion: five years for a master's student; six years for a doctoral student.

Doctoral Students Previously Admitted to Candidacy

Doctoral students who were previously admitted to candidacy may, upon approval of the relevant graduate program, be readmitted and continue with their “All But Dissertation” status provided that candidacy was achieved no longer than five years from the date of readmission.

Students applying for readmission in order to complete the dissertation must submit, as part of the application, a study plan outlining the proposed timeline and tasks required to complete the program.

Students readmitted to complete the dissertation will have a maximum of three years from the date of readmission to complete the doctoral program.

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