Academic Leave & Readmission

Once you have decided you are ready to continue your studies in Arts at UBC — whether you’ve taken a voluntary academic leave or have been required to withdraw —  there are some options available for you.

Readmission deadline

The readmission deadline for voluntary academic leaves and readmission after 1-2 failed year(s) is May 15.

Voluntary academic leave

If you leave the Faculty of Arts at UBC in good academic standing, you can take an academic leave of up to one year and will be automatically assigned an Eligibility to Return status on your account for the following academic year.

If you leave the Faculty of Arts at UBC in good academic standing and take more than a year away from your degree, you must apply for readmission through the “admissions” tab in the Student Service Centre (SSC). Admission is not competitive if you left in good standing.

Before you leave

  1. Review UBC’s policy on academic leave
  2. Talk to an academic or departmental advisor for program-specific requirements
  3. Check with an Enrolment Services Advisor to see if taking a break will affect your financial assistance or awards

If you study elsewhere

If you plan to study at another institution while you are on academic leave, you must get a Letter of Permission from UBC to have your credits applied to your UBC degree.

Failed year standing

At the end of every academic session, you are assessed for eligibility to continue based on your sessional average. If you are required to withdraw from the Faculty of Arts or another faculty at UBC, know that you are not alone and many students successfully return to their studies once they have regained a pattern of academic success while away from UBC.

If you wish to complete your degree in Arts after receiving a failed year standing, you can contact Arts Academic Advising to discuss your situation and develop a new academic success plan. Also, you may wish to contact other on-campus support units relating to finance, health, and wellness during this time.


You may appeal your initial requirement to withdraw from UBC Arts if you experienced a short-term impact from an unexpected situation and can demonstrate that the situation has been resolved.

The appeal deadline is June 30. It can take up to five weeks to process appeals after the deadline. You can submit a letter of appeal and supporting documentation directly to Arts Academic Advising via email at If you have questions about your appeal, you can contact an arts academic advisor prior to submission.

Writing your letter of appeal

Letters of appeal should include a thoughtful analysis of the reasons for your academic struggles and how your progress was impacted. You should be able to demonstrate that that your situation has been resolved and you have the capacity to continue with your studies, or that the impact is being managed with the support of appropriate professionals

You can supply documentation that can corroborate the actions taken to rectify issues that interfered with your academic progress, and a strong, considered and viable academic success plan.

Readmission after a failed year

Readmission application process

Carefully read UBC readmissions criteria below, paying particular attention to the information about Arts-eligible credits. Once you meet readmission criteria, you may apply for readmission via the SSC by May 15, under the “admissions” tab.

If you’ve completed 53 or fewer total of UBC Arts-eligible credits

In order to qualify for readmission, you must complete 21 university-transferable credits at a post-secondary institution with a minimum overall of 3.0 or UBC Arts’ competitive average, whichever is lower.

There is no time limit to complete these credits, so you can choose to study part-time at college and complete the required number of credits over several terms.

If you’ve completed 54 or more total of UBC Arts-eligible credits

In order to qualify for readmission, you must sit out for one full academic year and are not required to complete transferable credits. Readmission is guaranteed in this circumstance.

Readmission after two failed years

If you experience a second failed year, you must follow the readmission application process outlined in the section above, and then you will be prompted to submit a letter of intent with supporting documents for committee review (deadline is May 31).

Applications are reviewed carefully, taking into account that the issues causing the failed years have been resolved. Students who experience two failed years do not have a right to readmission.

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