Some students find themselves in a position where they need to take a semester off of school, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

What does suspension mean?

If you are suspended, you lose the ability to elect or drop courses, and to attend or earn grades for courses at U-M. Suspension lasts at least the length of one full semester.

Why might I be suspended?

Members of the Academic Standards Board (or the Scholastic Standing Committee in the College of Engineering) determine suspensions on a case-by-case basis.  You may find yourself facing suspension if your academic performance for a particular term or terms is significantly below average, or you fail to complete most or all of your courses within a term.  Some students with mental health disorders mistakenly believe that they are being suspended for mental health reasons when poor academic performance (perhaps brought on by their disorder) is the true reason for their suspension. 

Are there benefits to suspension?

If you are struggling academically as a result of your mental health disorder, having time away from school can allow you to:

  • Devote your full energy to getting well.
  • Prevent your GPA from falling further, which could happen if you try to complete courses under stressful circumstances.
  • Have time to reassess your academic goals and think about new directions you may pursue when you return to school.

What steps should I take to get back in school?

  • Read the letter the Board has sent you regarding your suspension.
  • Meet with a Board member to learn what next steps will help you to be readmitted.  She/he will need to hear what you believe interfered with your academic success, including any relevant factors related to your mental health. 
  • The Board member will recommend actions you can take to improve your chances of readmission to the College.
    Examples of actions you may have to take in order to be considered for readmission:
    • Pursuit of a full term of courses elsewhere, or a combination of work and part-time studies. The Board may ask you to take courses at an institution other than U-M prior to petitioning for readmission and to show improved grades as evidence of your readiness for readmission.
    • Clinician’s statement verifying readiness to return. If you indicate your mental health as the reason for your academic difficulties, you will need to submit a statement of good health from your clinician. Returning to complex academic work only when you are completely well is a way to avoid mediocre or poor grades.
    • Financial plan. If you were unable to succeed academically because you had to work too many hours at a job, then the Board would require you to develop a reasonable plan for financing your education. The Board will encourage you to use the counselors at the Office of Financial Aid to help you construct this plan.
  • At least eight weeks (ten weeks for international students) prior to the start of the term in which you’d like to return, schedule a readmission interview with a Board member.  The Board will want to know what has changed since your suspension that now places you in a better position to succeed academically.
    • During your interview, a Board member will give you guidelines for writing your readmission petition. The Board member will also tell you the deadline for submitting your petition, and what additional documentation you should include with it.
  • At least six weeks (eight weeks for international students) prior to the start of the term in which you’d like to return, submit your petition for readmission to the Board.
  • One week to ten days from the receipt of your petition, you will receive a decision via e-mail.

How can I avoid being suspended again?

Sticking with a manageable number of credit hours and taking action at the first sign of academic trouble are good ways to improve your grade point average and prevent suspension.  Review these tips again for more ways to plan for successful future semesters.


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