Students must register on the dates specified in the academic calendar. Students are not registered until they have both
- enrolled in an approved list of courses, and
- are current with the Bursar’s Office. All undergraduate students with an outstanding Bursar’s bill balance of $300 or more and graduate students with a Bursar’s bill balance of $1,500 or more will have a hold placed on their registration for the subsequent quarter the day before online registration opens. The hold will be released once students have paid their bill in full or worked out a satisfactory payment plan with the Bursar’s Office.
Any student who has not completed both parts of registration within one week after the first day of classes will be removed from the Institute rolls. A student on leave from, or not registered with, the Institute may not attend classes, live in Institute housing, participate in Institute programs, use Institute facilities, work on campus, or use student services such as Wellness Services, Center for Inclusion & Diversity, Careers, Advising, and Experiential Learning (CAEL), or the Hixon Writing Center during the leave, unless approved in writing by the Dean of Students or designee. The Institute can place a hold on a student’s registration in a variety of circumstances including any failure to comply with Institute requirements.
Students are required to maintain continuity of registration until the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree are fulfilled, except in the case of an approved undergraduate student leave.
Changes in Registration
All changes in registration must be reported to the Registrar’s Office by the student prior to the published deadlines. A grade of F will be given in any course for which a student registers and which they do not either complete satisfactorily or drop. A course is considered dropped when a student drops the course in REGIS or notifies the Registrar’s Office in writing. A student may not at any time withdraw from a course that is required for graduation in their option, without permission of the registrar.
A student may not add a course after the last day for adding courses, or withdraw from a course after the last date for dropping courses, without the approval of the Undergraduate Academic Standards and Honors (UASH) Committee. In cases where the late addition of a course would have put the student in a position of overload by Add Day of the term concerned, the student must also obtain an approved retroactive overload from the dean or associate dean of undergraduate students. Registration for added courses is complete when a student registers for the course on REGIS or sends a written request to the Registrar’s Office with the proper approvals. No credit will be given for a course for which a student has not properly registered. The responsibility for registering or dropping courses (in REGIS or by direct communication with the Registrar’s Office) is on the student. Failure to fulfill the responsibility because of oversight or ignorance is not sufficient grounds to petition for permission to drop or add courses after the deadline.
Humanities Drop Policy
Students who do not attend the first class of the term will be automatically dropped from the class. Students who notify the instructor in advance of their inability to attend the first class may remain enrolled in the class at the instructor’s discretion.
Students will be assigned first-year advisers, and later option advisers, who will guide students to resources about the curriculum, graduation requirements, and Institute policies and procedures. Through the academic advising experiences at Caltech, students will develop an educational plan for successfully achieving their goals and select courses each quarter to progress toward fulfilling that educational plan. Undergraduate students are required to meet with their adviser at least once a year. Failure to meet at least once prior to the start of spring term will result in a hold placed on the student’s record which will prevent them from registering online.
Summer Research or Summer Reading
Qualified undergraduate students who are regular students at the Institute are permitted to engage in research or reading during the summer, but in order to receive academic credit the student must have the approval of their division and must complete the registration process for such summer work before June 1. Any requests to add research after June 1 must be submitted as a Late Add petition to the Undergraduate Academic Standards and Honors Committee (UASH) as well as be approved by the Division Chair. An undergraduate may not receive payment for research carried out for academic credit. Students who are registered for summer research or reading will not be required to pay tuition for the units. A student may apply up to 18 units of summer research per summer and 36 units in total toward Institute graduation requirements.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT LEAVES OF ABSENCE
A student may request a voluntary leave of absence for personal reasons (personal leave) by submitting a written petition via completion of the undergraduate leave form. International students should consult with the International Student Programs Office regarding visa implications prior to submitting the leave petition.
The dean or designee may grant a personal leave provided (a) the student is in good standing, in other words does not have to meet special academic or disciplinary requirements as a result of reinstatement, (b) the leave is for one year or less, although special circumstances can be considered for a longer leave, and (c) the leave extends over a period that includes at least one full term.
A student on personal leave may not attend classes, live in Institute housing, participate in Institute programs, use Institute facilities, work on campus, or use student services, such as the Health and Counseling Services or Center for Inclusion & Diversity, during the leave, unless approved in writing by the dean or designee. Both Career Advising and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and the Hixon Writing Center (HWC) are, by default, open to all students who have not been permanently separated from the Institute, regardless of leave or registration status, unless otherwise revoked by the director of the relevant center.
A disciplinary proceeding brought against a student may continue during the period that a student is on a personal leave. The Institute reserves the right to impose discipline against a student on personal leave should circumstances warrant.
A petition to return from a personal leave should be submitted six (6) weeks before the first day of the term for which the student intends to return.
If a student is unable to complete their coursework due to medical reasons, the student may petition for a medical leave of absence by submitting a written petition via completion of the undergraduate leave form. The dean or designee may grant a leave for medical reasons, provided the petition is recommended by the director of Health and Counseling Services or designee. International students should consult with the International Student Programs Office regarding visa implications prior to submitting the medical leave petition.
Medical leaves are expected to extend over a period that includes at least one full term, although special circumstances may be considered for approval of a shorter leave upon the recommendation of a student’s treatment team.
Students may be required to sign a release of information form authorizing their treatment provider to communicate relevant medical information to representatives within Health and Counseling Services and the Dean’s Office to facilitate evaluation of the need for the leave and to determine appropriate conditions associated with the leave and establishing expectations for return from the leave.
The Institute may impose conditions on return from a medical leave, which may include confirmation from the student’s health care provider that the student is following the recommended course of treatment, the student’s consent for the provider to discuss the student’s condition or progress during the leave with Caltech officials, including representatives of Health and Counseling Services and the Dean’s Office, and an independent evaluation of the student’s readiness to return by a qualified medical professional. Certain conditions of return will be specified at the time of the leave approval.
A petition to return from medical leave must be submitted six (6) weeks before the first day of the term for which the student intends to return. The return process includes an interview with the director of Health and Counseling Services and the submission of a completed return from medical leave and provider recommendation forms. Students are expected to sign a release of information form authorizing their treatment providers to communicate with Caltech, including representatives of Health and Counseling Services and the Dean’s Office to determine readiness to return and recommendations for reasonable accommodations. Final approval of the petition is the responsibility of the dean or designee. If the student is permitted to return from the leave, any conditions of return will be communicated to the student in writing.
A student returning from a leave for medical reasons will maintain the same academic standing that they had previously and will be subject to the same academic requirements for maintaining academic progress unless an exception is granted—i.e., if on academic probation, the student will remain on probation upon return from leave. Additional information and resources regarding medical leave, including financial and transcript implications, can be found at deans.caltech.edu.
While on Medical Leave
It is the expectation that a student on medical leave will focus on receiving treatment to manage the condition(s) that precipitated the leave. A student on medical leave may not attend classes, live in Institute housing, participate in Institute programs, use Institute facilities, work on campus, or use student services such as Health and Counseling Services, Center for Inclusion & Diversity, or the Hixon Writing Center during the leave, unless approved in writing by the dean or designee. Career Advising and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is, by default, open to all students who have not been permanently separated from the Institute, regardless of leave or registration status, unless otherwise revoked by the director of CAEL.
Consistent with Caltech policy and the requirements of Title IX, students who are unable to complete their coursework or other course of study for a period of time due to a pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions are eligible for a medical leave of absence. Students who are pregnant or who have recently given birth are also eligible for reasonable accommodations.
A pregnant student who wishes to take a medical leave should submit a completed petition to the Dean of Undergraduate Students Office after obtaining a recommendation from the director of Health and Counseling Services. Medical documentation from the student’s treating medical provider is required.
The Institute also provides reasonable accommodations to pregnant students consistent with federal and state law. Reasonable accommodations may include allowing pregnant students to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances, allowing them to make up tests and assignments that are missed for pregnancy-related reasons or excusing of absences that are medically necessary.
An enrolled student in good academic standing who chooses to take a leave of absence because of the birth of their child may request a bonding leave by submitting a completed petition form to the Dean of Undergraduate Students Office for approval.
The dean or designee may determine that it is necessary to place a student on an involuntary leave in a variety of circumstances, including when a student demonstrates behavior that poses a threat to health or safety, causes significant disruption to the Caltech community, for the personal safety or welfare of the student involved, as an interim measure, or as a result of a disciplinary action.
The dean may impose an involuntary leave in appropriate circumstances, such as where a student’s behavior: (1) has, or threatens to, cause significant property damage; (2) significantly disrupts the Caltech community; (3) presents a substantial risk of harm to self or others; (4) indicates the student is unable or unwilling to carry out self-care obligations; or (5) violates a Caltech policy or the honor system. An involuntary leave also may be imposed when that the student requires a level of care from the Institute community that exceeds the reasonable accommodations, resources and staffing that the Institute can reasonably be expected to provide for the student’s well-being.
If the dean determines that a student’s continued presence is likely to pose a substantial risk to the safety and well-being of the student or others, the dean may place the student on an emergency interim leave before a final determination is made. The dean will consider relevant information, including relevant information provided by the student, if available within the timeframe needed to make a decision, before deciding on an emergency interim leave. An emergency interim leave will remain in effect until a final decision has been made.
Review and Decision Process
If the conduct has been the subject of an investigation or review under an Institute process or procedure, the dean will consider the findings and conclusions reached in that process. In other circumstances described above, in making an informed decision to place a student on involuntary leave, the dean will conduct an individualized assessment and consider relevant information including information provide in a timely manner by the student.
The dean may consult with other Institute personnel, including but not limited to, security and residential life personnel, staff, faculty, and other individuals or departments. If appropriate and feasible, the dean may seek cooperation and involvement of parents or guardians of the student.
Medical information, including medical information provided in a timely manner by the student, may be considered if the behavior is associated with a physical or mental condition. In appropriate cases, the dean may consult with the director of Health and Counseling Services, or designee, and/or require a physical or mental evaluation from a health professional if the dean believes such an evaluation is necessary in order to make an informed decision. Students are expected, if necessary, to sign a release of information to facilitate discussions between Caltech and the health professional conducting the evaluation. The dean will also consider whether relevant risk factors can be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level through reasonable accommodation.
A decision by the dean to place a student on involuntary leave may be appealed in writing within 10 days to the vice president for student affairs (or designee). If the leave is imposed as a sanction resulting from a finding of responsibility under an Institute process any applicable limitations on grounds for appeal will apply.
The student will be advised in writing of the decision to impose an involuntary leave. The dean may stipulate conditions that must be met before the student may return. An involuntary leave may be a permanent separation from the Institute (i.e. expulsion); for a specific duration or until certain conditions have been met. If the involuntary leave is not a permanent separation, the student will be advised of the length of the leave and/or any conditions for return.
While on Leave
A student on involuntary leave may not attend classes, live in Institute housing, participate in Institute programs, use Institute facilities, work on campus, or use student services such as Health and Counseling Services, Center for Inclusion & Diversity, or the Hixon Writing Center during the leave, unless approved in writing by the dean or designee. A student on interim involuntary leave may be permitted to remain in Caltech housing and have continued access to student services such as Health and Counseling Services until a final decision is made, if appropriate under the circumstances and as approved by the dean.
Return from Leave
A student on involuntary leave will not be allowed to return until the dean makes a fact-specific assessment of the circumstances, considers relevant risk factors, and concludes that the student does not pose a significant disruption to the functioning of the Institute community and/or does not pose a substantial risk to the health and safety of the student or others. The dean will consider relevant information, including information provided by the student. In cases where a student has a physical or mental condition associated with the behavior triggering the leave, the dean will also consider whether the relevant risks can be eliminated by a reasonable accommodation. The dean may consult with other Institute administrators, as appropriate, in making their decision. The student will be notified in writing of the dean’s determination of whether the student will be permitted to return from a leave, will not be permitted to return from the leave, or will be permanently separated from the Institute. If the student is permitted to return from the leave, any conditions of return will be communicated to the student in writing.
While on Leave (all leaves)
Caltech considers students on an approved leave to be matriculated; however, students on leave are not currently enrolled and therefore do not enjoy all rights and privileges of enrolled students. Unenrolled students, and accordingly, students on leave, have limited access to Caltech’s educational activities, programs, and services. They may not attend classes or labs, live in Institute housing, or access certain student resources, including Student Wellness Services and Residential Life activities, programs, and services during their leave. Career Advising and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is, by default, open to all students who have not been permanently separated from the Institute, regardless of leave or enrollment status, unless otherwise revoked by the Director of CAEL or the relevant deans’ office. For questions regarding the full scope of these limitations, please contact the relevant deans’ office.
Students may consult with their advisor and otherwise plan for their academic future; however, they will not receive credit for courses unless they are properly enrolled. Students who are on leave are still subject to all Institute policies, including the Institute Sex- and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy. Violations of policy may affect a student’s eligibility to re-enroll.
Withdrawal from the Institute
Formal separation from the Institute is effected by filing a completed undergraduate leave form in the dean of students office to be forwarded to the registrar and other appropriate offices. The effective date of a withdrawal is entered by the dean or designee. A student withdrawing from the Institute at any time during the term without filing a formal undergraduate leave form will not be considered withdrawn. In such a case, any grades reported by the instructors will be recorded on the official transcript, and the grade of F will be recorded for all other courses. A student who withdraws, or is absent for a term (or longer), without an approved undergraduate student leave must petition for reinstatement to return to the Institute. Return from involuntary leave requires approval through the dean of students office. Reinstatement rules are listed under scholastic requirements. If the withdrawal occurs after Add Day of any term, a W (standing for ”withdrawn”) will be recorded on the student’s transcript for all courses in which the student is enrolled. A grade of W is not included in the computation of the student’s grade-point average. The record will also indicate whether an undergraduate student leave was granted.