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Petitioning Time Away

How do I petition time away from BYU due to SUSP or DISM?

Because research has consistently shown that SUSP and DISM students who take time away from the university perform better upon their return than students who do not take time away, the university has determined that taking time away benefits most SUSP and DISM students. Only under extraordinary circumstances are students granted an exception. In these very rare instances, a student may meet with an advisor from the Academic Support Office and petition taking time away due to SUSP or DISM.

If you feel that your circumstances may qualify you to petition taking time away or if you are a dismissed student returning to the university, please contact the Academic Support Office (ASO).

How does the petitions process work?

  1. An ASO advisor’s approval is needed to begin the process, and they can provide valuable guidance as you prepare the petition. The advisor can help you determine which of the two petitions you qualify for. The ASO offers two types of petitions.

    1. Suspended (SUSP) or dismissed (DISM) students may petition to be exempt from taking time away from the university.
    2. Dismissed (DISM) students must complete a petition in order to return to the university. For more information, see the “Returning from Dismissal” section at the bottom of this page.*
    • Petitions to changes in academic standing are not accepted. If you are looking for another type of petition, there are various other petitions are offered through the

      Petitions Office

      .
  2. Petitions are then reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee (ASC), which meets once a month. Their decision to approve or deny the petition is determined by what they believe will benefit the individual student the most.
  3. Students are sent a YMessage with the decision of the committee and steps to take moving forward.

What does a petition include? What do I need to prepare?

The following is a description of the materials needed for a petition to the Academic Standards Committee.

  1. Personal Statement:

    • The student must prepare a statement of why he/she would benefit from an exception to the time-away policy. The statement should include an explanation of the conditions that led to the student’s suspension/dismissal, consider all recent semester/terms below a 2.0 GPA, and demonstrate the resolution of the conditions that led to the suspension/dismissal. This is the only direct contact a student will have with the committee, so it is critical that the statement be well organized and written. The statement should be typed and be 1-2 pages. The statement should only include relevant information regarding the circumstances of the suspension/dismissal. The statement should detail the extraordinary circumstances that merit an exception to the time-away requirement. The statement should provide a strong rationale for the student’s ability to perform better in the future.
  2. Graduation Plan:

    • The graduation plan must include all classes that the student is required to take before graduation. It must be signed by the student’s College Advisement Center.
  3. Additional Supportive Materials:

    • When applicable, the student should procure letters of support from doctors, counselors, ecclesiastical leaders, employers, teachers, etc., who have knowledge of the student’s circumstances and can verify that he/she has resolved those difficulties. These statements should come from individuals who worked with the student at the time of academic difficulties, not after the fact. Effective statements include dates of contact, the duration of the concerns, the impact of the concerns on your academic performance, and a recommendation that the student would benefit from continuing their enrollment without a break.

*How do I petition to return after DISM?

For students on DISM, the process is very similar. There are some differences in the petitions process for dismissed students:

  1. Students must wait two years after their DISM to petition. (This allows adequate time for the student to resolve any difficult circumstances that led to their DISM)
  2. While returning after SUSP is typically automatic, returning after DISM has no guarantees.
  3. The petition should provide evidence that the student has demonstrated the ability to perform well academically. While away from BYU, dismissed students must take 12 or more credits of academic coursework at a 3.2 average GPA or higher. These can be completed at another institution or through BYU’s Independent Study program. It is recommended that students work with their academic advisors to determine what courses to take.