If you do not meet the terms of Academic Probation, you may be required to take a break from attending UC Berkeley. This is called being "dismissed”. The goal of dismissal is to provide a pause in the student's enrollment at UC Berkeley in order to allow them time to address the source of their academic challenges. The intent is to have students return back to the campus and students are encouraged to pursue readmission after dismissal.
Many strong students that have experienced academic setbacks leading to dismissal have been able to return and graduate from UC Berkeley. In order to resume studies at UC Berkeley after dismissal, you will need to be readmitted by the L&S Deans' Conference.
For students who are not dismissed by the College of Letters and Science (L&S), there is a separate readmission process. Please review Readmission After An Absence.
What to do when you are dismissed
While being dismissed can invoke various emotions, the goal is to allow you time to address the challenges that have led to your academic difficulty. These challenges may relate to how you have approached your academics (i.e. study skills, major choice) or may be rooted outside of academics (i.e. health, financial, family, etc.).
After being dismissed, the first step you should take is an honest assessment of all factors you believe may have impacted your academics. You should plan your readmission on a timeline that allows you to adequately address and resolve these underlying factors, or develop strategies for managing them in a way that allows you to focus on your academics. This may require taking some time fully away from school, or require practicing new skills or management skills at another institution.
Even if you feel you have a strong understanding of the obstacles that led to your academic struggles, we recommend you review the Common Causes of Academic Difficulty page, as students can sometimes overlook a factor.
In order to be readmitted to UC Berkeley after dismissal, you are required to meet with an L&S College Adviser to discuss your terms for readmission. One of these terms will be the requirement to attend another institution for at least two semesters (or three quarters) and earn B grades or better as a full-time student (more details about this process and the types of institutions you may choose, including UC Berkeley Summer Sessions or UC Berkeley Extension, can be found on the Readmission After Dismissal page). You will want to assess your goals for your time away and choose a plan that works for you. An L&S College Adviser can help you make this plan.
If you are a Financial Aid recipient, you should discuss your next steps with Financial Aid to understand your best options as it relates to financial aid.
Once you are ready to come back or planning to come back, please read our Readmission after Dismissal page in order to get all the necessary details and information.
Grade points for dismissed students
Dismissed students may be eligible to enroll in UC Berkeley Summer Session and/or UC Berkeley Extension courses and receive units and grade points towards their UC GPA, but these requests must be approved by L&S prior to taking the courses.
UC Berkeley Summer Session may count as one of your two terms “away” from UC Berkeley, but the other term must be a regular Fall or Spring semester at another institution.
To request grade point approval for UC Berkeley Summer Sessions, students should meet with an L&S College Adviser before enrolling in courses.
To request grade point approval for UC Berkeley Extension (e.g. XB and XBW) courses, students should meet with an L&S Assistant Dean before enrolling in courses. If a dismissed student does not receive advance approval, the Deans have the authority to deny credit for the courses when their case is reviewed by the Deans’ Conference.
Dismissed international students can ask the Berkeley International Office (BIO) to transfer their I-20 to a different institution if the dismissal status is not yet effective on their record. Please contact a Berkeley International Office Adviser for more information.