What is Dismissal?

If you were on Academic Probation and did not clear with your semester grades, you may be required to take a break from attending UC Berkeley. This is called being "dismissed”. Dismissal is meant to allow you time to find direction, overcome struggles, and demonstrate your readiness to get back on track at UC Berkeley. L&S Advising have worked with many students through their dismissal period, offering encouragement and guidance to not only return to Cal, but to achieve bigger picture goals.

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.

Dismissal FAQ

What to do when you are dismissed


The goal is to allow you time and space to address the challenges that have led to your academic difficulty. You came to UC Berkeley with goals, whether it was to graduate or to achieve something larger, and have encountered obstacles. This is a chance to reflect and plan for the future. 

After being dismissed, it can be helpful to first take some time to honestly assess the factors you believe may have impacted your academics. These may relate to the classroom (i.e. study skills, major choice) or may be rooted outside of academics (i.e. health/mental health, financial, family, etc.). Identify if there are things you can change, resources that can support you, or strategies you can develop. You may realize that the timing is not right for focusing on school and decide to take a full break from school until challenges are resolved. You can take the time you need.  

Standard terms

When you are ready, meet with an L&S College Adviser to plan for your readmission. To be readmitted, you will need to complete "standard terms." This means attending another institution for at least two terms (semesters or quarters) and earn B grades or better as a full-time student, unless you are eligible for reduced course load (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). An adviser will help you plan class schedules that meet expectations for these terms, including choosing transferable coursework and designing schedules that reflect what you plan to take at UC Berkeley in the future. An adviser can also help you determine whether it is possible to satisfy any degree requirements during these terms and discuss timelines that may work best for you. 

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. 

Apply for readmission after dismissal

You can typically apply for readmission after dismissal when your first standard term is completed with Bs or better and your second standard term is in progress. This timeline may or may not work well for you depending on timing and availability of courses for your specific major direction. An L&S Adviser can discuss this with you in more depth to make a plan that fits your goals. 

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.

Approval required for Summer Sessions or UC Berkeley Extension

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. 

UC Berkeley Summer Session may count as one of your two standard terms, but the other term must be a regular Fall or Spring semester at another institution.

Prior to enrolling in summer courses, or as soon as you have been notified of your dismissal status, discuss your summer plans and grade points with an L&S College Adviser.

To request grade point approval for UC Berkeley Extension (e.g. XB and XBW) courses, students should meet with an L&S College Adviser before enrolling in courses. 

International students

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 Berkeley International Office for more information.