Dean Thornton’s FAQs


University Calendar 2020-2021 (latest update) 

Leave of Absence:

Q: How do I take a Leave of Absence for Fall 2022?

To activate a Leave of Absence, you must submit the form available at:

Q: If I take a Leave of Absence, will I forfeit my housing?

Yes, you should inform your housemates/roommate of your decision to take a leave and encourage them to recommend a returning student as a permanent replacement. Regarding housing for Spring 2021, the Office of Residential Life will use your housing preference to accommodate your requests based on the available housing stock. You are not guaranteed return to the Fall 2020 placement upon your return in Spring.

Q: What is the difference between academic and non-academic leave?

Academic leave – plan to take classes as a visitor at another college during leave; Non-academic leave – do not plan to take classes

Q: Where can I locate general information about the Leave of Absence process?

Q: Please clarify the difference between “deferral” or “deferred admission” and a “leave of absence”?

“Deferring admission means that you have been accepted, but you have decided to postpone your start date for school, usually to take a gap year” (Retrieved from So, deferrals pertain to incoming first-years (class 2024) and first-time transfer students. As a member of the Class of 2022, you may seek a “Leave of Absence.” To do so, please review the Leave information and complete the Leave form available at 

Q: Is it possible to enroll in classes at another university while on a Leave of Absence from Wesleyan?

  1. Yes, students must secure advanced approval before registering as a visiting student at another university or college, Pre-Approval of the specific course or courses from the Wesleyan department.
  2. It is not too late to make these arrangements.

Q: For purposes of my Fall 2020 enrollment at Wes, may I use the terms “remote” and “off-campus” interchangeably?

No. The distinctions have financial implications that you may review on the Financial Aid website.

This is how I have come to understand it: “remote” means the person is planning to live with family and will not (and can not) come to campus during the semester while the term “off-campus” is being used by the Office of Residential Life and the term “commuter” is being used by the Office of Financial Aid to refer to students who secure a special exemption from the residency requirement to live in or around the immediate City of Middletown and may enroll in a combination of in-person and on-line courses, may travel to and from campus on a regular basis, and may likely occasionally eat meals on campus. Based on these distinctions, you need to request release from the residency requirement using the following “off-campus request form.” Please complete it immediately. Additionally, you will need to send an email to Michelle Myers-Brown, who manages the dining plan, requesting exemption from the meal plan. We can discuss this more if you would like.

Student Health Insurance:

Q: May I sign up for Wesleyan Student Health Insurance while taking a Leave of Absence for Fall 2020?

Unfortunately, students must be enrolled in the Fall in order to participate in the Student Health Insurance program.

Fall 2020 Housing

FAQs: Fall 2020 Semester and Move In Process

Q: What does “Family Unit” mean and how does it differ from a “Cohort”?

A family unit consists of students who live together: roommates in a double room, students in the same apartment, program house or wood frame house. For houses with multiple units, a family unit includes all students living with their specific unit only.

A cohort consists of a larger network of students who interact with each other on a frequent basis, such as students living on the same corridor in a residence hall, students in the same orientation group, etc.

When interacting with anyone beyond one’s family unit (including your cohort), proper safety precautions of social distancing and face masks must be followed in addition to guidelines outlined by the plan for reactivating campus.

Q: I would like to pursue living in housing off-campus, how do I go about doing so?

Students who will be Juniors or Seniors for the 2020-2021 academic year were invited to apply for a special exception to the live-on requirement policy. These requests have been reviewed and decisions communicated to students. Residential Life does not anticipate making additional off-campus releases at this time.

General Topics:

Q: Is it possible to only take a couple of classes at Wesleyan and still return the following year as only a Junior?

Wesleyan requires full-time enrollment, so you may not enroll in fewer than 3.00 credits per semester. Wesleyan does not allow “part-time enrollment.” As for one’s class year status upon returning from a Leave of Absence, if you currently are “at Pace” 16.00 credits cumulative after 4 semesters and you were to earn credits while on-leave, the number of credits earned would determine your graduation term (May 2022 or Dec 2022). So, if you do not earn credits while on Leave, you would return to Wesleyan in the Spring of 2021 at your current stage, likely 1st semester junior.

Q: Is it possible to take 5 years to complete a bachelor’s degree instead of 4?

Unless there are exceptional, academic reasons for a student’s delay in completing all requirements for a major, students must complete their degrees in 8 semesters (4 years) or fewer.

Financial Aid:

Q: When will our class (2022’ers) receive their Financial Aid Award information?

The Office of Financial Aid will release Award letters by July 15th

Q: We understand that international students can do their courses online from their home countries.  Will these courses be fully counted towards their curricular/major requirements?

If immigration regulations allow F-1 Visa holders to enroll in on-line courses, we will honor the credentials (credits and major requirement completion) of those courses. It is noteworthy to remind students to consult their particular major department website(s), review their Major Certification form available in their WesPortal, and sign up to meet with their major advisor and/or Class Dean to review any concerns.

Q:  If our children do come back to campus, what are the minimum in-person course requirements? In other words, if a student takes 4 courses during Fall ’20, how many of these should be in-person to enable the student to stay? And does the entire course have to be in-person or a percentage of hours of the course?

It is my understanding that University has not set a “minimum in-person” course enrollment requirement. The university has not set any standard for the distribution of in-person/on-line courses. We will continue to monitor any news that might be set by government affiliates concerning F-1 visa holders and enrollment in on-line courses.

In general, please note, the University Regulations stipulates that students should enroll in 4.00 credits for 8 semesters to earn the 32.00 credits required to graduate. However, some students find it necessary to reduce (or increase) their course load per semester. Students who reduce their course load below 3.00 credits may encounter difficulties with their visa status, financial aid, or academic discipline status.

Q: After classes end before Thanksgiving, can international students stay on in the US with family for the reading period, finish their finals and then return or are they expected to leave and spend reading period in their own country?

The University expects that all students who are able to do so, leave campus (return to home/temporary housing in US or abroad) on Tuesday, November 25, 2020.

Tuesday, 11/24/2020 – Tuesday, 12/01/2020
Thanksgiving recess begins November 24, 10 p.m. and ends December 1, 8 a.m.


Enrollment in Courses:

Is there any partial enrollment option for the fall for international students?  

Wesleyan will continue to require students to enroll full-time (3.00 credits minimum). There may be other restrictions on the immigration end so you should consult the Office of International Student Affairs to learn about any immigration-specific guidelines. For now, please note that Wesleyan does not offer “partial enrollment.” However, from time to time a student might fall below 3.00 credits earned in a semester due to Withdrawing from courses during the semester. Those students are given an “academic discipline status –probation, strict probation, etc. and close advising to return back to “good standing.”  Please visit the Academic Regulations to learn more.

How will drop/add work if I’m not on campus? I am going to have to move my schedule around a lot and I am worried that I will not have the chance to.

This semester, Drop/Add will be on-line only process conducted through WesPortal. The link will become available to enrolled students on August 24.  Students will need to activate the “Enroll Me” button in WesPortal on the morning of August 24. Unlike previous semesters, students will not be required to be on the physical campus to activate their “Enroll Me.”  Please visit the Registrar website to learn more about Drop/Add.