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The only person we know who was expelled from Hogwarts was Hagrid and his transgression was quite big:

He allegedly did open the Chamber of Secrets

Harry was threatened several times to be expelled but it never came to that, even when he broke the rules for not doing magic during summer vacation time.

So - what does it take to get expelled?

Background of the question:

Actually being expelled from Hogwarts is quite the disaster for a wizard/witch. The ability to use magic is comparable to the ability to read/write for Muggles - a very core skill that is needed for practically any profession in the magical world.

A Muggle who is expelled from school could just join another school and finish his/her education. Expulsion from Hogwarts results in your wand being broken and you are forbidden to do magic for the rest of your life.

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In general

Students can be expelled if they

  • hurt someone
  • perform magic outside of school (especially in front of Muggles) twice (first time, they receive a warning letter).

Umbridge

Under Dolores Umbridge’s tenure, several extra activities were added to this list:

  • starting or participating in an unauthorised organisation
  • carrying The Quibbler inside the school.

Post-expulsion

The expelled student’s wand is confiscated until their guilt is proven. Once it is, the wand is destroyed.

enter image description here Educational decree n27

  • 2
    Do we actually know from anywhere that doing magic in the presence of Muggles results in expulsion in general? It is a breach of the International Statute of Secrecy, and therefore the law; but the only canon reference we have is that expulsion from Hogwarts is up to the Headmaster, not the Ministry of Magic (read: Dolores Umbridge), and I don't believe I've ever seen any cases where a Headmaster has chosen to expel a student for performing magic outside school. I don't believe there is such a rule. As for ‘hurting someone’… well, that seems to happen quite routinely at Hogwarts! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 18 '16 at 16:24
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    The Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Under age Sorcery allows for the expulsion of students regardless of Muggle awareness or not. (see Mafalda Hopkirk's notice to Harry in Chamber of Secrets). Later - Harry was actually expelled by Fudge for his (Harry's) use of the Patronus during the summer (Order of the Phoenix). These instances reveal that it is under the legal purview of the Ministry to expell as well in accordance with the law. – NKCampbell Feb 18 '16 at 17:02
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    @NKCampbell Your comment inspired me to ask specifically whether or not the Ministry can expel students, since first Fudge and then at the hearing also the entire Wizengamot accept Dumbledore’s statement that expelling students is not within the legal purview of the Ministry. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 18 '16 at 18:58
  • Ok but that's only part of the story. Snape said several times that he would have expelled Harry if he was in his house. Are these threats real or just another way to make Harry feel bad? – vap78 Feb 19 '16 at 13:16
  • So the only important things are not to hurt anyone and not perform magic outside of school. So if the students don't study, fail all the O.W.L.S and have terrible marks, they don't get expelled? – Elisa Elisija Oct 12 '17 at 10:13

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