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College of Arts and Sciences

Leave of Absence and Withdrawal

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Request for a Voluntary Leave or Withdrawal from the College of Arts & Sciences

Please read the following instructions and policy, then click the link at the bottom of this page to access the Cornell University Voluntary Leave of Absence and Withdrawal Request Form.

Health Leaves cannot be requested with this form. Please visit the Cornell Health website for information on health leaves. Students considering a health leave should also contact the A&S Student Services Office. 

Once you formally submit the request for a voluntary leave or withdrawal via the online form it will be date and time stamped. You will immediately receive an email sent to your official Cornell email address verifying your submission was successful and the date submitted. This date will determine your official last day of attendance for tuition and grading purposes if the leave or withdrawal is during an active term. If the leave or withdrawal is for a future term that has not yet started, your effective date will always be the day after your last date of attendance at Cornell. This is generally the day after the last final exam of the term that you complete.

Please review the following Arts & Sciences policy on voluntary leaves and withdrawals:

Students who desire to suspend their studies for a period of time or permanently may request a voluntary leave or withdrawal. Leaves are granted for a minimum of one or two semesters depending on conditions and expire after five years. During the semester, a student may request to take a voluntary leave of absence through the 12th week of the term. Any requests after the 12th week of a semester may be granted only under extraordinary circumstances and with the approval of the Committee on Academic Records.

Students who are in good standing in the college at the conclusion of a semester may request to take a voluntary leave of absence to suspend their studies prior to the start of the upcoming semester. Leaves/withdrawals requested for an upcoming term will be effective on the day after the end of the last term attended.

A voluntary leave of absence or withdrawal granted during the course of a semester will be effective on the date the request is submitted via the online form.

A voluntary leave of absence or withdrawal that is granted prior to the semester start, or by the university drop deadline, will result in the upcoming or current semester’s courses being expunged, with the exception of partial term classes that have already been completed. Leaves/withdrawals granted after the 57th day of a semester and by the last day of classes will result in W’s on a student’s transcript for enrolled classes. Classes in which all scheduled work, including final exams and projects, has been completed by the requested leave date will remain on the transcript with the grade awarded and will not be withdrawn with a W. 

Students on a leave of absence are not permitted to enroll in courses at Cornell during their leave. Students who take courses elsewhere in the United States while on leave may petition to have credits transferred. Applications for transfer credit are available in KG17 Klarman Hall and online. If approved, these credits may be applied toward the 120 credits needed for graduation, but not toward the required 100 A&S credits, nor to any of the breadth and distribution requirements.

Study abroad undertaken during a leave of absence will not receive academic credit. See the Courses of Study section on Transferring Credits While on Leave under Academic Standing for more information.

Students who are considering taking a voluntary leave should check with the Bursar’s Office, Office of Financial Aid, Housing and Dining, and Student Employment to find out about financial implications. It is particularly important for students who have educational loans to contact the Office of Financial Aid. Eligibility for medical or auto insurance may also be affected during a student’s leave of absence.

Students who are granted a voluntary leave of absence or withdrawal during a semester are responsible for any outstanding tuition or other university charges owed through the date of the leave of absence. On-campus housing and dining charges may accrue until the student no longer utilizes the services, regardless of the official leave date.

If you agree with these policies and terms and wish to submit your voluntary leave or withdrawal request please click the link below to access the form.

I understand, please take me to the form.