Withdrawal is the act of formally giving notice that one is leaving the University without intending to return at a future time. Students who intend to withdraw from the University must submit a Request for Withdrawal (PDF) to the GSAS Office of Student Affairs. Until students are notified by GSAS that the withdrawal has been approved, they should assume that they are registered and expected to fulfill their academic and/or financial responsibilities, including completing course work.

Refund of Tuition and Fees

All students who withdraw during a semester in which they are registered are charged a $75 withdrawal fee. Tuition is refunded on a prorated basis, ordinarily calculated from the date on which GSAS receives the request for a withdrawal. No fees are refunded after the second week of the semester. The Registrar's office publishes a schedule of refunds for tuition and fees based on the week in the semester during which the withdrawal is approved.

Transcript and Registration

Leaves of absence and withdrawals from the University during a semester are ordinarily allowed between semesters or at any time before the final examination period within a semester.  Courses and grades (if already recorded) for the semester in progress are expunged from the student's record. 

Loans, Fellowships, and Other Financial Aid

Students should contact the GSAS Office of Financial Aid for information about the effect of taking a withdrawal on loans and fellowships. Most University and government loan programs do not permit the deferment of loan repayment after a student has withdrawn.

Use of Facilities and Services

A student who has withdrawn may not use University facilities. Email accounts are normally suspended within six to nine months after approval of the leave.

Please note that students who have withdrawn but have previously been awarded a Columbia degree may, as alumni, retain access to their LionMail email account and use facilities such as the libraries: see the Columbia Alumni Association website for more information.

University Housing

Students must be registered to remain in Columbia Housing. Students who plan to withdraw should contact University Apartment Housing regarding the date by which they will be expected to vacate.

Health Insurance

A student whose withdrawal is approved during the first 30 days of the term will not be eligible for either the Columbia Student Medical Insurance or Health Services programs, and a full refund will be applied to a student’s account, unless the student has utilized the benefits of the insurance plan or made use of care provided by Health Services.

Students enrolled in the Columbia insurance and Health Services programs whose withdrawal is approved after 30 days of the term have passed will remain enrolled in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance and Health Service programs for the remainder of that term; no refund will be granted.

Visa Issues

Students on a J1 or F1 visa who intend to withdraw must contact the International Students and Scholars Office as soon as possible.