A leave of absence allows students who must interrupt their studies for a compelling reason—for example, a sustained medical condition that prevents attendance or a personal matter requiring absence from campus—to be exempt from the Continuous Registration requirement. Leave for a given semester cannot be processed at any time after the final day of classes for that semester.
Students who intend to take a leave of absence must notify GSAS by submitting the Leave of Absence Form to gsas-studentaffairs [at] columbia.edu. Until students are informed by the Office of Student Affairs that the leave has been processed, they should assume that they are registered and will be expected to fulfill their academic and/or financial responsibilities, including completing coursework.
Leaves of absence may be taken for one or two semesters; under unusual circumstances, students may apply for a third or fourth semester of leave. A student's total period of leave may not exceed two years (four semesters).
Students taking a leave of absence are not considered to be registered Columbia students, and will not be able to fulfill requirements for the degree during the leave.
Students who have not registered for any classes or an enrollment category by the end of the change of program period will not be allowed to enroll that term and must file for a leave of absence or withdrawal.