Reinstatement

Returning from Approved Leaves

Students must submit a Return from Leave of Absence form no later than July 15, if they plan to return for the fall semester, and no later than December 1, if they plan to return for the spring semester. Students returning from a medical leave must also submit to the Office of Student Affairs a letter of approval from the health care professional who provided treatment, confirming that the student is medically cleared to return to graduate study and proposing any recommended accommodations. Such letters should be sent by email to gsas-studentaffairs [at] columbia.edu or via fax to (212) 854-2863. The Medical Leave of Absence Readmission Committee, made up of representatives from Columbia University Health Services and the GSAS Office of Student Affairs, will review the letter of approval, and either approve the student’s request to return, or ask that the student meet with a relevant Columbia Health Services health care practitioner. Once approved to return, students may register during their assigned registration appointment times.

Students who have decided not to return from a leave of absence should complete the Request for Withdrawal. The complete policy regarding withdrawals is available here.

Returning from Unapproved Leaves

Doctoral Students

A student in a doctoral program in the Arts and Sciences who leaves the University without having obtained a Leave of Absence must apply again for admission to the doctoral program as a new student. Admission for return to graduate study is granted at the discretion of the department and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The GSAS Office of Student Affairs requests the department or program to supply a written schedule for the completion of all requirements before the student is admitted. The student is expected to complete the degree by the date specified by the department or program; extensions will not be granted.

If admitted, the student will become subject to all current requirements as interpreted by the GSAS Office of Student Affairs with regard to the student's case. In cases where there has been a prolonged interruption of studies, a department may require a student to retake examinations and/or courses as appropriate.

Master's Students

A student in a Master’s program in the Arts and Sciences who has been absent from his or her program for four or fewer semesters without having obtained a Leave of Absence must apply for reinstatement. Reinstatement is granted at the discretion of the department or program and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

To request reinstatement, students must submit the Application for Return to MA Study to the GSAS Office of Student Affairs at least eight weeks before the first day of registration for the term in which they intend to resume studies.

The department or program must then submit the Return to MA Study: Evaluation of Application form to the GSAS Office of Student Affairs.

MA students who have been on an unapproved leave for more than four semesters will be required to apply again for admission.

The GSAS Office of Student Affairs requests the department or program to supply a written schedule for the completion of all requirements before the student is reinstated. The student is expected to complete the degree by the date specified by the department or program; extensions will not be granted.

If reinstated, the student will become subject to all current requirements as interpreted by the GSAS Office of Student Affairs with regard to the student's case. In cases where there has been a prolonged interruption of studies, a program may require a student to retake examinations and/or courses as appropriate.