Leave of Absence

A student who does not attend classes any term in which a program plan called for classes must amend the program plan in advance and apply for a leave of absence. Students may request a leave of absence (LOA) from Columbia University School of Nursing at any time during their course of study. Students on probation are not eligible for a LOA. Students who leave in good academic standing will return in good academic standing; students who leave on academic action will return on academic action. It is recommended that students discuss their LOA request with their Program Director prior to submission.

  • leave of absence may be granted for compelling reasons such as illness, military duty, or parental leave (maternity or paternity). Requests for a LOA to gain work experience or because of work schedule conflicts will not be granted.* Leaves are ordinarily granted for no more than one year.
  • *Exception - DNP students may request a LOA the term prior to starting N9700 (Residency) to look for employment to serve as your residency site. The LOA prior to residency will be granted for no more than one year and students must be in good academic and professional standing. The LOA prior to residency must be approved by the Program Director and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

Documentation from a health care provider must accompany a request for a medical LOA.

  • If a leave is granted, it is expected that students are actively engaged in a course of medical treatment that leads to recovery.
  • Prior to re-enrollment, students will need to demonstrate the condition which precluded enrollment during your leave has resolved sufficiently to allow student to return to clinical and coursework. Students are required to provide the Office of Student Services with a letter from their healthcare provider indicating they are able to resume all aspects of the program.
  • Students may also be required to complete an administrative evaluation to determine a student’s readiness to re-enroll.

Students must submit a Leave of Absence Request Form to the Office of Student Services, which will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. The request must include:

  • Reason for the request (and medical documentation, if applicable)
  • Semester of effectiveness of requested LOA
  • Semester of intended return from LOA

The effective withdrawal date of a LOA is the date that all required paperwork is submitted to the Office of Student Services. This date determines the amount of tuition reimbursement (if applicable). Students withdrawing from term courses should also review the Withdrawal Policy. Students will be notified by email of their request decision. If approved, students are required to contact the Office of Student Services and their Program Director at least two months prior to their return from a LOA in order to submit required documentation and confirm new program of study. If there is not an approved LOA on record in the Office of Student Services and a student is not registered in any given term, the student will be considered as withdrawn and must apply for readmission.

All requests for leaves of absence will be reviewed for approval by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

While on an approved LOA, students are not permitted to enroll in courses, be involved in student groups or Columbia University-affiliated activities, or spend time on campus during leave. Students on leave do not have access to university resources, and the CUIMC ID card and swipe access are deactivated during the leave.

After a Leave of Absence, failure to enroll in the designated term and year results in the automatic withdrawal of the student by Columbia Nursing.

Course Completion Policy

Courses are complete once the student has submitted all requirements of the course (projects, papers, exams, etc.) even if the grade has not been posted. Grades of all completed courses will appear on the transcript even if the student withdraws or requests a leave of absence for the term. Any leave of absence or withdrawal requests will be processed once the completed courses grades are posted to SSOL.

Additional Things to Note

Curriculum and/or program plans are subject to change while a student is on an LOA, such as but not limited to: graduation and course requirements, credit load and course term offerings, and enrollment status. Students are responsible to keep in contact with their Program Director while on leave to ensure they are aware and understand any new academic changes. 

Please be advised that programs may be discontinued while a student is on LOA. If a DNP specialty program is discontinued, students may apply for a change of specialty as long as the program has availability and the student is in good academic standing.

Student must be good academic standing to request an LOA  request. If a student is requesting an LOA for the upcoming term, the LOA request will be reviewed at the end of the current term once all grades have been posted to the student’s transcript. Student not meeting satisfactory academic progress will need to apply for re-admission and meet admissions deadlines.