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.