A leave of absence allows a student who must interrupt his or her 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. Requests for leave for a given semester will not be accepted at any time after the final day of classes for that semester.
Students who intend to take a leave of absence must submit a Request for a Leave of Absence to gsas-studentaffairs [at] columbia.edu. Until students are notified by the Office of Student Affairs that the leave has been approved, they should assume that they are registered and will be expected to fulfill their academic and/or financial responsibilities, including completing course work.
Leaves of absence are granted 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).