Leave of Absence and Withdrawal
Health leaves are requested through the Health Leaves Coordinator in Cornell Health.
- Unaffiliated students considering a health leave of absence should consult with the Engineering Advising Office.
- Affiliated undergraduate and M.Eng. students should consult their Major or Program Coordinator.
Important information regarding leave of absences and voluntary withdrawals
The Cornell Engineering assists with the processing of a leave of absence or withdrawal for all undergraduate engineering students and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) students. Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students need to contact Graduate School Student Services as your student record is maintained by the Graduate School.
When is my leave/withdrawal effective?
This is important for your understanding of the repercussions of requesting a leave or withdrawal.
Current semester requests are effective the date you submit your request and will determine your last official day of attendance for tuition and grading purposes.
Future semester requests – the leave will be effective the day after the end of the last term that you attended. If you plan to take courses at Cornell over the summer session, please do not submit your Fall request during the Spring semester.
- What happens to my grades if I request a leave or withdrawal during the semester?
- Leaves/withdrawals granted between the start of the semester and the university drop deadline will result in you being dropped from your courses, unless the official course end date was prior to the drop deadline and a grade has been posted to the record. In this scenario, the grade would stand.
- Leaves/withdrawals granted between the 57th day of the term (the university drop deadline) and the last day of the semester will result in you being withdrawn (W) from your courses, unless the official course end date was prior to the withdrawal date and a grade has been posted to the record. In this scenario, the grade would stand.
- Can I take courses while on a leave of absence?
- You are not permitted to enroll in courses at Cornell during your leave. You are able to take courses at another institution and request transfer credit. We strongly recommend that you receive pre-approval from Engineering Advising before enrolling/taking courses at another institution that you plan to transfer to Cornell.
- Are there other offices that I should contact before requesting a leave or withdrawing?
- Yes! Below is a list of Offices that you should check with.
- Bursar’s Office
- Office of Financial Aid
- Housing and Residential Services
- Student Employment,
- Student Health Plan (link)
- International Services (link
- Yes! Below is a list of Offices that you should check with.
A change in your enrollment status may have implications on your financial aid, billing, student health benefits, visa status, medical insurance or auto insurance. Be sure to contact the appropriate offices today!
- What responsibilities do I still have after requesting my leave/withdrawal?
- If you request a leave or withdrawal during a semester, you are responsible for any outstanding tuition or other university charges owed through your date of your leave/withdrawal. Note: On-campus housing and dining charges may accrue until you no longer use the services, regardless of your official leave/withdrawal date.
Request for a Voluntary Personal Leave or Withdrawal from the Cornell Engineering
Please read the following instructions and policy, then click the link below to access the College of Engineering Voluntary Personal Leave and Withdrawal Form. This form is for Engineering B.S. and M.Eng. students only. MS and Ph.D. students should contact the Graduate School Registrar’s Office for guidance on leaves and withdrawals.
Visit the Cornell Health website for information on health leaves.
- Unaffiliated students considering a health leave should also speak with the Engineering Advising Office.
- Affiliated undergraduate and M.Eng. students should contact their Major/Program Coordinator when planning any health leave.
Once you formally submit the request for a voluntary personal leave or withdrawal it will be dated and time stamped. You will immediately receive an email sent to your official Cornell email address verifying your submission was successful and the date submitted. This date will determine your official last day of attendance for tuition and grading purposes if the leave or withdrawal is during an active term. If the leave or withdrawal is for a future term that has not yet started, your effective date will always be the day after your last date of attendance at Cornell. This is generally the day after the last final exam of the term that you complete.
If you have not yet spoken with your Department Coordinator or the Advising Office about your leave or withdrawal request, please do so as soon as possible since your voluntary leave/withdrawal will need to be reviewed and endorsed by your Major Program Coordinator or Advising Office prior to final college and university approval.
Engineering policy on voluntary personal leaves and withdrawals
Students who desire to suspend their studies for a period of time or permanently may request a voluntary personal leave or withdrawal. Leaves are granted for no less than one semester and no greater than two years. During the semester, a student may request to take a voluntary leave of absence or withdrawal up through the last day of the term. Students who are in good standing in the college at the conclusion of a semester may request to take a voluntary personal leave of absence to suspend their studies prior to the start of the upcoming semester. Leaves/withdrawals requested for an upcoming term will be effective on the day after the end of the last term attended.
A voluntary personal leave of absence or withdrawal granted during the course of a semester will be effective on the date the request is submitted via the online form.
A voluntary personal leave of absence or withdrawal that is granted prior to the semester start, or by the university drop deadline, will result in the upcoming or current semester’s courses being expunged, except if a course was already completed. Students will receive a grade for any course that was completed prior to the leave of absence requests date. Leaves/withdrawals granted after the 57 day of a semester and by the last day of the term will result in W’s on a student’s transcript for enrolled classes, except if a course was already completed.
Students on a leave of absence are not permitted to enroll in courses at Cornell during their leave. Students may take courses at other institutions while on a leave. In order to satisfy Cornell degree requirements, courses taken at another institution must be approved in advance through a formal transfer petition. Credit for courses completed at foreign institutions during a leave of absence will not be accepted for transfer credit unless students are returning to their countries of permanent residence during their leave of absence. A maximum of 18 transfer credits may be used to meet degree requirements after matriculation.
Students who are considering taking a voluntary personal leave of absence should check with the Bursar’s Office, Office of Financial Aid, Housing and Residential Services, Student Employment, Student Health Plan, International Services and Athletics to find out about financial and other implications. Note: The change in enrollment status may have implications for financial aid, billing, student health benefits, and international student visa status. It is particularly important for students who have educational loans to contact the Office of Financial Aid. Eligibility for medical or auto insurance may also be affected during a student’s leave of absence.
Students who are granted a voluntary personal leave of absence or withdrawal during a semester are responsible for any outstanding tuition or other university charges owed through the date of the leave of absence. On-campus housing and dining charges may accrue until the student no longer uses the services, regardless of the official leave date.
If you agree with these policies and terms and wish to submit your voluntary personal leave or withdrawal request, click the link below to access the form.