Changing Your Status

Taking a Leave of Absence

Students may request a leave of absence for health, parental, or personal reasons. A leave pauses student status with the opportunity to return to the program at a set time. Leaves include:

  • Health LeaveTaking a health leave of absence provides students with a break from their studies to attend to treatment or management of a health condition.
  • Parental LeaveCornell University graduate and professional students are eligible for parental accommodation to help balance the competing demands of academic and family life.
  • Personal Leave: Under certain circumstances, students may wish to take a personal leave of absence for a non-medical and non-children-related reason.

View the leaves of absence policy for more information and refer to SHP While on Leave of Absence (LOA) for insurance coverage options.


Students may withdraw voluntarily at any time. Withdrawal is appropriate for students who do not intend to resume studies or to complete an advanced degree at Cornell University. Any interruption of registration is considered a withdrawal unless the student has been granted a leave of absence. A student holding a non-immigrant visa who withdraws is subject to the same U.S. government regulations as when applying for a leave of absence.

You must notify the Graduate School at if you wish to withdraw, take a leave of absence, or otherwise cease to be registered.