Withdrawal is the act of formally giving notice that one is leaving the university without intending to return at a future time. A student who has withdrawn is not eligible for reinstatement.

Students who have decided to withdraw must complete both the GSAS Withdrawal Form and the Registrar’s withdrawal form. Until students are informed by the GSAS Office of Student Affairs that the withdrawal has been processed, they should assume that they are registered and will be expected to fulfill their academic and/or financial responsibilities, including completing coursework.

All students who withdraw during a semester in which they are registered are charged a $75 withdrawal fee. Tuition is refunded on a prorated basis, ordinarily calculated from the date on which the Registrar receives the Withdrawal Form from the student. No fees are refunded after the second week of the semester. The Registrar's office publishes a schedule of refunds for tuition and fees based on the week in the semester during which the withdrawal is processed. Please consult the Student Financial Services website for more information regarding the financial implications of a withdrawal.

Withdrawals may be processed at any point in a given semester before 5:00 p.m. on the final day of classes for that semester. (Please consult the GSAS Academic Calendar to determine the date of the final day of classes.) Once a withdrawal is processed, courses and grades for the semester in progress are expunged from the student’s record. Students who submit withdrawal paperwork after 5:00 p.m. on the final day of classes will be withdrawn from the subsequent semester, and the courses and grades for the semester in progress will be preserved on the transcript.

Withdrawal – Financial Implications and Refund Policy for Institutional Aid

The financial aid for GSAS PhD students who receive institutional aid and withdraw from their program is prorated. If the student is receiving the institutional aid as a salary, the appointment and the salary are terminated on the official date of withdrawal. If the student is receiving institutional aid as a stipend, the stipend is prorated according to the withdrawal date. The prorated amount that the student can keep is determined by the number of weeks the student was enrolled in the semester. The student's stipend is adjusted accordingly, and they must return the remaining balance for the number of weeks they are not enrolled.

Students should contact the GSAS Office of Financial Aid for information about the effect of taking a withdrawal on loans and fellowships. Most university and government loan programs do not permit the deferment of loan repayment after a student has withdrawn.

A student who has withdrawn may not use university facilities. Email accounts are normally suspended within six to nine months after the withdrawal is processed.

Please note that students who have withdrawn but have previously been awarded a Columbia degree may, as alumni, retain access to their LionMail email account and use facilities such as the libraries. See the Columbia Alumni Association website for more information.

Students must be registered to remain in Columbia housing. Students who plan to withdraw should contact Columbia Residential regarding the date by which they will be expected to vacate.

Once withdrawn, students are not eligible to remain on the Columbia Health Insurance plan, nor do they retain access to Columbia Health Services. Enrollment in the Columbia Health Insurance plan will be terminated on the last day of the month in which the student withdraws or is withdrawn. For questions regarding refunds, students should contact the Health Insurance Office.

Students on a J1 or F1 visa who intend to withdraw must contact the International Students and Scholars Office as soon as possible.