Students must submit a Return from Leave of Absence form no later than July 15, if they plan to return for the fall semester, and no later than December 1, if they plan to return for the spring semester (see “Loans, Fellowships, and Other Financial Aid” regarding deadlines for reinstatement of multiyear PhD fellowships and for financial aid other than loans).
Students returning from a medical leave must also submit to Columbia Health (see below for specific addresses) a letter from the health-care professional who provided treatment for the condition that occasioned the leave. Such letters must contain the following information:
- Description of treatment the student received, including medications the student was prescribed for the condition that warranted the leave
- The health-care professional’s impression regarding the student's readiness to return to his or her studies
- Any recommendations regarding continued treatment after the student has resumed his or her studies
Letters addressing psychiatric or psychological conditions should be sent directly to Dr. Allan Cassorla by fax (212-854-9473) or by email (aac4 [at] columbia.edu). Letters addressing medical conditions should be sent directly to Dr. Brenda Aiken by email (ba220 [at] columbia.edu). In cases where a student has received both medical and psychiatric/psychological treatment, or the diagnosis is unclear, the relevant health-care professional(s) should submit their letter(s) to both Dr. Cassorla and Dr. Aiken. Letters written in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation. All letters supporting a student’s return must be sent no later than July 29 for students planning to return in the fall semester, and no later than December 15 for students planning to return in the spring semester.
Dr. Cassorla and/or Dr. Aiken will review all letters and either approve the return or request additional information. In some cases, students will be asked to schedule an in-person consultation.
Once approved to return, students may register during their assigned registration appointment times.
Students who have decided not to return from a leave of absence should complete the Request for Withdrawal. The complete policy regarding withdrawals is available here.
See this page for information about reinstatement after an unapproved leave.