Carnegie Mellon University


Division of Enrollment Services


Leave of Absence & Withdrawal

Students must sometimes interrupt their studies for financial, academic or personal reasons. A student may leave Carnegie Mellon by either taking a leave of absence (leaving the university temporarily with the firm and stated intention of returning) or by withdrawing from the university (leaving the university with no intention of returning).

Those choosing to take a leave of absence should first contact their academic advisor to discuss their plans while on leave and to work out any conditions that may be necessary for a smooth return to Carnegie Mellon.

View the university's Student Leave Policy

Additional Information

Tuition Adjustment Policy

Students who take a leave of absence or withdraw before completing 60% of the semester will be charged tuition based on the number of days completed within the semester. View the Tuition Adjustment Policy on the Student Financial Services website. 

Fee Assessment

There is no adjustment of the media fee, transportation fee (PAT), technology fee, or student activity fee for students who take a leave of absence or withdraw. Learn more about university fees.

Health Insurance Charge

Students needing an adjustment to the health insurance charge should contact University Health Services.

Housing & Dining

Housing charges are adjusted daily, beginning on check-in day and ending on the last day of final exams for the semester. Holiday breaks are included; however, the Winter Break period is not. Meal plan charges are adjusted weekly. Plaid Cash is based upon actual use.

Financial Aid Adjustment

Federal and institutional financial aid is adjusted on the same basis as tuition. A student earns 100% of his or her federal or institutional financial aid when 60% of the semester is completed. State grants and non-federal outside scholarships are adjusted based upon the withdrawal policy of the agency awarding the funds.

Campus Services Access

Students on leave or those who withdraw are not permitted to live in university housing, attend classes or maintain student employment as at Carnegie Mellon while their leave is in effect.

Returning from Leave of Absence    

Students on leave wishing to return to Carnegie Mellon to resume their degree studies should follow this process:

  • Complete a Return from Leave of Absence (pdf) form
    • The form should include all necessary signatures
    • Return the completed form to the University Registrar's Office, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Warner Hall A12, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, and to the student's department at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester
  • Clear all financial and community holds before becoming eligible to enroll

Undergraduate students may return to the same academic department within two years. After two years, a student returning to the same academic department is subject to space constraints and an academic performance review. Graduate students must negotiate their return with their home department and follow departmental policy.

Academic Support

In addition to academic advisors, Academic Development offers a wide variety of academic support services including study strategies, peer tutoring, supplemental instruction, and collaborative learning groups, to assist with a successful transition back to academic life at Carnegie Mellon.