6.3 Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence

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(A) Voluntary Withdrawals

A student who decides to withdraw from her/his program of study should consult with the director of graduate studies or program director, and then follow the steps outlined on the LGS Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, Parental Accommodation page

International students are required to discuss their plans to withdraw with International Student and Scholar Services to determine how the withdrawal will impact their visa status.  

If the student is a veteran, she/he must contact the Office of the Registrar at registr@emory.edu.

(B) Involuntary Withdrawals

A student may be withdrawn involuntarily from Emory if the University determines that the student represents a direct threat to the health and safety of himself/herself or others by:

  1. Engaging or threatening to engage in behavior that poses a high probability of substantial harm to himself/herself or others; or
  2. Engaging or threatening to engage in behavior which would cause significant property damage, would directly and substantially impede the lawful activities of others, or would interfere with the educational process and the orderly operation of the University.

Withdrawal in such cases shall normally incur no academic penalty for the term in which the student is enrolled, and a tuition refund, if any, shall be based on the schedule established for voluntary withdrawal. Because the Involuntary Withdrawal Policy applies to cases in which there is a concern about the safety of the student or others, the Dean or his/her designee may require a student who has been involuntarily withdrawn under this policy to be re-evaluated before he/she is readmitted.

View procedures for involuntary withdrawal.

(C) Leaves of Absence

See the LGS Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, Parental Accommodation page for appropriate forms and process. 

A student in good standing may be granted 2 one-year leaves of absence upon recommendation of the student’s program and approval of the Dean. Leaves of absence are available to students only within eight years of admission. The student must demonstrate that during this period he or she must interrupt progress toward the degree. The student should be aware that the University will not certify to loan officers or government agencies that a student on leave of absence is in residence or actively pursuing a course of study. International students are required to contact International Student and Scholar Services if the leave of absence is approved by the Dean.  If the student is a veteran, she/he must contact the Office of the Registrar at registr@emory.edu.

For the purpose of determining eligibility for leave of absence, a student must be in good standing and have resolved all incomplete assignments. Time spent in leave of absence does not count toward the nine-year limit for the doctoral degree or the five-year limit for the terminal master’s degree. Students beyond these limits are not eligible for leave but may apply for extension of the time allowed to complete degree requirements in accord with the rules governing such extensions.

Leaves of absence are not to be used to resolve academic difficulties or finish incomplete assignments.  Rather, this policy is intended to allow students to step out of academic life for a specified period, during which they will be unable to continue to make progress toward the degree in any way. Examples include a unique professional opportunity, short-term disabilities, or competing responsibilities of a nature which preclude meaningful progress toward the degree.  Issues pertaining to pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare should first be considered through our Parental Accommodation Policy, but may also be addressed through the leave of absence policy.

A student returning to the Laney Graduate School after a leave of absence should request readmission at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the term in which he or she wishes to return. More information on readmission.

Last modified: 2/12/2019

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