What should I do if I need to take a semester or year off?
Because The Catholic University of America is a term-based credit-hour institution, it cannot offer a federally approved Leave of Absence (LOA) option. However, students may request to be placed on academic leave for a future semester.
A student in good standing who must interrupt his/her studies for adequate reason, such as prolonged ill health or military service, may be granted an academic leave for a stated period, usually not to exceed two (2) semesters or one (1) year.
To request an academic leave, a student must first discuss the issues surrounding academic leave with their advisor, department chair (where applicable), and school dean. Following these discussions, the student must make a formal application. Students may apply for academic leave for a semester if they are not enrolled in courses for that semester up until administrative withdrawals are processed for that term (usually the last date to enroll in any class offered for that semester, including modular, i.e. dynamically dated, classes). Final approval of the request for an academic leave is made by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Administration and Dean of Graduate Studies or the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
An academic leave, if granted, will be effective as of the last day of the semester in which the student was most recently enrolled. The period of academic leave is not counted as part of the time allowed for the completion of residence or other degree requirements. Any incomplete (“I”) grades that are outstanding must be changed in accordance with the policy on incomplete grades by the date published in the Academic Calendar, whether a student is registered for the current semester or not.
Students on academic leave are expected to return to The University when their stated duration of leave has expired, unless they have applied for and have been given an extension. Students who do not return from an academic leave when scheduled will be subject to permanent withdrawal during the semester in which they failed to return. If the student thereby withdrawn from The University desires to return to graduate studies at The Catholic University of America, he/she must apply for readmission and satisfy current degree requirements to be reinstated.
Students who wish to temporarily leave The University during a semester in which they are enrolled in classes will receive a term withdrawal for that term.
- During the registration drop/add period - Students enrolled in classes who subsequently drop all their classes within the registration drop/add period will be considered to be on a term withdrawal, effective as of the date they notify The University or, if they do not notify The University, on the date they drop the last class in which they are enrolled.
If the separation from The University is intended to be for the duration of the current semester only, no further action is required, and the student will be eligible to enroll for the next semester. If the separation is expected to go beyond the start of the next semester, they must apply for an academic leave (see above).
- After the registration drop/add deadline - Students who are currently enrolled in classes and who decide to withdraw from all their classes after the last day of the registration drop/add period will be considered to be on a term withdrawal, effective as of the date they notify The University, or the date they withdraw from the last class in which they are enrolled, if they do not notify The University. They will receive a grade of “W” in every class in which they were enrolled, and are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy.
What if I am leaving the University permanently?If you no longer wish to continue your studies at The Catholic University of America, you must submit an application for permanent withdrawal. This application is submitted online to the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Administration and Dean of Graduate Studies.
Permission for permanent withdrawal from The University is not required. It is suggested, however, that you contact your adviser, school dean, and department chair (where applicable) to determine if there are additional requirements for withdrawal, such as a letter of resignation and/or an exit interview.
If you withdraw from The University but subsequently decide to return to The Catholic University of America, you must submit an application for re-admission to the Office of Admissions.