Leave of Absence

Students seeking a Leave of Absence should follow the steps outlined below to ensure that their leave is processed correctly. Skipping any of the following steps may cause disruptions in financial aid and/or inability to enroll for the semester of intended return.

View the full Leave of Absence Policy.

  • A student decides to take a discretionary leave of absence. This may be for family obligations or any number of personal reasons, but it is not for medical reasons.
  • The student should submit two documents to their respective dean: a letter, stating the reason for the leave, and the Discretionary Leave of Absence Petition, a PDF form that can be found here.
  • The student must also meet with their advisor to discuss their interest in the leave of absence, review its potential impact on their program, and plan an adjusted course of study if appropriate. Students should bring their Leave of Absence Petition and a letter requesting leave to the meeting with their advisor.
  • If the Dean's office, in coordination with the academic advisor, determines that the leave can be approved, it is forwarded to the Registrar's Office.
  • The Registrar will send the petition to the following offices as appropriate: International Student Scholars Office, Financial Aid, Student Accounts,  and Housing and Residential Education. Students will be contacted by each office via email to coordinate a meeting, either in person or online, during which they will discuss the proposed leave's effect on the student's academic career, its financial implications, and other potential outcomes.
  • The student will receive an email confirmation from the Registrar that their Discretionary Leave of Absence form was received. The email will include a list of offices from which they should expect contact. Please watch carefully for emails from the various offices and respond as soon as possible. Students are responsible for replying to any emails received.
  • The student's Petition will be reviewed by each office. The student will receive an email with a status update after each meeting.
  • Upon completion of the review by all relevant offices, the student will receive a separate letter asking them to acknowledge that they have been informed how the leave will impact their status and that they wish to proceed.
  • The Registrar will submit the completed Petition and the acknowledgment to the Dean's office for final approval.
  • If the dean approves the completed form, it will return to the Registrar, who will enter the status change in Self-Service. The student will receive an email confirmation of the change, which will include detailed information on the leave such as the return date, process for return, and any student responsibilities.
  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.