Leave of Absence

Up to two semesters for academically eligible students

These policies apply to Undergraduate Students only. Graduate students should contact the Graduate School for more information.

Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher are eligible for up to two consecutive semesters of Leave of Absence from the College of Charleston.

Students approved for a Leave of Absence will be able to re-enroll in courses for the semester following the designated Leave period without having to reapply to the College, provided the student has no registration holds or re-entry conditions outlined by the Office of the Dean of Students. 

Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.00 are not eligible for a Leave of Absence. A student who requests a Leave of Absence, but whose cumulative GPA is below a 2.00 will be completely withdrawn from the institution. Additionally, if a student has an Incomplete in a course, they will not be able to apply for a Leave of Absence until the final grade has been submitted and the cumulative GPA is at a 2.00 or above.

Students who are on a Learning Contract through the First Year Impact Program are not eligible for a Leave of Absence. If you have a question about your eligibility for a Leave of Absence, please contact us.

Students involved with a study abroad or exchange program through the Center for International Education should ensure that their Leave is coordinated through that office.

Do You Need a Leave of Absence?

If you are currently registered for courses and would like to withdraw from the semester, simply withdraw from your classes via MyCharleston. You do not need to take a Leave of Absence for the current semester and may return for the following semester. If you are currently not registered for classes at the College, and you plan to return to CofC at a later date, you will need to apply for a Leave of Absence. 

Picture of How to Determine if You Need a Leave of Absence 

Before requesting a Leave of Absence:

  • Discuss your leave status and coursework with your academic advisor prior to leaving campus. If you plan to take courses elsewhere while on leave, you must seek official permission to do so through the Transfer Center
  • Drop any future courses via MyCharleston that conflict with the requested Leave.
  • Contact Residence Life & Housing to make arrangements to move out.
  • Contact the Treasurer's Office to discuss any applicable refunds for the semester.
  • Contact Student Mail Services to arrange to return mailbox key or discuss a forwarding address.
  • Contact Cougar Card Services to arrange for any refunds for meal plan fees, Cougar Cash, and Dining Dollars balances. 
  • If you are a financial aid recipient, speak with the Financial Aid Office about the impact a Leave may have on your financial aid.*

*Important note for financial aid recipients:

For purposes of an approved Leave of Absence under federal Title IV financial aid regulations, the student's Leave of Absence must not exceed a total 180 days, when added to all other Leaves of Absence in any 12-month period. If a student who has received federal Title IV loans (Perkins, PLUS, and Ford Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans) does not return from an approved Leave of Absence, some or all of the repayment deferral period may be exhausted, and loans may go into repayment. For purposes of the Title IV programs, the date of withdrawal is backdated to the first day of the approved Leave of Absence. This policy also includes students who do not return from an approved leave for study abroad. Federal student loan recipients who are considering a Leave of Absence are encouraged to visit with a financial aid counselor prior to applying for a leave to review the impact of a leave on loan repayment.

For more information about a Leave of Absence, please see the Undergraduate Catalog.

Request a Leave of Absence

The Leave of Absence Request is submitted online through the link below or can be completed in-person at our office (Lightsey Center, Room B-12).