We understand that after joining CBS circumstances may change, resulting in the need to suspend studies for an extended period of time (leave of absence), take an unexpected pause from studies mid-semester (withdraw from a semester in-progress), or take fewer credits during a term and creating a need for more than four semesters of study (stretch).

Leave of Absence

Students who have completed their first semester and wish to suspend their studies must apply for a leave of absence (LOA) by completing the LOA form and meeting with OSA prior to the semester during which they will take an LOA. In addition to a voluntary LOA, students may request a medical LOA or be placed on an involuntary LOA. A medical LOA may have other implications, which will be discussed in the required OSA meeting. Columbia Business School is aligned with the University’s Voluntary Leave of Absence Policy and Involuntary Leave of Absence Policy.  

All LOAs must be requested by 5 pm ET on the business day prior to the semester start date. All students in good academic standing have up to five (5) years from their date of matriculation to complete the MBA program.

Note that students who begin the Full-Time MBA Program in August are permitted to take the summer off between their first and second years; this summer break is not considered an LOA. Those who begin the program in January are expected to complete four consecutive terms, without interruption.

A leave of absence cannot be taken prior to the completion of the first semester of the program. Students in their first semester may be able to withdraw from a semester in progress; see details in the next section. Students must start the program at the entry point to which they were admitted. In the event students cannot begin the program at the entry point to which they were admitted, they should contact Admissions. Students may not come back from an LOA during the summer semester unless all first-semester core classes are complete.

Withdrawal from a Semester In-Progress

In the event students need to interrupt their studies mid-semester, they may request to withdraw from a semester in progress using this form. This request will be reviewed and students will be informed if the request is approved or denied within one week of submitting their request. Students in their first semester cannot request to withdraw from the semester in progress until at least one (1) class is completed. If you are considering withdrawing during your first semester, please review the University’s refund rate for withdrawals and be sure to consult our Financial Aid office for further guidance.

Regardless of the type of separation requested or enforced, students who suspend their studies will not have access to some CBS systems (see chart below), CBS-specific services such as Career and Academic Advising, or University facilities and services outlined in the University Policy. While separated, students are not permitted to participate in CBS academic, career, club, community, or social events unless they are open to the general public. When preparing to return from a leave, students must notify OSA in writing with the expected semester of return to devise a plan for return.

Students returning from a separation will not receive an additional opportunity to attempt exemption exams for withdrawn, incomplete courses, or Core courses not yet attempted, as this opportunity occurs in advance of matriculation.

SYSTEM

ACCESS WHILE ON LOA OR WITHDRAWN?

SYSTEM

ACCESS WHILE ON LOA OR WITHDRAWN?

Canvas - historical classes

Yes

Slack

Yes

Canvas - audit new classes

No

CampusGroups

No

CBS Directory

Yes

Qualtrics

Yes

COIN

No

SSOL

Yes

GSB Email

Yes

Poll Everywhere

No

Tech Support

No

 

 

Stretch Policy

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is a STEM-eligible degree, completed in four semesters of full-time study at Columbia Business School. A semester ‘stretch’ allows students to extend their studies and perhaps take fewer credits per semester due to extenuating circumstances that dictate the need for an additional (otherwise known as a “stretch”).

Stretches may be granted in cases of incapacitating illness and/or serious family emergency, or in situations of comparable gravity. Students who are experiencing such circumstances and are considering studying for more than four semesters must schedule an appointment with their academic advisor to discuss their concerns and academic progress. Extending time in the MBA program (stretching) does not result in additional or extended campus recruiting opportunities, which include company events, job applications, and CBS-facilitated interviews. Students in the September-entering MBA program may participate once in campus recruiting for summer internship opportunities and once for full-time opportunities. Students in the January-entering MBA program may participate in campus recruiting once for full-time opportunities; January-entering students are not eligible to participate in the summer internship campus recruiting, regardless of whether there is a change of degree conferral date. All graduates of CBS receive lifetime access to the CMC, including job postings and career advising, workshops, and resources. For questions about recruiting and stretch, it is recommended that you contact the CMC.

Please note, that all degree requirements must be met within five years of the date of matriculation and there may be tuition, financial aid, student visa, student housing, and/or health insurance implications as a result of stretching. Students who begin the Full-Time MBA Program in August are permitted to take the summer off between their first and second years; this summer break is not considered a stretch or Leave of Absence. Those who begin the program in January are expected to complete four consecutive terms, without interruption.

Additionally, effective Spring 2022, all full-time CBS MBA students are required to take at least 12 credits of coursework each semester. This is regardless of whether you have been granted a stretch semester. The 12 credits can be spread out through the duration of the semester, including block weeks, A-term, B-term, and full-term courses. If a student is unable to take 12 credits in a semester, they should speak with their academic advisor regarding their options, which may include taking a Leave of Absence. Part-time study is not available for the full-time MBA program.