Leaves of absence

Undergraduate leaves of absence

For Rensselaer undergraduate students, a leave of absence can cover one semester or one year, and means that you are not enrolled for classes at Rensselaer. If you take a leave of absence, the Registrar's Office changes your student status to "Inactive." This means that you forfeit your campus privileges, including housing, meal plans, e-mail, and library access, etc.

However, remember that, as an international student, your leave of absence might mean that you have to leave the country. Please make an appointment to see Jane Havis in the International Office for more information about how a leave might affect your immigration status.

Unless there are special circuimstances or medical reasons, your leave of absence will not be granted if you submit your request after the first eight weeks within the semester.

For international undergraduates, the request must be approved by the Student Exerience Office AND Jane Havis from the ISSS Office. Please refer to the Leave of absence section for instructions on writing a formal request for a leave of absence.

Returning to Rensselaer

If you wish to return to Rensselaer after your leave of absence, you will be required to follow the readmission process in the Student Experience Office. They will notify the ISSS office and a new I-20/DS-2019 will be issued for you. You will be required to provide the ISSS office with new financial documentation showing you can support yourself for the rest of your stay at Rensselaer so a new Form I-20/DS-2019 can be issued. You cannot reenter the country without having completed this process and without the Form I-20/DS-2019 in your hands.

Below is a brief checklist of all the items you will need to do in order to be readmitted to Rensselaer after a leave of absence:

Please refer to our re-admission instructions for more information.

If you were dismissed for academic reasons, you must be away from Rensselaer for at least one full year, take a full academic course schedule related to your major (minimum of 12 credits per semester), maintain a GPA of 3.0 or greater, and have an official transcript sent to the Dean of Students Office from the college you attended.

Important things to remember

The application deadlines for re-admission appear below:

Spring Semesters December 1
Summer Sessions April 1
Fall Semesters August 1

Graduate leaves of absence

For Rensselaer graduate students, a leave of absence covers one semester at a time, with a maximum one-year limit. If you take a leave of absence, the Registrar changes your student status to "Inactive." This means that you forfeit your campus privileges, including housing, meal plans, email, and library access, etc. In most cases, the time limit to complete your degree is not changed by a leave of absence.

If you would like to request a leave of absence you should talk to your department and then the Graduate Education Office. However, remember that, as an international student, your leave of absence might mean that you have to leave the country. Please make an appointment to see Jane Havis or Jaye Vien in the Dean of Students Office for more information about how a leave might affect your immigration status.

Returning to Rensselaer

If you wish to return to Rensselaer after your leave of absence, you will be required to follow the readmission process.

You cannot re-enter the country without having completed this process and without the I-20/DS-2019 in your hands.

A brief list of all the items you will need in order to be readmitted to Rensselaer after a leave of absence appears below:

Please note: While there are no deadlines as to when you need to complete all of these procedures, we strongly suggest that you start the process three to four months before you want to return to Rensselaer. (This is due to the fact that it could take some time to get a visa stamp once your return is approved.)

Important things to remember

Last modified: Mar 3, 2014
International Services for Students and Scholars, Phone: (518) 276-6266, Fax: (518) 276-4839