Leave of Absence and Withdrawal Policies
Leave of Absence vs. College Withdrawal
What is the difference between a Leave of Absence and a College Withdrawal?
Students who wish to take a semester or two off from CCA, with the intention of returning, should go through the Leave of Absence process.
Students who wish to leave and do not intend to finish their studies at CCA must officially notify the college by going through the College Withdrawal process.
What should I know before filing a Leave of Absence or College Withdrawal?
Students considering taking a Leave of Absence or Withdrawing from the college are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor for guidance before beginning the process.
Some classes are offered on a rotating basis (i.e., fall semester only, every other year), so students who plan to take a Leave of Absence should review their academic plan with the Undergraduate or Graduate Advising Offices and consider how to stay “on sequence” with their major.
Students who request a Leave of Absence or College Withdrawal for a particular term and are enrolled in classes for that term are responsible for either dropping their classes (week 1-2) or withdrawing from classes (week 3-10).
Dropping or withdrawing from classes may affect students’ eligibility for various benefits including CCA health insurance, residential housing (dorms), and student visas.
Dropping or withdrawing from classes may affect students’ financial aid. In accordance with federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office will recalculate the amount of Title IV assistance the student is eligible for based on the date of withdrawal.
The student will be financially responsible for any account balance that results from this recalculation. Students are encouraged to consult with a financial aid counselor prior to initiating these processes to inform themselves of their financial responsibilities and possible repercussions.
Leave of Absence
Why should I request a Leave of Absence?
Students who are on an approved Leave of Absence may participate in online priority registration, and their CCA email account remains active during this period.
Students on an approved leave are able to return to CCA under their original academic requirements and will not be subject to the requirements in effect at the time of their return.
Filing is simple, and students will learn important information about taking a leave and how to register for classes when they return.
How many semesters may I take off?
Students may take a Leave of Absence from the college for a maximum of two full consecutive semesters. In the case that a student was not enrolled in classes or drops all classes in a semester, this term will count as one full semester of leave.
In the case that a student withdraws from all classes in a term, this will not count as a leave semester and the student is eligible to take a leave for the next 1-2 semesters.
Students may take a maximum of two nonconsecutive leaves (of two full semesters each).
How do I file for a Leave of Absence?
Students seeking a Leave of Absence must initiate the process by contacting the Undergraduate or Graduate Advising Offices to set up a brief exit interview.
The official Leave of Absence process is finalized when a student has had an exit interview, obtained all required signatures on the form, dropped or withdrawn from all classes for the semester, and submitted the completed SRO_Request_for_LOA_or_Withdrawal form to the Advising or Student Affairs Office.
Students on an official Leave of Absence are eligible for priority registration appointments.
However, if a student has not met all obligations, financial and otherwise, to the college and returned all property, they will not be able to register for classes until they have reconciled business with all appropriate offices.
May I take courses outside of CCA while I'm on a Leave of Absence?
Undergraduate students who wish to receive credit for courses taken outside of CCA during their leave must also file a Transfer Credit Approval Request prior to commencing any courses. Graduate students are not able to take courses while being on a Leave of Absence.
Students who wish to withdraw from the college must initiate the process by meeting with an advisor in the Undergraduate or Graduate Advising Offices.
The College Withdrawal process is finalized when a student has had an exit interview, obtained all required signatures on the form, dropped or withdrawn from all classes for the semester, and submitted the the completed SRO_Request_for_LOA_or_Withdrawal form to the Advising or Student Affairs Office.
Returning to CCA
How do I return from an approved Leave of Absence?
Students on an official Leave of Absence will receive a Priority Registration email at their CCA email address during the Priority Registration period based on their standing. To view the registration dates for the upcoming term, see the Academic Calendar.
Students who do not hear from CCA as expected should contact the Student Records Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May I return to CCA if I did not obtain an approved Leave of Absence or if I was absent for more than two semesters?
Students who re-enroll within three years (six semesters) of having withdrawn from the college retain their admission and financial aid offer. After that timeframe, students are required to reapply to the college for admissions and financial aid assistance. Please contact the Admissions Office at email@example.com for any questions.
Students are responsible for the degree requirements in effect for the semester in which they re-enroll at CCA.
Transfer credit can be considered for college-level coursework completed after CCA. For the evaluation of transfer credits, official transcripts are required from the host institution.
Transcripts are considered official if they meet the following criteria:
Electronic official transcripts should be sent from the host institution via Parchment Exchange or another third party provider directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physical transcripts are sealed in an envelope with appropriate stamp or seal from the institution and with the Registrar’s signature.
Physical transcripts should be mailed to the following address:
California College of the Arts
Office of Admissions
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Students who have been dismissed
Undergraduate students who have been academically dismissed from CCA should refer to the Student Handbook for information regarding the process for reinstatement following academic suspension or dismissal.
Academic dismissal is final for Graduate students. However, due to the recent introduction of a suspension option, Graduate students who were academically dismissed before Fall 2018 may reapply to any graduate program at CCA.