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The University defines withdrawing as dropping one’s entire program of courses in any given semester. However, it is important to read and refer to the Leave of Absence section of our website if you are interested in taking a temporary leave from your studies.

Over the course of the first half of a term, varying percentages of tuition are refunded, depending on the date when a student withdraws. For the schedule, see Withdrawal and Refunds.

Students intending to withdraw from all their classes and be dropped to zero units in a term should complete the Notice of Withdrawal form, and allow up to ten (10) business days for the withdrawal request to be processed by the Office of Advising.

Permanent Withdrawals

Circumstances occasionally require that a student withdraw from their academic program permanently. Withdrawal from a term in progress may have serious financial and academic consequences, and thus students should meet with their advisor so that they can make an informed decision. All withdrawals are noted on a student's transcript. A student should select this option if they do not intend returning to SPS within the timeframes outlined for Voluntary/Medical/Military Leaves. If this option is selected, students will be required to re-apply to their academic program if they decide to return to SPS in the future. 

Complete this Notice of Withdrawal form and notify your academic advisor or by emailing spsadvising [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu (spsadvising[at]columbia[dot]edu)Failure to complete all sections of this form will significantly delay the withdrawal process. A non-refundable, $75 fee is applied to all withdrawals. Please check your account on Student Services Online (SSOL) ( approximately one week after submission to either pay your bill or to request a refund.

You may pay your bill either online through SSOL or send checks, payable to Columbia University, Columbia University, Student Account Payment, 210 Kent Hall, 1140 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027. Please be sure to include your UNI or PID, also known as your C-number. If you are entitled to a refund, refunds are automatic for all School of Professional Studies programs except American Language Program and Auditors/Lifelong Learners. Students in the ALP or auditing programs should log-on to SSOL to request a refund after the withdrawal has been processed. For those who will receive an automatic refund and do not have direct deposit set-up, please log onto to SSOL to see where your check will be mailed to.

Master of Science students enrolled in both full term and partial term, online Business Certification courses are NOT ELIGIBLE for the partial term withdrawal refund schedules. Master of Science students who wish to add or drop partial term courses must do so during the Change of Program Periods associated with each of those partial terms. If students drop individual, partial terms courses after the partial term Change of Program Periods, they will be responsible for the full tuition of the course.