Aug 10, 2022  
2020-2021 MFA Graduate Catalogue 
2020-2021 MFA Graduate Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Academic Information


Policies on class attendance are the responsibility of individual instructors. Faculty are encouraged, however, to accommodate students who encounter an emergency situation (student illness or family death), or participate in religious observances.

Student Health Services or other health professionals may issue verifications of absence for sufficient medical reasons. Student Health Services will not issue a verification for missing one day of class, but may provide documentation if a health withdrawal is needed. Students who know that they will be absent should notify their instructors in advance. Those who are unable to do so because of illness or personal or family crisis should notify their instructors as soon as possible. Instructors will decide on the basis of their explanations whether or not to accommodate them and in what way.

Students who will be absent due to religious observances are expected to secure the permission of their course instructors in advance of their absence and to arrange with their instructors to make up the work they will miss. Students who fail to make arrangements with their instructors in advance are subject to whatever penalties the instructors would normally impose for unexcused absences. 

Academic Honesty

Cornell College expects all members of the Cornell community to act with academic integrity. An important aspect of academic integrity is respecting the work of others. A student is expected to explicitly acknowledge ideas, claims, observations, or data of others, unless generally known. When a piece of work is submitted for credit, a student is asserting that the submission is her or his work unless there is a citation of a specific source. If there is no appropriate acknowledgment of sources, whether intended or not, this may constitute a violation of the College’s requirement for honesty in academic work and may be treated as a case of academic dishonesty.

The College considers Cornell students to be responsible persons whose maturity will develop in a community that encourages free inquiry. The College expects the highest degree of personal integrity in all relationships. Any form of dishonesty is a violation of this spirit and of College rules.

Dishonesty in academic work includes both cheating and plagiarism.

Cheating refers to the use of unauthorized sources of information on examinations or any attempt by students to deceive the evaluator of an examination, paper, or project.

Plagiarism is the act of taking the work of another and presenting it as one’s own, without acknowledgement of the original source.

There is not one set of rules for the acknowledgement of sources that is appropriate across all disciplines. For this reason, students are always encouraged to consult their instructors and guidelines included in their syllabi. However, in general the appropriate acknowledgement of sources involves meeting the following requirements:

Quotations and Paraphrasing - All direct quotations, even if mingled with original words and ideas, must be placed within quotation marks and accompanied by a specific citation for the source of the quotation. Unless the information is generally known, all phrases that are not original to the author - even two or three words - must be placed in quotation marks and cited. If an existing idea is used but paraphrased or summarized, both the original author’s words and sentence structure must be changed and a specific citation for the source must still be made. It is always the responsibility of the student to provide precise sources for all ideas, information, or data he or she has borrowed or adapted. Simply listing sources in a bibliography is not sufficient. Students who use information from the World Wide Web are expected to follow these same guidelines for the citation of sources.

Failure to cite sources properly constitutes academic dishonesty, whether the omission is intentional or not.

Ideas and Data

All students are required to acknowledge the ideas of others. Every student is expected to do her or his own work in the completion of an assignment or an examination unless either (a) the sources for these ideas are explicitly cited, or (b) the instructor explicitly allows such collaboration. In addition, a person giving unauthorized assistance to another on an examination is just as guilty of cheating as the person who accepts or solicits such aid.

Submitting revisions of academic work previously submitted, either in the current course or in previous courses, qualifies as academic dishonesty unless the student obtains the explicit permission of all of the instructors involved.

All data sources must be cited accurately. It is dishonest to fabricate or alter research data included in laboratory reports, projects, or other assignments.

A safe guide is to provide a full citation for every source consulted. Sources may include, but are not limited to, published books, articles, reviews, Internet sites, archival material, visual images, oral presentations, or personal correspondence. In addition, students should always keep previous drafts of their work in order to provide documentation of their original work. Finally, due to disciplinary differences, students should consult their instructor, a librarian, and/or the Center for Teaching and Learning for specific instructions on properly providing citations for sources.

Procedures for Dealing with Dishonesty in Academic Work

If an instructor judges that a student has violated the College’s policies on academic honesty, the student may be charged with academic dishonesty and assigned an F either for the particular examination, paper, report, or project, or for the course. The instructor shall notify the student in writing of the charge and the penalty and shall include a statement of the circumstances which precipitated the action. A copy of the instructor’s letter along with a copy of the paper shall be sent to the Registrar. The Registrar shall then advise the student in writing of the right to appeal. Within ten (10) calendar days of notification, the student may appeal the charge and/or the penalty by submitting a letter to the Dean of the College requesting that he or she appoint an ad hoc committee drawn from the Graduate Council. The recommendation of this committee is advisory only and is not binding upon the instructor.

All material and information relative to the charge of academic dishonesty shall be kept by the Registrar in a special file during the period in which the student is enrolled at Cornell College, serving only as a statement of record if the student is charged a second time with academic dishonesty. In the case of an appeal after the first offense, the file shall be destroyed if the committee finds the student not guilty and the instructor concurs; otherwise, the recommendation of the committee shall be inserted into the special file. If there are no further charges, the file will be destroyed at the time of the student’s graduation from Cornell.

Should a subsequent charge of academic dishonesty be brought against a student, the Registrar shall again advise the student in writing of the aforementioned right to appeal under the same procedures. Should the second charge be sustained by the instructor, the Registrar shall notify the Dean of the College who shall convene a committee consisting of the Dean of the College, the Graduate Program Director, and the Chair of the Academic Standing Committee, who shall determine the status of the student. The normal penalty for a second offense is indefinite suspension from the College.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Cornell College, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA), protects the confidentiality of student records and the individual student’s right to privacy. For more detailed information, see The Compass under the heading “Confidentiality of Student Records”.

Students with Disabilities

Cornell College is committed to compliance with federal law regarding students with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states: “No otherwise qualified individual in the United States, as defined in section 706(7) of this title, shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” (29 U.S. Code, paragraph 794).

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 states that a handicap shall be defined as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.” (42 U.S. Code, paragraph 12102[2]).

The Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education, states that any postsecondary education program which receives Federal financial assistance “shall make such modifications to its academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of handicap, against a qualified applicant or student” (34 Code of Federal Regulations, paragraphs 104.41 and 104.44[a]). In addition to academic adjustments, “a recipient … shall take such steps as are necessary to ensure that no handicapped student is denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination … because of absence of educational auxiliary aids for students with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills” (34 Code of Federal Regulations, paragraph 104.44[d]).

The concept of academic adjustments is not aimed at giving students with disabilities undue special advantages in order to help them pass, nor does it require that they be graded on a different scale from their classmates; it requires educational access and opportunity, not a guarantee of success.

A student qualifies for disability services at Cornell when the student provides current documentation of the disability from a medical doctor (M.D.), educational or school psychologist (Ph.D.), or other individual licensed by the state of origin to diagnose learning or physical disabilities, to the Office of Academic Support and Advising, where it is placed on file as a confidential record. Cornell College reserves the right to determine what constitutes appropriate documentation. The student must also request appropriate accommodation from the instructor of each course by the first day of each semester.

More information about accommodations for students with learning disabilities is available on the Cornell web site under “Disability Services.”

Adding and Dropping Courses

  1. Once the semester has begun, if a student does not attend or ceases to attend a course for which he or she is registered before the end of the 7th working day of the course, the student will be given the grade of WR (withdrawn by the Registrar). Students who receive a grade of WR are charged tuition for the course, but they are not eligible for institutional financial aid or VA benefits for that semester. Any federal or state financial aid eligibility will be reviewed on a case by case basis per federal and state regulations.

  2. If a student wishes to drop a course, they must submit an add/drop form to the Registrar.  The course will be dropped from the transcript.

    • For the MFA graduate program, students wishing to drop their residency must complete an add/drop form, including signature from the Program Director and submit it to the Registrar by the end of the 2nd day of the residency.  Students who drop their residency portion of the semester, will then also be dropped from the mentorship.

    • For the MFA graduate program, students wishing to drop their mentorship must complete an add/drop form, including signatures from their instructor and the Program Director and submit it to the Registrar by the end of the 7th day of the mentorship.  

  3. The drop period for semester long courses begins after the 7th day of classes and ends on the 15th week of classes.  Students must complete an add/drop form, including signatures from the instructor and the Program Director and submit it to the Registrar.  A grade of W will be given for the course.

  4. A withdrawal for health or family emergency (grade of WH) may be given by the Academic Standing Committee upon petition, or by the Registrar acting as the Committee’s agent, when a student is ill or has a personal crisis or family emergency, such that completing the course by taking an Incomplete would not be feasible. The student should submit a petition for a WH. The course instructor and the Program Director must sign the petition, acknowledging that they have been notified of the student’s intention. Both the course instructor and academic advisor are encouraged to submit a statement indicating whether they support the petition or not, and why. For a WH, a signature alone shall not be interpreted as endorsement of the petition. 

    • Any petition based upon medical or psychological conditions must be supported by a written statement from an appropriate health professional stating the problem; the dates when the student was examined, treated, or counseled; and the recuperative difficulties, if any.

    • Students who claim a personal or family emergency may be asked to provide documentation and to account for the entire time during which they say they were, or will be, unable to attend classes or to study.

    • Cornell counselors and health professionals will not normally issue a recommendation for a withdrawal unless the student has consulted them at or near the onset of the problem.

    • Such recommendations, however, do not automatically constitute grounds for a WH. The Committee will in all cases consider the instructor’s evaluation of the student’s work in the course before the onset of the illness or emergency as well as the circumstances on which the student has based their petition. The Committee reserves the right to consult with anyone whom the student offers as a recommender or corroborator.


For-credit internships are sponsored by a Cornell instructor and supervised by a representative of the organization or firm where the internship resides and are generally completed off-campus. For-credit internships are open only to graduate students who have completed at least one semester at Cornell.  Students wishing to pursue an on-campus internship are required to file a petition with the Registrar after carefully considering whether a similar internship can be completed off-campus.  

In order to qualify for academic credit, the Internship Contract (available on the Registrar’s Office web site) and syllabus (template is available on the Registrar’s web site) that includes the following information must be filed with the Registrar:

  • Approval of an instructor who will be the internship sponsor.

  • The location, dates, and times that the internship will take place.

  • The contact information of the on-site supervisor and a job description from the supervisor which lists the intern’s responsibilities and how their performance will be evaluated.

  •  A statement of at least 250 words from the student explaining how this internship contributes to their academic and career goals.

  • A statement from the student describing the method that the student will document their activities (e.g. daily journals, weekly reports, and/or a final, reflective essay from the student).

  • The determination of credit for the internship.  A valid internship will include a minimum of 160 hours to receive one course credit and 80 hours to receive one-half course credit.

The contract and syllabus must be submitted to the Registrar at least one week before the start of the semester in which the internship is to be credited. Internship credit will not be approved retroactively.

Refund Policy

Purpose of the Policy

This following policy outlines possible refunds for students who withdraw from the College Graduate program or in the case where a course may be canceled.

This is an evolving document.  Updates will be made as regulatory (Department of Education) and industry standards change.  Students should review the policy at least annually to ensure a clear understanding of the policy.


  • Students who find it necessary to withdraw from the College (or cancel classes prior to the first day of classes) must work with the Registrar’s Office and Student Affairs Office to communicate his/her intention to withdraw.

Policy Questions

  • Questions pertaining to this refund policy should be directed to your supervisor, division Vice President, or Controller.  It is the responsibility of the Controller and Vice President for Business Affairs, in conjunction with President’s Council as needed, to update this refund policy. 


  • This policy applies to all Graduate students of Cornell College. 


  • Refunds are based on the following (applies to withdrawals and dropped classes):
  • Withdrawal prior to the first day of classes of any intersession (for MFA intersession = residency)or semester 100% less enrollment deposit


The first day of the intersession: 100% less enrollment deposit

After the first day of the intersession: None

Fall and Spring Semesters

The first through the seventh working day: 100% less enrollment deposit

After the seventh working day: None

  • These schedule dates are posted on the Business Office website.
  • Refunds are based on the assessment, not upon the amount paid by the student.
  • Appeals for refunds due to extenuating circumstances may be made in writing to Business Services. Appeals must be received prior to the end of the academic year.
  • Refunds/returns of Title IV funds for students who participate in SFA (Student Financial Assistance) programs are calculated based on federal regulations. The processing steps for determining refunds/returns are available in the Financial Assistance Office, 2nd Floor Old Sem.


The Controller and VP of Business Affairs and Treasurer are responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).

Tuition and Fees
Each year financial resources are assessed to determine the level of funding necessary to provide a quality education for those students attending Cornell College. The tuition and fees for the MFA program are set in the fall semester for each academic year. Information about MFA tuition and fees can be obtained by contacting the Office of Student Accounts.

Student Accounts
Statements are sent directly to students, and include any charges, financial aid awards, and payments received each semester. Payment must be arranged by one of the following methods before classes begin each semester:

1. Payment in full
2. Enrollment in a formal payment plan

Payments not made when due are subject to a late fee on the 10th of each month. Lack of payment will jeopardize enrollment for future terms.

Installment Plan
Cornell College offers students the opportunity to participate in a five-month payment plan. To enroll in this plan, students must set up their payment plan online and pay an enrollment fee

Financial Aid
Students may need to supplement their financial resources with student loans. Students who are enrolled for at least four hours, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and who meet the federal criteria for need, are eligible for Federal Direct Loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Consideration for eligibility is based on the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at (Cornell’s Code is: 001856).

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy - Masters in Fine Arts, Creative Writing

Federal regulations require that all higher education institutions establish and implement a policy to measure whether students receiving federal financial aid are making satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a degree. The purpose of this policy is to make sure that students who receive financial aid are using this money wisely. It is meant to curtail the use of financial aid by students who fail to successfully complete their course work. Failure to meet the following standards makes a student ineligible for all federal financial aid.

Minimum GPA Requirements

Graduate courses in the Master of Fine Arts program are graded either as Credit (CR) if the instructor certifies that the student has done work of “B” quality (3.0) or better, or as No Credit (NC) if the student fails to achieve the minimum standard.

CR (credit) - Represents work at B or higher and meets acceptable standards.
NC - No credit, not counted in grade point average.

Students that receive more than one NC are not meeting satisfactory academic progress and would not be eligible to continue.

Maximum Time Frame

To demonstrate academic progress, graduate students must complete their degree objective within 150% of the length of the program.

Continued eligibility for financial aid for Cornell’s MFA in Writing program is based on satisfactory academic progress and is evaluated at the end of each term, both in qualitative terms (Credit, No Credit) and in quantitative terms (number of credits completed over number of credits attempted).

All MFA program students are considered full-time, taking 1.5 credits per term. No partial credit for a term is awarded; students who receive an incomplete will be considered to have earned no credit unless the incomplete is replaced by a credit per terms of the incomplete status. A total of 11 credits is needed to fulfill the degree. Students are evaluated at the end of each term.

A MFA program student must earn a grade of CR for the term to be making “satisfactory academic progress” for purposes of financial aid eligibility.  Students who do not earn a CR may continue to receive financial aid for the succeeding term in “financial aid warning” status. At the end of that warning term, the student must earn an evaluation of CR to continue to receive financial aid.

Only one term on “financial aid warning” is permitted, so that any succeeding evaluations of  No Credit/Fail, or an incomplete that is not changed into a CR will make the student ineligible for further financial aid.

The MFA program is a full-time, low-residency program, encompassing four six-month semesters (each semester consists of a residency followed by a mentorship)  and one final 9-day residency. In extenuating circumstances, such as student illness, injury, or death in the family, a student with an otherwise satisfactory academic record who did not complete or receive credit for one term may be authorized by the Program Director to take additional terms, rather than four, to complete the program.

After 6 years without completion of the degree, students will be withdrawn from the college and need to apply for readmission.

Veterans Administration

Students receiving VA benefits should consult with the Financial Assistance Office for information and assistance. VA benefits recipients have the same rights and responsibilities as all other Cornell students and are subject to the regulations and policies described in this Graduate Catalogue except where the Federal Government has established laws or guidelines that are at variance with Cornell’s rules. In such cases, the VA recipient is held accountable for satisfying both the College’s and the Government’s regulations.  VA recipients will not be paid, or will be billed for overpayment, for any course from which they withdraw, i.e., receive a grade of W, WH, or WR, unless the VA approves their appeal on grounds of mitigating circumstances.

Military Called to Active Duty Policy 

This policy is written as an exception for students affected by a delayed disbursement of a payment by  the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as serving as an exception to our normal refund policy  for the purpose of calculating refunds for students who are impacted by a call to active duty during the  academic year as a result of military mobilization. 

Cornell College recognizes the importance of supporting the students who are serving in the armed  forces. We have based our refund policy on the belief that Cornell College should attempt to remove  any financial hardships caused by military mobilization on Cornell students. 

If a student is unable to meet his or her financial obligations to Cornell College due to the delayed  disbursement of a payment by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Cornell College will not  impose any penalty including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes or other  institutional facilities, and/or the requirements that a Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 recipient borrow  additional funds to cover the amount of the delayed disbursement. 

If the student who is a member, or the spouse of a member, or has a dependent child who is a member,  of the National Guard or US reserve forces and is called to active duty during the semester you must  submit a copy of the activation orders in order to be considered for this policy. 

The withdraw date for each student will be determined by the Student Affairs Office in coordination  with the Registrar’s Office. This policy does not pertain to weekend training commitments. 

Financial Aid 

Federal regulations require that all schools must perform the Return of Title IV Funds calculations  that are required by statute and regulations (34 CFR 668.22). Cornell College will return funds to the  Department of Education and to the Iowa College Student Aid Commission as required by this  calculation. The calculation will be completed using the later of the activation date or the last date of  an academically related activity. 

Student Account 

If the student/spouse is deployed by the military for active duty and the student withdraws from  registered course(s), 100% of the tuition charges and mandatory fees for the respective withdrawn  courses will be reversed off of the student’s account. If the student owes a balance as a result of  returned financial aid, the outstanding balance for the current term will be waived. 

If the student is deployed during a residency, room and board charges will be refunded on a prorated basis. The student will be responsible for paying all other charges unless specifically  requested by the issuing department to reverse all or part of the charges. Any credit balance resulting  from action taken on the student account as a result of being called to active duty will be refunded to  the student. 

Academic Credit Enrollment 

The student will be dropped (no grade will be recorded) from his/her course, unless an arrangement to  take an incomplete in the course has been made with the instructor. The student would use the same  process for an incomplete as outlined in the catalogue, by utilizing the request for an incomplete form. If  the student ends up not finishing the incomplete, they will be charged for the course and given the  grade earned.

Assessment of Student Experiences

An essential aspect of the mission of Cornell College is the evaluation of student experiences, perceptions, and academic achievement. Each student will be expected to participate in College and departmental assessment activities such as surveys, focus groups, tests, and personal interviews. Students will be asked to participate beginning with matriculation and continuing through graduation. Student involvement in these assessment activities will assist Cornell in providing current and future students with high-quality, satisfying experiences in keeping with the mission of the College.

Credit by Transfer

Cornell College accepts transfer credit for work completed by a student at an accredited institution or program. The following guidelines are used in the transfer and awarding of academic credit:

Institutions and Transcripts

Transfer credit must come from a regionally accredited, degree-granting college or university or an international university of comparable accreditation. The Registrar is responsible for evaluating all transfer credit completed prior to matriculation at Cornell.

  • The credit must be documented on an official college transcript sent directly from the credit-granting institution to the Registrar at Cornell College. Course descriptions/syllabi for each course may also be requested.

  • Transfer credit is always evaluated on a course by course basis.

  • A letter grade of “B” or higher is required to earn transfer credit. Grades of “B-” and below will not earn transfer credit.

  • Graduate students can transfer up to 10 semester hours.  These will be evaluated on a case by case basis. 


  1. Passing grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, P, S, and CR. Failure is denoted by F, NC, and U.

  2. Graduate courses in the Master of Fine Arts program are graded either as Credit (CR) if the instructor certifies that the student has done work of “B” quality (3.0) or better, or as No Credit (NC) if the student fails to achieve the minimum standard. 

  3. W, WH, or WR are recorded when a student withdraws from a course (see “Adding and Dropping Courses”).

  4. The notation I is used for Incomplete and  is given only for work of satisfactory quality that is incomplete because of illness or emergency (supported in the same way as requests for withdrawals for reasons of health; see “Adding and Dropping Courses”). Permission to receive an Incomplete in any course for any reason must be secured from the Registrar before the instructor may record it on the final grade sheet. The petition for requesting an Incomplete is available from the Registrar’s Office website. Students are required to indicate the length of time they and their instructor need to complete the course. The Registrar will normally approve any reasonable contract. An Incomplete which has not been removed by the end of the period specified in the contract will automatically be converted to an NC if the student is still enrolled or will remain an I if the student has withdrawn from Cornell.

  5. IP indicates a course in progress or one for which a final grade has not been submitted by the instructor.

  6. Grades are reported by the Registrar to the student and the academic advisor/mentor. At the end of each semester, the student’s grade report is available online.

  7. Students who believe that there is an error in the information reported on their grade report or that an injustice has been done them in the grading process should consult the Registrar immediately. After a lapse of one month from the issuance of the report, the information becomes a permanent part of the student’s official transcript. A student who disputes a final grade should appeal first to the instructor. If not satisfied, the student should consult the Program Director and then, if need be, the Dean of the College. Although the Program Director and the Dean may act as mediators, the decision of the instructor is final.

  8. For an instructor to change a grade, the instructor must submit a request to the Academic Standing Committee and explain the circumstances prompting the change, e.g., that he or she miscalculated or has re-evaluated the student’s academic performance up through the close of the semester. After a lapse of one month from the issuance of the grade report, the information becomes a permanent part of the student’s official transcript. The Committee does not permit an instructor to change a final grade because of work submitted or revised after the instructor reported the original final grade to the Registrar.

  9. An instructor must report final grades to the Registrar by December 30 for Fall semester and June 30 for Spring semester.

  10. Credits and grades are posted on the student’s transcript at the end of each semester. Unofficial transcripts are available on-line to current students. Information regarding ordering official transcripts is available on the Registrar’s Office website.


The College confers graduate degrees twice per year, at the end of August and the end of Spring semester (approximately May 12). College-wide commencement exercises are held only at the end of the Spring semester. Graduating students are invited (but not required) to participate and be recognized in the Spring graduation ceremony. Those who will finish degrees during the summer are invited (but not required) to participate in the Spring commencement ceremony immediately before completion of the degree. These students must satisfactorily complete their thesis and the thesis residency during the residency period that immediately follows commencement. Those who will finish degrees during the winter are invited (but not required) to participate in the Spring commencement ceremony following their final residency. 

Students must file an application for graduation by the midpoint of their final semester of their graduate program.

Graduation Rate

Student Consumer Information, including graduation rates, are available on the Institutional Research and Assessment website.

Transcripts and Verification of Enrollment

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for issuing transcripts and verifying the enrollment of students. Fees and procedures related to ordering official transcripts can be found on the Registrar’s Office website. Currently enrolled students can print unofficial copies of their transcript from Self Service under the “Grades” tab at no charge.

The Registrar’s Office will verify the enrollment of students for insurance, employment, or other purposes as requested. In reporting enrollment status to organizations or agencies outside the College, graduate students enrolled for a minimum of 2.25 Cornell credits (9 semester hours) per semester will be reported as “full-time.” Graduate students enrolled for 1.5 Cornell credits (six semester hours) per semester will be reported as “half-time,” and students enrolled for fewer than 1..5 Cornell credits (five semester hours) per semester will be reported as “less than half-time.” Students can print enrollment verifications through the Registrar’s Office secure web site.

Leave of Absence

A non-academic leave may be granted by the Dean of Students because of medical, financial, personal, family, or other problems that are best treated away from Cornell. A student who takes an approved non-academic leave of absence is considered to have withdrawn from Cornell and Cornell’s withdrawal policy applies. A non-academic leave of absence is approved if 

  • the student has made a written request to the Dean of Students; and

  • the Dean of Students has determined that there is a reasonable expectation the student will return from the leave, and has granted written approval. Failure to return by the agreed upon return date will result in the student being officially withdrawn from the College.

Cornell College policy restricts leaves of absence for graduate students to one semester unless an extension is granted by the Dean of Students.

Withdrawal from the College

To withdraw from Cornell College, a student must apply to the Dean of Students. Should a student leave without official permission, he or she will have the grade of F or NC recorded for each course in progress. Students may not use college resources when not enrolled.  All students admitted to a graduate degree program are required to be continuously enrolled or on an approved leave of absence each semester. This policy applies from the time of first enrollment through their graduation term. Students should contact the program director if they do not plan to register for an upcoming term.

Students who are recipients of financial aid or who hold Cornell scholarships or campus employment should, before withdrawing, discuss with the Office of Financial Assistance the consequences if they later wish to return to Cornell and need aid.

Students who plan to finish an academic year but not return the following fall may not register for classes, and must notify the Dean of Students of their intended withdrawal by 30 days prior to the start of the next semester or the student’s enrollment deposit will be forfeited.


A student who withdraws voluntarily, who is dropped for non-attendance, or who is suspended for academic, disciplinary, or financial reasons is not guaranteed readmission. Such persons may, however, apply for readmission to the Academic Standing Committee by sending their request to the Registrar at least one month before the start of the semester in which they wish to re-enroll. A Cornell student who leaves and is later readmitted returns under the Catalogue in effect at the time of readmission. In the case of a student who was suspended, the appropriate conditions, as stated in the letter of suspension, must be satisfied before the Committee will act upon the request. Students, regardless of the type of withdrawal or suspension, will be evaluated for readmission on their academic achievement, and satisfactory discharging of their financial obligations to the College while at Cornell and subsequently.

A student who has been classified by the College as a “readmitted student” is not eligible to receive transfer scholarships offered by Cornell. Consult the Office of Financial Assistance with any questions or concerns.

At the time the student withdraws voluntarily, is dropped for non-attendance, or is suspended for academic, disciplinary, or financial reasons, the student forfeits any financial assistance that was previously awarded. This includes any scholarship, grants, or loans, the student may have had.

If the student is readmitted, their financial assistance will be reviewed at that time and based upon current academic and financial information. Please contact the Financial Assistance Office if you have questions.