Withdrawal, Cancelation, and Leave of Absence Procedures

How to Request a Leave of Absence

If you are considering taking a leave of absence you should first discuss it with your academic advisor. You will need to submit a request to ssr@smu.edu. All official requests must originate from your SMU email address. Once you reach out to SSR, we will send you the official Leave of Absence forms.

If you are seeking a voluntary medical withdrawal due to a medical or psychological condition, please submit a CCC and select "medical withdrawal request". Additional information on requesting and returning from a medical leave of absence can be found here.

What to Know Before Requesting a Leave of Absence

Students considering taking a leave of absence should contact their academic advisor to discuss the decision and the possible impact on your academic progress. 

Financial Aid

Withdrawing can impact your financial aid, including eligibility for federal student aid refunds. Financial aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid with questions.

Meet with your Financial Aid Advisor 

Tuition Refund Information

Please refer to the Tuition and General Student Fees Schedule and view the Regular Withdrawals/Cancellation tabs for the refund schedule. 

International Students

International students should make an appointment with their International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) advisor. Please keep in mind: 

  • Leave of Absence is a termination of your SEVIS status due to Authorized Early Withdrawal.
  • Leave of Absence/Early Withdrawal must be authorized by the ISSS Office.
  • Leave of Absence for more than five months will require a new I20 document.
  • Students who return to the U.S. with a new I20 must complete one academic year in order to be eligible for work authorization (CPT/OPT)

Returning from a Leave of Absence

Ready to return from a personal leave of absence? We are excited to welcome you back to the Hilltop. All returning students should contact their academic advisor to make an academic plan for the upcoming semester and discuss your academic progress towards graduation.

We can help walk you through the steps and answer any questions that you may have.  Make an appointment with us.

If you receive any financial aid or scholarships, make sure to reach out to your Financial Aid Advisor. They will be able to help you get your aid set up so everything is ready to go when you return.

International students who need to return to SMU after a leave of absence must contact the ISSS Office regarding their I20. An international student who has not been in the U.S. for five months will be need an initial attendance I20. For more information, please email isss@smu.edu or visit the website and click "Leave of Absence/Withdrawal."