Students are considered “in residence” when they are physically and actively completing J.S.D. work on the main Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. Students in residence are expected to prioritize their studies during the academic year. If you are considering employment opportunities, review the Graduate School’s employment limits. F-1 and J-1 students should also review employment limits for international students.
In absentia status provides an opportunity for graduate students to engage in approved study in a location at least 100 miles away from the University’s Ithaca campus during the academic year while continuing to work under the guidance of the Special Committee. Students can earn one (1) registration unit if the arrangement enhances the student’s program of study. For more information, see the Code of Legislation or obtain information directly from the GFA.
In absentia petitions are approved on a per semester basis. A student must first gain unofficial Field approval from their Special Committee and the DGS. Once Field approval has been granted, the student must complete and submit the In absentia petition to the Graduate School. In Absentia Petitions are due by June 15 for the Fall Semester and November 1 for the Spring Semester. Petitions submitted after the deadline are subject to a late registration fee and applicable finance charges. All Bursar accounts must be settled prior to the first day of classes, and you should provide the Bursar’s Office with an updated billing address for the in absentia period.
Students in absentia are expected to prioritize their studies during the academic year. If you are considering employment opportunities, review the Graduate School’s employment limits. F-1 and J-1 students should also review employment limits for international students.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence can be granted for personal or medical reasons, but the process is different for each type of leave.
Health Leave of Absence
A health leave of absence requires filing with Cornell Health.
Personal Leave of Absence
A personal leave of absence requires filling out and submitting the Personal Leave of Absence form. Students who feel they must take a personal leave of absence should notify their Special Committee Chair and the GFA as soon as possible. Personal leave requests must be filed by June 15 for the Fall semester and by November 1 for the Spring semester. Petitions submitted after the deadline may be subject to a late registration fee, applicable finance charges, and costs associated with the Student Health Plan.
A leave of absence may be approved for up to one academic year, but a student must check in with their Special Committee Chair, the DGS, and the GFA at least once per semester to discuss options going forward. Students should be in good academic status prior to requesting a leave of absence.
By Graduate School Code a student may take up to four, one year long leaves of absence. However, field funding may not be available to a student who takes a personal leave of absence longer than one year. Additionally, U.S. government regulations require that a student holding a non-immigrant visa who takes a personal leave of absence must either: (1) leave the U.S. within 15 days, or (2) apply for optional practical training before the effective leave of absence date. Before leaving Cornell, a student taking a leave of absence should contact Graduate School Student Services and the Office of Global Learning for information on maintaining visa eligibility for re-entering the United States.
Registering After a Leave of Absence
A student who wishes to register following a leave of absence or a withdrawal should consult the Code of Legislation and contact the Graduate School for advice. A student may register upon written request to the Graduate Student Services Office and without reapplying, as long as renewal of the leave of absence was granted by the Field each year without interruption. You should contact the Graduate Student Service Records Team at least one month prior to your return so your registration can be rejoined. An email request to email@example.com is acceptable. International students must consult the Office of Global Learning before returning. If the leave of absence was for medical reasons, registration requires prior approval from Cornell Health or another appropriate health care professional as well as the graduate field and Graduate School.