Student Status

Registered Status

University registration is the official recognition of a student’s relationship with the university and is the basic authorization for a student’s access to campus resources. To become registered each term, a student must settle all financial accounts with the university, satisfy New York State and university health requirements, and have no holds from their college, the Office of the Judicial Administrator, Health Services, or the Bursar. 


An individual is considered a full-time student if he or she is registered, enrolled in courses or engaged in thesis work, and is in conformity with limitations on assistantships, hourly student appointments, and/or outside employment as specified in the Code of Legislation of the Graduate Faculty. 


In absentia status provides an opportunity for graduate students to engage in approved study during the academic year in a location at least 100 miles away from campus while continuing to work under the guidance of the Special Committee. An extended field season that overlaps a significant part of the semester is a valid reason for applying for in absentia status. A student may apply for in absentia status by submitting a petition to the Graduate School. An M.S. student must have completed at least one semester of registration and a Ph.D. student must have completed at least two semesters of registration in full-time study on the Ithaca campus or at a satellite location to be eligible for in absentia status. Graduate students who are approved to register in absentia pay in absentia tuition (currently $200/semester) instead of regular tuition. 

Non-Registered Status


A leave of absence can be granted for personal or health reasons. Leaves run for a period of up to 12 months and may be renewed annually to a maximum of four calendar years. Time spent on leave of absence does not count toward time-to-degree limits. The field and the Graduate School jointly determine whether a personal Leave of Absence will be granted. If a Health Leave of Absence is recommended for a student by University Health Services, the Graduate School, in consultation with the field, determines whether a Health Leave of Absence will be granted. A student who takes a leave of absence relinquishes access to campus facilities and services that normally accompany student status. Special considerations apply to students holding a non-immigrant visa who wish to take a leave; it is crucial that an international student taking a leave of absence discusses their plans with the Graduate School and International Services within the Office of Global Learning before leaving Cornell.

​​​​​​​ii. WITHDRAWAL​​​​​​​

Students may withdraw voluntarily at any time. Withdrawal is appropriate for students who do not intend to resume studies or to complete their M.S. or Ph.D. at Cornell University. Any interruption of registration is considered a withdrawal unless the student has been granted a leave of absence.