Leave of Absence and Withdrawal

Leave of Absence

The Leave of Absence initiates a request from a student to suspend his/her degree program for up to one year. Leaves of absence are granted when it is temporarily impossible for students to continue to work toward a degree.

Students are limited to two, not necessarily consecutive, regular semesters of leave while in a graduate degree program at Mines. Beyond these two semesters, students needing to suspend their degree programs further are required to formally withdraw from the degree program. To continue in the degree program at a later date, candidates would need to apply, and be readmitted, into the degree program. As with all degree program applications, applications from candidates returning from a leave are reviewed by the program and considered for readmission at the sole discretion of the program.

Leave of absence requests for the current semester must be received by the Office of Graduate Studies by noon on census day. Leave of absence requests for prior semesters will not be considered. Any request for a leave of absence must be made to the Office of Graduate Studies and have the prior approval of the student’s faculty advisor and the International Office (if applicable).

The complete Leave of Absence form with all required signatures and a plan describing how the student will successfully complete the degree must be submitted by noon on census day. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances. If exceptions are made and a student is withdrawn from all credits after census day, the student may receive a partial refund or no refund, depending on when the form is submitted.

The request for a leave of absence must include

  • The Leave of Absence Request Form indicates the reasons why the student must interrupt his or her studies
  • It needs to be signed by:
    • Student
    • Advisor and Department Head
    • International Office (if applicable) isss@mines.edu 
    • Financial Aid
    • Dean of Graduate Studies
  • A plan (including a timeline and deadlines) for resuming and completing the work toward the degree in a timely fashion.
  • Incomplete forms will not be accepted.
    • Students who submit incomplete forms will not be dropped from credits and the student will be responsible for paying any tuition and fees due.

The following departments/people will be notified when a student is taking a leave of absence:

Students on leave

  • Remain in good standing even though they are not registered for any course or research credits.
  • Are not considered active students for enrollment purposes.
  • Will not have access to Mines resources. This includes, but is not limited to, office space, computational facilities, research labs, library and faculty.

Students who fail to register for a fall or spring terms and who are not on approved leaves of absence will have their degree programs terminated. Students who wish to return to graduate school after an unauthorized leave of absence must apply for readmission.

To return from leave, students must complete the appropriate forms (see below).

For more information, please refer to the Mines Catalog.



Students returning from a leave of absence must submit the Return from Leave of Absence form prior to registering for credits.

The Office of Graduate Studies will notify the student once the form has been processed. At that time, the student may register for credits. Please allow 3-5 days to process the form.

Students who do not submit the Return from Leave form will need to submit the Withdrawal from Graduate School form or the degree program will be terminated. Students with a terminated degree program who wish to return to Mines, must re-apply online for admission and pay a $200 re-admit fee.

Please contact the Office of Graduate Studies with any questions grad.services@mines.edu.

Parental Leave

The Parental Leave form initiates a request from a student to take a leave from their program to care for their child immediately following the birth or adoption of the child.

Graduate students in thesis-based degree programs, who have full-time student status, may be eligible to request up to eight (8) weeks of parental leave. The Parental Leave Policy is designed to assist students who are primary child-care providers immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. The policy is designed to make it possible for students to maintain full-time status in research-based degree programs while taking a leave from that program to care for their new child and facilitate planning for continuance of their degree program.

Nothing in the Parental Leave policy can, or is intended to replace communication and cooperation between the student and his or her advisor, and the good-faith efforts of both to accommodate the birth or adoption of a child within the confines and expectations of participating in a research-active graduate degree program. It is the intent of this policy to reinforce the importance of this cooperation and to provide a framework of support and guidance.


In order to be eligible for Parental Leave, a graduate student must:

  • be the primary child care provider;
  • have been a full-time graduate student in his/her degree program during at least the two (2), prior consecutive semesters;
  • be enrolled in a thesis-based degree program (i.e., Doctoral or thesis-based Masters);
  • be in good academic standing as defined in the Unsatisfactory Academic Performance section of the Graduate Catalog;
  • provide a letter from a physician or other health care professional stating the anticipated due date of the child, or provide appropriate documentation specifying an expected date of adoption of the child;
  • notify advisor of intent to apply for Parental Leave at least four (4) months prior to the anticipated due date or adoption date; and
  • at least two (2) months prior to the expected leave date complete, and have approved, the Request for Parental Leave Form that includes an academic Program Plan for program continuance.

Exceptions and Limitations

This policy has been explicitly constructed with the following limitations:

  • part-time and non-thesis students are not eligible for Parental Leave. These students may, however, apply for a Leave of Absence through the regular procedure defined above;
  • if both parents are Mines graduate students who would otherwise qualify for leave under this Policy, each is entitled to a Parental Leave period immediately following the birth or adoption of a child during which he or she is the primary care provider, but the leaves may not be taken simultaneously; and
  • leaves extending beyond eight (8) weeks are not covered by this Policy. The regular Leave of Absence policy defined in the Graduate Catalog applies to these cases.


Under this Policy students will receive the following benefits and protections:

  • a one-semester extension of all academic requirements (e.g., qualifying examinations, time to degree limitations, etc.);
  • maintenance of full-time status in degree program while on Parental Leave;
  • documentation of an academic plan that specifies both how a student will continue work toward his or her degree prior to the leave period and how a student will reintegrate into a degree program after returning from leave; and
  • continuance of assistantship support during the semester in which the leave is taken.

For additional information, please see the Graduate Catalog.


Students may drop or withdraw from individual courses in Trailhead following the appropriate guidelines (see General Registration requirements).

In certain situations, students may also wish to ask their instructors about options for an Incomplete grade (Mines Catalog Information) rather than a withdrawal. Note that Incompletes must be resolved within the instructors’ specified timeline; if not converted to a letter grade within 1 year, Incomplete grades turn to Fs.

To officially withdraw from all courses in a semester, or withdraw completely from the Colorado School of Mines, a graduate student must submit a Withdrawal Form through the Office of Graduate Studies.

Students who do not register for a fall or spring semester and do not correctly submit either the Withdrawal Form or a Leave of Absence form will be inactivated.

To request Withdrawal

  • Download the Withdrawal From All Courses form. Note: if you need to withdraw from one program/degree but are remaining in a second program, use the Withdraw From a Program form instead.
  • Complete the form according to your situation and obtain the signatures or email approvals. Submit to the Office of Graduate Studies (grad.services@mines.edu or Alderson Hall, 451) by no later than the last day of class of the semester in which you wish to withdraw. 


  • If the completed form with all signatures is received by OGS on or before the Add/Drop Deadline, your courses will be removed from the transcript and you will receive a full tuition refund.
  • If the completed form is received after the Add/Drop Deadline and before the last day to withdraw, credits are withdrawn, so there will not be a grade on the transcript. However, “Ws” (withdrawal) will be noted on the transcript, and there is no automatic tuition refund policy. For details, visit the Bursar’s Office website.
  • If you are withdrawing from all courses in one semester, but intend to return the next semester, register for the next semester prior to the Add/Drop Deadline to avoid your student account being deactivated.


  • International Students are required to contact the Office of International Studies  isss@mines.edu
  • Financial Aid: Student receiving or who have received financial aid are required to contact the Office of Financial Aid
  • Student Contracts: Students who are on a Mines contract must contact Financial Aid, your department and MAPS (https://www.mines.edu/maps/).
  • Health Insurance: Students who are on the Mines health insurance must contact the Health Insurance Office.
  • Veterans: Students who are receiving veterans benefits must contact the Registrar’s Office
  • Student Housing:  Students living in Mines housing only must contact Residence Life housing@mines.edu
  • Library: Students must return all library materials. Questions may be directed to: libcirc@mines.edu
  • Bursar’s Office: Students must pay off any balance due. Questions may be directed to: bursar@mines.edu
  • Key Shop: Students who have Mines key must return them before leaving campus. Questions may be directed to: almann@mines.edu


Alderson Hall, Suite 451
Golden, CO 80401