Leaving Naropa

Leave of Absence

If a student plans to take a break from studies at Naropa, the student can save their place in a program for a maximum of one year by following the leave of absence procedure. After a leave of absence, a student may return to the university without having to reapply for admission. A student may take multiple leaves of absence, as long as they do not exceed a total of one calendar year, or two full semesters. A student in Special Student Status may not take a leave of absence.

A leave of absence should be applied for during the semester prior to departure. The deadline to apply for a leave of absence is the end of the add/drop period during the first semester in which the student is not registered for courses.

A student who is registered for the current semester but who wishes to take a leave of absence in the current semester is encouraged to drop their courses and begin the process of applying for a leave before the last day of add/drop, in order to avoid tuition and academic penalties. A financial aid charge may still apply if classes were attended. A student who begins the process after the last day of add/drop will be financially responsible for any courses from which they withdrew, and the leave of absence will officially begin the following semester.

To apply for a leave of absence, a student must inform their advisor and fill out a Leave of Absence form, available on MyNaropa. Upon notification of intent to take a leave, a student will be dropped from current or future semester courses in accordance with the add/drop and withdrawal schedule.  A student who has received financial aid must complete an exit interview with the Financial Aid Office before taking a leave of absence. A student taking a leave of absence must also be cleared of any obligations to the library, transportation office, and tuition cashier. Failure to meet these obligations may prevent a student from registering for future semesters, receiving an official transcript, or other services from the university. Past due accounts may be sent to collections. We strongly encourage students to take the student satisfaction survey before taking a leave of absence.

Returning From a Leave of Absence

If a student is returning to a program after an authorized, unexpired leave of absence, the student should contact their academic advisor, as well as the Registrar's Office, stating the semester returning. It is not necessary to reapply through the Admissions Office.

Students may register with other returning students during the registration period for the following semester (during April to return in the fall semester, or during November to return during the spring semester).

Withdrawal After a Leave of Absence

If, at the end of a leave of absence, the student decides not to return, the student must then follow the procedures for a voluntary withdrawal.

Special Consideration for Graduate Students

Graduate students who have completed all their course work but not the master’s thesis, paper, or manuscript are not eligible for leaves of absence. Instead, they must register for a 0.5-credit extended thesis, extended paper, or extended manuscript course for every semester that elapses until the master’s work is completed.

Leaves of Absence and Course Withdrawals in Cases of Medical or Family Emergency

Medical and family emergencies may entitle a student to the grade of “Withdraw” (W) for courses. The student must complete the Exception to Policy/Emergency Withdrawal form and a health care professional must complete the Medical Documentation form (in the case of a medical or mental health emergency). The majority of family emergencies are due to death or illness in the student’s immediate family. In those cases, students must provide proof of the family emergency in the form of a letter from a health care professional or a death notice. Other documentation may be accepted under certain circumstances. The student must provide documentation that clearly shows that the student was unable to complete their work due to the emergency. The documentation will then be reviewed by the university. Tuition may be prorated in proportion to the portion of the semester actually attended. Students who do not plan to return the following full semester must apply for a leave of absence to hold a place in the program until the student is able to return.

Students who are involuntarily activated for military service, and military dependents that must move due to involuntary deployment or relocation, are eligible for "Emergency Withdrawal" from courses, with documentation.