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Taking time off

Sometimes putting your studies on hold is the right decision for you.

You probably had a timeline for graduation in mind when you started your studies, but sometimes a detour is necessary and can make all the difference.

Whether for health, academic, or financial reasons, taking a break from your studies may be the right move. 

Whatever the circumstances, putting your studies on hold is a big decision. We encourage you to explore all aspects of this choice before deciding on a course of action. Talk it over first with family, friends and trusted advisors.

Taking a leave versus withdrawing

If you decide to take time off and intend to return to undergraduate studies, there is no formal procedure to follow.

If you feel you cannot complete your courses, drop them prior to the DISC deadline to avoid any academic consequences. Remember to also drop any courses for future terms, if you are not planning to attend. 

Normally, dropping a course after the DNE deadline means you remain responsible for paying all tuition and fees associated with the course. If you face extenuating circumstances, such as an unforeseen medical or family emergency, you may be able to apply for a full or partial refund for a late course withdrawal.

If you are transferring to another university, moving away from Montreal on a permanent basis or you have decided not to continue your studies for the foreseeable future, you will need to officially withdraw from the university.

Follow these steps:

  • Drop your courses
  • Pay your student account in full
  • Inform the Office of the Registrar of your decision to officially withdraw

Lapsed standing

If your time off spans several terms, you may fall into lapsed standing or be withdrawn from your program. You may have to reapply for admission or meet with an academic advisor before you can resume your studies, under your faculty's regulations for returning students.

During your time off, course content and program requirements may have changed. In that case, you may need to take additional courses to complete your degree. 

Possible consequences

Your decision to take time off may have implications beyond the academic realm.

If you are receiving loans or bursaries, please contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office to discuss how time away from your studies will affect you.  

If you are an international student on a study permit, you may not remain in Canada if you are not enrolled in classes. Please speak with your International Students Office advisor for advice. 

Your access to student services is linked to your enrollment at Concordia. Campus Wellness has compiled a list of community resources that don't depend on your status at the university.

Please be advised that if you wish to take courses at another university in your absence, you must receive permission from your academic advisor in writing before doing so. 

Help with your decision

People across Concordia are available to help you with your decision. They can also help you find solutions to make it possible for you to continue your studies. Don't hesitate to speak with staff in these units of the university:

Drop by the Student Service Station weekly on Zoom to speak one-on-one with advisors and other staff.

Preparing for your return

Provided you are not in lapsed standing, when you are ready to resume your studies, there is no formal procedure to follow.

Start planning your return several months ahead of your anticipated start date, to give yourself enough time to register for courses and speak with an academic advisor if need be.

Take some time to get re-acquainted with campus services and make sure any support you need is in place in time for your return to your studies. Learning Services offers resources to help you succeed, such as tutoring, study groups and university skills courses

If you're someone with a disability, look into registering with the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities. See what services are available through Health and Wellness and get caught up with any student groups you joined in the past if you wish.

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