Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy

Students in the Global BFA in Film Art program who wish to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the program should do so through the Office of Student Success at Emerson College. A withdrawal signifies a decision to leave the program permanently. A leave of absence is a temporary leave that is valid for up to two years. Students should file for a Health Leave of Absence if they are leaving for medical (physical or mental health) reasons and wish to use tuition insurance, and a Personal Leave of Absence for any non-medical reason. Additional information regarding the leave of absence and withdrawal process, as well as the Health Leave of Absence policy, should be reviewed prior to submitting an official request for a leave or withdrawal.

Students who are considering taking a leave or withdrawing, or who have made the decision to do so, should contact Emerson’s Office of Student Success at studentsuccess [at] emerson.edu (studentsuccess[at]emerson[dot]edu) or 617-824-8650 (If dialing from outside the U.S., use 001 prefix) to review important information relating to their academic plan, financial responsibilities, and necessary steps to return to the program (if taking a leave). No leave or withdrawal will be processed or considered official until the student has filed with Emerson College. If the decision to take a leave or withdraw occurs during a term at Paris College of Art (PCA), students should also contact Sara Krauskopf (sara.krauskopf [at] paris.edu (sara[dot]krauskopf[at]paris[dot]edu)) at Paris College of Art to inform them of the decision. However, such contact does not replace the need to officially file for a leave or withdrawal with Emerson.

Students should plan to vacate campus housing within 48 hours of filing for a leave/withdrawal if they are staying on an Emerson (Boston or Kasteel Well) campus. When filing for a leave/withdrawal while studying at Paris College of Art, students should refer to their Student Housing License

Refund Schedules and Adjustments to Financial Aid

Institutional fees charged to students, including the enrollment deposit, are nonrefundable regardless of whether the student completes the full academic year or a given term at the College. Adjustments are not made to tuition charges for students who take a leave of absence from the program after the start of a semester. Payment for the full semester is expected, and this payment will be held to cover future semesters when over-enrollment in additional courses will be necessary in order to stay on track in the program after the student returns.

In accordance with federal regulations, any federal or state financial aid for the semester in which a student leaves or withdraws will be reduced according to their last date of attendance or participation in an academically-related activity. Institutional aid (scholarships and grants awarded by Emerson College) will not be reduced. Please see the explanation regarding Return of Title IV Funds below for more information.

Room and board charges for students taking a leave or withdrawing during a term at Paris College of Art are nonrefundable. Room and board charges for students taking a leave or withdrawing during a summer term at Emerson’s Boston or Kasteel Well campus are calculated on a pro-rated, daily basis through the fifth week of the semester. A student will continue to accrue charges until the move-out process is completed, including return of key.

Financial Assistance & Return of Title IV Funds

If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence during a term, United States Title IV and Emerson College regulations may require that some financial aid funds be returned. This may result in a balance due to the college, which will need to be fully paid before a student may apply to return from a leave of absence or before a withdrawn student will be able to request an official transcript.

Students receiving financial aid who withdraw on or after the first day of classes will have their aid adjusted using the percentage determined by the federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation schedule. Adjustments will be made based on the number of days a student attends up until to the 60% point of the semester, at which time they will have earned all aid for the term.

All students who have borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan must complete a Federal Direct Student Loan Exit Interview Form or complete online exit counseling at studentaid.gov upon taking a leave, withdrawing, graduating, or dropping below half-time enrollment. Failure to complete an exit interview will prevent you from receiving copies of your academic transcript in the future and may prevent you from re-enrolling. Borrowers of the Massachusetts No Interest loan will receive exit counseling instructions via email. Borrowers of alternative (private) loans are advised to contact their lender for more information about loan repayment.


Students are eligible for readmission to the Global BFA in Film Arts program within two years. Since the program operates on a cohort model in which students follow a prescribed sequence of courses from one term to the next, students must re-enter the program during that portion of the academic year—fall, spring, or summer—in which their leave went into effect. For example, if a student takes a leave before or during the fall term, they can only re-enter during one of the subsequent two fall terms. Exceptions may be made to allow a student to return earlier, if a student has missed 16 credits or fewer and is able to scaffold them in to subsequent semesters.

Students who wish to return from a leave should complete Emerson’s online Request for Readmission. Deadlines to submit the readmission request for Global BFA students are as follows:

  • Fall re-entry: May 1
  • Spring re-entry: October 1
  • Summer re-entry: February 1

Students who have taken a leave from the Global BFA in Film Arts program are only eligible for readmission to that program. They are not eligible for readmission into a different program at Emerson College or Paris College of Art.