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Medical/Psychological Withdrawals

Understanding a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal


To be considered for a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal, a student and his/her condition must be evaluated by Student Health Services or Counseling Services. Recommendations for Medical/Psychological Withdrawal will only be made for debilitating physical or mental illnesses. A Medical/Psychological Withdrawal allows a student to receive "W" for all semester grades regardless of whether the withdrawal occurred before or after the beginning of the assignment of "WF for drops or withdrawals" period. The withdrawal generally includes all registered classes for the student. If a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal is granted, a withdrawal will be specified on the student's transcript without the words "Medical/Psychological". Typical conditions that may be considered for a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal are major surgery or prolonged hospitalizations, Major Depressive Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Anorexia Nervosa, and Alcohol or Drug Dependence (conditions similar for which one would be disabled from work).

If not being seen or treated by Student Health Services or Counseling Services, the student may be asked to present detailed supporting medical, psychiatric, or psychological records or documents to the Health Services Director for medical conditions or to the Counseling Services Director for psychiatric or psychological conditions. The Director will use this information as part of his/her evaluation. Because evaluating the student in person and/or reviewing the relevant documents, as well as speaking with other professionals involved in the student's care is a time consuming process, two weeks are needed to determine the appropriateness of recommending a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal.


Medical/Psychological Withdrawal Procedures


For students to initiate a Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances due to medical or psychological concerns they must complete a "Medical/Psychological Withdrawal Request" form. This form should be submitted to the Director of Student Health Services for medical conditions or the Director of Counseling Services for psychiatric or psychological conditions. The director will conduct a medical or psychological evaluation of the student and/or review supporting medical or psychological records. The student is required to sign a release of information form allowing the director to communicate with the Associate Provost. The director will complete his/her portion of the "Medical/Psychological Withdrawal Request" form and send the form to the Provost (or designee). Ultimately, the decision regarding the granting of the withdrawal lies with the Provost's Office. The Provost (or designee) may choose to meet with the student and/or consult with the instructors of the courses in which the student is enrolled prior to making the decision.  If the student is requesting a full withdrawal, he/she must sign a release of information form to allow the Director to verify with the Dean of Students Office that the student is eligible to withdraw.

When the Director evaluates the student, the following will occur:

  • A medical or psychological evaluation will be completed.
  • Treatment recommendations will be made.
  • Recommendations for return from the withdrawal will be discussed.

Crisis students may be incapacitated or involuntarily hospitalized and unable to meet with the Director. In such cases the student's designated next of kin may request the withdrawal on the student's behalf by submitting the "Medical/Psychological Withdrawal Request" form. The Director will communicate withdrawal implications and return requirements to the next of kin. The Director will then submit the Medical/Psychological Withdrawal Request form to the Provost's Office for approval.

If a student (or next of kin) requests a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal, he/she agrees that the student will:

  • Pursue on-going treatment with a medical professional for medical conditions or licensed mental health professional for psychological/psychiatric conditions to address the issues which led to the withdrawal;
  • Have a substantial period of time of medical or psychological stability prior to returning to the University. This normally requires staying out of the University for at least 3-6 months.


Partial Medical/Psychological Withdrawal


After the "WF" period begins, a student who requests withdrawal from some, but not all, courses for medical/psychological reasons must use the Medical/Psychological Withdrawal process to request a "Partial Medical/Psychological Withdrawal." Partial Medical/Psychological Withdrawal will only be considered with documentation from a treating professional which specifies:" 1) that the student is able to maintain sufficient functioning to successfully participate in the remaining course(s) while pursuing the necessary treatment; and 2) it is in the best interest of the student to remain partially enrolled in the University.  After all supporting documentation has been received, the Director of Student Health Services or the Director of Counseling Services will review the materials and make a recommendation to the Associate Provost. The Associate Provost will make a final determination, considering the needs of the student and the needs of the University, and notify the student of the decision.

When a Partial Medical/Psychological Withdrawal is granted, a hold will be placed on the student's record to prevent the student from any additional registration activity until the "Return from Partial Medical/Psychological Withdrawal" requirements have been met.


Psychological Leave Procedures


If a student requires time away from the University due to psychological reasons but wishes to remain enrolled and complete the current semester, it is recommended that he/she meet with a counselor from Counseling Services prior to the leave if he/she is able. The counselor will conduct a psychological evaluation, make treatment recommendations, and if requested, have the Dean of Students inform relevant University personnel of the student's absence. If the student is not able to meet with a counselor prior to the leave, he/she or his/her next of kin may contact a counselor by phone. The student or student's next of kin should maintain periodic contact with that counselor so that arrangements can be made for return and/or recommendations can be made regarding pursuit of a psychological withdrawal.


Return from Medical/Psychological Withdrawal


When a student wishes to return after a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal, he/she should:

  • Complete a "Return from Medical-Psychological Withdrawal" form and submit it to the Director of Student Health Services for medical conditions or the Director of Counseling Services for psychological/psychiatric conditions when he/she wishes to re-enroll;
  • Request that all professionals treating him/her for medical or psychological/psychiatric conditions during the absence from the University complete a "Community Provider Report Form" when he/she wishes to re-enroll;
  • Meet with the Director of Student Health Services or the Director of Counseling Services when he/she wishes to re-enroll;

Failure to comply with recommendations for continued treatment may result in the student being involuntarily withdrawn for medical/psychological reasons.


Return from Partial Medical/Psychological Withdrawal


When a student accepting a partial medical/psychological withdrawal wishes to return to full-time status, he/she must:

  • Complete a "Return from Medical/Psychological Withdrawal Form";
  • Request that all professionals treating him/her for medical/psychological conditions during his/her absence from the University complete a "Community Provider Report Form"; and
  • Meet with the appropriate Director who will evaluate the Community Provider Reports, conduct a medical or psychological evaluation, and make continued treatment recommendations.

A "hold" will remain on the student's record preventing future registration activity until these procedures are followed and the Director recommends reinstatement to a higher level of enrollment.


Retroactive Medical/Psychological Withdrawal


The last day to request a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal recommendation is the last day of the semester from which the student wishes to withdraw. The only option for changing grades after the semester ends is through a General Petition form which may be obtained from the Associate Dean of the student's college. Granting general petitions for a change in grades due to psychological or medical conditions is kept to a minimum and generally only granted when a student was incapacitated to a point of not having an opportunity to pursue a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal during the semester for which the withdrawal is requested. If a student wishes to pursue a general petition, he/she should consult with his/her advisor.


Academic Fee Refunds


Refunds of academic fees due to a Medical/Psychological Withdrawal occur on the same schedule as those of regular withdrawals from the University. For information on the refund schedule, consult the University Catalog or contact the Registrar's Office.