To withdraw officially from VCU, a student must contact the Office of Records and Registration and complete the withdrawal process by the official withdrawal date as published in the VCU Calendar. Failure to complete this process may result in the assignment of failing grades in all or some of the courses for which the student is currently enrolled.

A mark of W (withdrawn) will be recorded on the permanent student academic record for all courses from which students officially withdraw. Charges are assessed and adjusted according to the university refund policy, which is published in the Tuition, fees and expenses section of this bulletin.

Students enrolled in health science programs should consult their program adviser prior to any withdrawals for academic or health-related reasons. Withdrawal may affect continuance in health science curricula.

Also see cancellation of registration in the level-specific registration policies sections of this Bulletin.

Medical withdrawal

A student may experience a medical condition that makes him or her unable to complete their studies once a semester is in progress. If this occurs before the add/drop period is over, the student should drop the class; if it occurs after add/drop ends but before the last day to withdraw, the student should withdraw from the class. This should be done using eServices or, if necessary, the dean’s office can assist with a drop or a withdrawal.

For a protracted illness, a student may choose to ask for an approved leave of absence (see leave of absence policy).

After the last day to withdraw but prior to the last day of classes per the academic calendar — and before a final class grade has been assigned and/or posted to the academic history — the student may petition the dean (or dean’s designee) for a medical withdrawal from all courses. The student must present documentation of his or her medical condition that establishes a significant degree of impairment in continuing his or her studies. This documentation must include a letter, written on letterhead, from a licensed health care provider that establishes the dates of treatment, the diagnosis and the degree of impairment that the condition has created. This letter should also provide the date when the student became unable to attend classes, or when the impairment was considered significant enough to affect academic performance. The dean (or dean’s designee) may at his or her discretion determine whether a medical withdrawal from all courses is appropriate. A medical withdrawal may only be granted for all courses taken that semester. At the graduate level, the medical withdrawal should be submitted to the Graduate School via the special action form process.

The student’s transcript will reflect a grade of W for all courses taken that semester. No special designation for medical withdrawals is made on the transcript, and tuition and fees are levied in the same manner as other withdrawals. (See university refund policy in the financial aid section.) Medical withdrawals may impact future financial aid in relation to satisfactory academic progress.

In the event that a student’s health problem poses a danger to the student, to patients or to others with whom the student may come in contact, and the student is unable or refuses to initiate steps to withdraw as stated above, administrative withdrawal of the student may be made by the dean of the student’s school upon consultation with the appropriate faculty and a qualified physician.

Because curricular and course content changes may occur and a student’s progress toward a degree may be affected adversely because of an extended absence, specific time periods may be imposed by individual schools with respect to the length of time allowed for absence from school. If there is a delay in return beyond the allotted time period without written consent of the dean of the school, the student may petition for return with advanced standing.

Prior to returning to school, the student must submit a statement from a physician documenting that the condition that necessitated the withdrawal has been corrected to a point where the student can complete successfully all curriculum requirements with reasonable accommodation including classroom, laboratory, clinical and fieldwork experience.

If the student wishes to be withdrawn from selected courses only, or if the dean (or dean’s designee) denies the petition, or if the request is made after the last day of classes per the academic calendar, then the student may pursue the matter further by filing a petition for a retroactive withdrawal with the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee.