Students may use eServices to withdraw from any or all courses before the relevant deadlines according to 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A mark of W (withdrawn) will be recorded on the permanent student academic record for all courses from which students withdraw.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.

Whenever possible, students should consult their academic or program adviser prior to any withdrawals. Certain academic programs, including some health sciences programs, have specific continuance standards; students in those programs should consult their program adviser to understand how 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 or mental health condition that makes them unable to complete their studies once a semester is in progress. In these cases, the student may use eServices to either drop or withdraw from all courses before the relevant deadlines according to the VCU Calendar. Students unable to drop or withdraw using eServices should contact their adviser or the Student Services Center in Harris Hall on the Monroe Park Campus.

A student may request withdrawal after the withdrawal deadline only as an exception to the standard withdrawal process for health reasons. A student may petition the dean (or dean’s designee) for a medical withdrawal from all courses after the withdrawal deadline 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 dean (or dean’s designee), in consultation with a qualified health provider as appropriate, will determine whether a medical withdrawal from all courses is appropriate based on the circumstances of the individual request. A medical withdrawal may only be granted for all courses taken that semester. The student must present documentation of their need to withdraw. This documentation must include a letter, written on letterhead, from a qualified 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. Graduate students should submit a request to the dean of the Graduate School via the special action form process.

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

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 or college in consultation with the senior vice provost for student affairs or designee and, as appropriate, relevant faculty and a qualified health care provider.

If an undergraduate student wishes to be withdrawn from selected courses only, or the dean (or dean’s designee) denies the request, or the request is made after the last day of classes per the academic calendar, undergraduate students may petition for a retroactive withdrawal with the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee. Withdrawal decisions by the graduate dean are final and may not be appealed.

If a student will not be ready to return to the university for the semester following a medical withdrawal, a graduate or first professional student may request an approved leave of absence (see leave of absence). Undergraduate students may re-enroll during a later semester consistent with the continuous enrollment policy.