Withdrawal Policies - Graduate

Individual class withdrawal policy

Any student may withdraw from a class until two weeks beyond mid-term of a full semester class. All withdrawals from classes after the term's drop/add/change of schedule period are recorded with a "W" on the student’s permanent academic record along with the official date of withdrawal. (See the university drop/add/change of schedule policy for details on the add/drop/change of schedule period.) Classes shorter than the full term length offered during a semester or during an intersession have withdrawal time limits established on a basis prorated to withdrawal dates for a full semester class.

The student must obtain either the advisor’s or the instructor’s permission to withdraw after the drop/add/change of schedule period has ended. No student is permitted to withdraw from a class later than two weeks beyond mid-term of a semester for a full semester course. Only a grade of "F" or "I" may be recorded for any student who continues past this time period and fails to complete a class. In rare and extenuating circumstances, retroactive withdrawal requests may be granted by the dean’s office of the student, and documented rationale is recorded in the student record. See the withdrawal from UWL policy for other exceptions.

Failure to follow the prescribed procedures and to observe the prescribed time limits for withdrawal from classes will result in the recording of failing grades in discontinued classes. If a student withdraws from a course taken as a "repeat," the original grade earned will remain in the overall grade point average calculation.

Withdrawal from UWL policy

Withdrawal from the university is a matter of major importance. Students considering withdrawal from school, should discuss the matter with an academic advisor, program director, and/or dean prior to initiating action. The official date of withdrawal from all classes will be recorded on the permanent academic record if the student withdraws after classes begin.

Contact the Student Life Office (608.785.8062; studentlife@uwlax.edu; 149 Graff Main Hall) to schedule an appointment and initiate a withdrawal. The Student Life Office provides a checklist which withdrawing students are expected to follow carefully. Withdrawal procedures must be fully completed before a withdrawal becomes official.

An official withdrawal entitles a student to a refund of fees when the withdrawal date falls within a refund period. The official date of withdrawal is the date the withdrawal form is received in the Records and Registration Office. A "W" (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s academic transcript if the withdrawal date falls after the drop/add/change of schedule period and prior to two weeks after mid-term of a given semester. A grade of "WP" or "WF" will appear if the withdrawal date falls more than two weeks after mid-term. A grade of "WF" will be averaged into the GPA. Withdrawal from the university is not allowed after the three-quarter point of the term. Students who withdraw after classes have begun will be charged a withdrawal fee.

An unofficial withdrawal will result in recording failing grades in discontinued courses and in encumbering of student records if the following obligations to the university have not been met: release from graduate assistantship obligations, if appropriate; returning books to textbook service and Murphy Library; returning other university supplies and/or equipment issued during preceding periods of regular enrollment; clearing a record through an exit interview in the Financial Aid Office, if applicable; and securing a final clearance in the Cashier’s Office with respect to any refund(s) which may be due or obligations unfulfilled regarding university fees, housing or food service arrangements, or accounts, and relinquishing the student identification card. 

In some cases, students may request an emergency medical withdrawal from the university.

Note: Pursuant to the regulations of Title IV of the Federal Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, students who receive student financial aid and receive all F1-F14 grades (recorded as F's) will be subject to the federal Title IV Return of Funds Policy. These students may be required to return funds to the student financial programs and may also be liable for repayments directly to UW-La Crosse.

Medical withdrawal policy

A medical withdrawal is granted in instances where a student is faced with a serious or unexpected condition that completely precludes the student from being able to function as a student and in which the regular university withdrawal process is not appropriate.

A request may be granted to students who experience a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition; who may need to provide care to an immediate family member who is experiencing a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition; or who have experienced the death of an immediate family member. In the case of pre-existing, recurring, or chronic health conditions, documentation must show that the recurrence or worsening of the condition(s) began after initiation of the term for which the withdrawal is requested. Approval will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Whenever possible, requests for medical withdrawal should begin in the Student Life Office and occur during the term in which the medical condition arose. Students may apply for a retroactive medical withdrawal up to one year after the end of the term in question. The withdrawal request must be supported by a letter from a health care provider which describes the limitations on the student’s continued participation in courses. In the case of death of an immediate family member, an obituary or other official record of death may be requested as documentation. When appropriate, Student Life will consult with the Student Health Center, the appropriate academic dean, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Extended Learning, the appropriate graduate program director, and all of the student's instructors. When the withdrawal is completed, the Records and Registration Office will notify instructors if a grade is required.

For courses in which the student has withdrawn, the permanent academic record will show no credits were earned. The last date of class attendance shall be considered the official withdrawal date to be used by the Records and Registration Office for recording academic record class drops and term withdrawals. The status of the student’s grades at the time of the withdrawal will be posted. The record will show one of the following grades submitted by the instructor: "EP" (emergency withdrawal passing) or "EF" (emergency withdrawal failing). Such grades will not be included in the computation of the term or cumulative grade point average.

Any exception to the policies of the medical withdrawal must be appealed through the Student Life Office to the University’s Committee on Academic Policies and Standards (CAPS) or Graduate Council. A decision by CAPS or Graduate Council is final.

Military duty withdrawal from the university

Military duty withdrawal applies to those students who are ordered to active duty (i.e., active duty Reserve, National Guard), not to individuals who voluntarily enlist. A copy of the orders/activation papers must be submitted to Student Life, 149 Graff Main Hall. The staff in that office will provide assistance and guidance with the withdrawal process, which may occur at any time. Depending on when the withdrawal is effective, options are available for complete or partial withdrawal with grades of "EP" and "EF," for accepting normal letter grades, or for "Incomplete" grades.

Refunds will be calculated based on dates and options selected. More information and procedures can be found in the university's full Military Duty Withdrawal Policy.

Short term military absence policy

Military students and their immediate family members who are enrolled as students shall not be penalized for class absence due to unavoidable or legitimate required military obligations, or medical appointments at a VA facility, not to exceed 10% of instruction hours. Special permission may be granted by the instructor to exceed 10%. Students are responsible for notifying faculty members of such circumstances as far in advance as possible and for providing documentation (military orders or VA appointment letter) to the Veteran Educational Benefit Office to verify the reason for the absence. The faculty member is expected to provide reasonable accommodations or opportunities to make up exams or other course assignments that have an impact on the course grade. Students are not relieved from completing assignments or group work. For longer term absences that will exceed the 10% of instruction hours, students should be referred to the Military Withdrawal from the University Policy.

More information and procedures can be found in the university's full Short Term Military Absence Policy.