A student may withdraw from or drop an individual course until the end of the tenth week of a fall or spring semester, the second week of Interim session, the third week of a five-week summer session or the fourth week of a 10-week session. After this period, students are expected to maintain their course loads.

A student contemplating withdrawal from a course is strongly encouraged to contact his or her academic adviser before changing the schedule, as changes can result in delayed graduation. Also, dropping below full-time status may impact insurance (health & auto), financial aid and scholarships. (Full-time status is 12 credit hours for undergraduate students, 9 credit hours for graduate students and 10 credit hours for law students.)

A student may not withdraw from or drop individual courses in which penalty grades were assigned as a result of academic misconduct.

No permanent notation is made of a course that is dropped during the change of schedule period. A course dropped from the end of the change of schedule period to the end of the tenth week of a fall or spring semester, the end of the second week of Interim session, the end of the third week of a five-week summer session or the end of the fourth week of a 10-week summer session is indicated on the student’s permanent academic transcript with a grade of W.

Important Note #1: Dropping an Interim session course does not result in a withdrawal from the University if the student is enrolled in a course or courses in any other summer session.

Important Note #2: After the Last Day to Drop with a W, a student must petition the college office for approval to withdraw or drop "for reasons beyond the student's control.” The presumption is that the student CANNOT withdraw without "extenuating circumstances," which must be documented. Specifically, the student cannot drop because he or she isn't doing well in the class. Depending upon the term, the student had 10 weeks to make this judgment call. This note also applies to any retroactive withdrawal or drop.

Withdrawal from a Semester

A student may withdraw from a semester through the last day of classes (excluding final exam periods) in the fall, spring and summer semesters following clearance by the Office of the University Registrar. A withdrawal from the the semester occurs during summer term only if the student withdraws from all parts of the term. A semester withdrawal will not be processed if the student is enrolled in a part of a term that has concluded. 

No notation of courses attempted is made on the permanent record of a student who withdraws from the semester during the change of schedule period (when a course can still be added). After the change of schedule period, a grade of W (withdrawn) is assigned for all courses in which the student was enrolled.  

The withdrawal process is initiated online through the student’s myBama account. The “Tuition and Other Expenses” section of this catalog provides information regarding the effects of withdrawal upon tuition and fee payments and financial aid.

Withdrawal for Medical Reasons

Policy:  The Medical Withdrawal policy of The University of Alabama establishes procedures to follow when a student suffers from a physical, emotional or psychological condition that significantly impairs their ability to function successfully or safely as a student.  The policy is primarily administered by the university’s Student Health Center (SHC) according to the procedures described below.

Eligibility:  Medical Withdrawals are voluntary.  Eligibility for Medical Withdrawal is limited to students who have not taken a final exam or otherwise completed course work for a final grade.  The SHC shall request documentation from the dean of the division in which the student is enrolled to verify that the student took no final exam(s) or otherwise completed no course work for a final grade for the semester/term in question; in addition, students are expected to affirm these conditions at the time of the request.  Falsely attesting to the eligibility on the Student Request for Medical Withdrawal form is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and may result in the denial or revocation of the Medical Withdrawal.

Academic ImpactMedical Withdrawal, when approved, removes all courses for a given semester/term.  Students are not allowed to medically withdraw from individual courses.  The only exception to this policy occurs when parts of a term within a semester have unique start and end dates.  For example the summer semester at UA includes four separate parts (Interim Term, Summer I, Summer II and full Summer Term).  It would be possible, if approved, for a student to complete coursework in Summer I and to medically withdraw from Summer II.  In this example, the student would not be medically withdrawn from the entire summer semester, but rather only from all of their courses for the Summer II. 

Procedures: After appropriate SHC personnel have deemed a medical withdrawal request eligible for consideration, a designated SHC physician handles all medical withdrawal decisions on behalf of the university.  The designated SHC physician shall make an individualized assessment before deciding to approve or deny the request and determining the effective date of the withdrawal.  The designated physician’s decisions regarding Medical Withdrawal are final with no appeal rights.  If approved, the SHC will notify the student and the Office of the University Registrar.  Upon notification by the SHC, the University Registrar shall process the withdrawal and notify the student. If the request is denied, the SHC shall notify the student.

Medical Withdrawal Documentation

1.A student must fully and accurately complete the Student Request for Medical Withdrawal Form (forms available at www.shc.ua.edu) and send the completed form by fax (205-348-7174) or mail to The Student Health Center, Medical Withdrawal, 750 5th Ave East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.

2.A student must have a licensed medical practitioner (physician, nurse practitioner, or mental health professional) submit a completed Licensed Practitioner Recommendation for Medical Withdrawal Form (forms available at www.shc.ua.edu) by fax (205-348-7174) or mail to The Student Health Center, Medical Withdrawal, 750 5th Ave East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.  The licensed medical professional shall be the one who is currently treating the student for the condition(s) related to the withdrawal and is responsible for obtaining permission from the student to provide the documentation and to discuss the medical conditions, if needed, with the appropriate university personnel.  If the university, in its sole discretion, determines that an extraordinary or emergency situation exists, alternative documentation may be requested and considered.

3.A student may also attach to the request form any further supportive documentation from faculty teaching the student’s currently enrolled courses, or if to support a retroactive withdrawal, from faculty who taught the student for the semester/term for which the withdrawal is requested.

4.In the event that the student’s medical condition so incapacitates the student that they cannot act on behalf of themselves, the student’s parent or legal guardian should contact the SHC at 205-348-7164 for further guidance. 

Types of Medical Withdrawals

1.Regular Medical Withdrawal, within the current semester/termA timely regular Medical Withdrawal request must be made before the close of business on the last day of classes of the semester in question.  A timely withdrawal for the current semester requires a Student Request for Medical Withdrawal form submitted by the student and the Licensed Provider Recommendation for Medical Withdrawal form submitted by a licensed practitioner (forms available at www.shc.ua.edu).  The student is encouraged to begin the medical withdrawal request process as soon as it becomes evident that a physical, emotional or psychological condition significantly impairs their ability to function successfully or safely as a student.  The designated SHC physician shall determine the effective date for the medical withdrawal.

2.Retroactive Medical Withdrawal.  A timely withdrawal for a previous semester must be made within six months of the end of the semester/term for which the withdrawal is requested. The student must submit the Student Request for Medical Withdrawal form and the Licensed Provider Recommendation for Medical Withdrawal form (forms available at www.shc.ua.edu).  For all approved Retroactive Medical Withdrawals, the effective date shall be the last day of classes for the semester/term in question.

Medical Withdrawal Requests submitted outside of the semester in question, and beyond the required six months deadline, must have clear, convincing and extraordinary circumstances in order for the request to be considered.  Extensive documentation (such as extended hospitalization and rehabilitation progression not met, etc.) must be submitted to the SHC and must be related to the reasons for the medical withdrawal and to the circumstances that prevented a timely request.

Handling of a Medical Withdrawal

Once a Medical Withdrawal has been approved, the withdrawal will proceed under these guidelines:

1.The Office of the University Registrar assigns a grade of “W” on the official transcript for effective dates that fall after the add/drop period for the semester.

2.All grades from the transcript are completely removed when the medical withdrawal effective date falls within the add/drop period for the semester.

3.The impact of an approved non-medical semester withdrawal (administrative withdrawal) for the same semester is addressed in the following way:

  1. If an approved non-medical withdrawal from an academic division predates the approved medical withdrawal effective date, the earlier date will be applied on the student’s official transcript by the registrar.
  2. If the approved medical withdrawal effective date pre-dates an approved non-medical withdrawal, again, the earlier date will be applied on the official transcript by the registrar.

Return to the University Following Medical Withdrawal

When the medical withdrawal is approved, a SHC representative shall contact the Office of the University Registrar to initiate a medical clearance hold on the student’s record.  A medical clearance hold will remain in place until the appropriate medical documentation is received and a designated SHC physician approves release of the hold.

A student seeking to return following a medical withdrawal must provide appropriate medical documentation from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or mental health professional who has treated the student since the effective date of medical withdrawal.  This medical documentation must indicate that it is appropriate and safe for the student to resume classes at the beginning of a specified semester/term.  A completed Recommendation for Return to Campus form (forms available at www.shc.ua.edu) must be submitted to the Student Health Center/Medical Withdrawal by mail (750 5th Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401) or by fax (205-348-7174).

Upon receipt of the required Recommendation for Return to Campus form and other appropriate medical documentation, a designated SHC physician, on behalf of the university and, where appropriate, in consultation with relevant university personnel, will conduct an individualized assessment of the returning student’s situation.  The assessment will include reviewing materials submitted by the student or on the student’s behalf.  During the process of reviewing a student’s request to return, if at the discretion of the SHC physician, a determination is made that the information provided by a treatment provider or student is incomplete, requires further explanation or clarification, or when there is a discrepancy between the medical information provided and other available information relating to the student, the student may be required to provide additional documentation and/or grant permission to the SHC to obtain further information about the student’s current condition.  In extraordinary circumstances (e.g., concern exists about the medical provider’s credentials/assessment, etc.), the student may be asked to undergo, at their expense, additional evaluation or assessment to assist with the determination about readiness to return.  All steps that the SHC may initiate as part of its individualized assessment are aimed at ensuring the student is ready to resume their studies and be a successful member of the campus community.

Every effort will be made to respond to a student’s request for return within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of all requested or required materials.  A longer response time may be caused by the inability to reach a student’s treatment provider, clinic closure during university holiday periods, or other extenuating circumstances.

If the decision is made to grant the student’s request to return and lift the medical clearance hold, relevant university personnel may contact the student prior to the student’s return to discuss or review a plan for sustained health.  Recommendations shall include, but will not be limited to, ongoing treatment, accommodations, or other resources to help the student succeed.

If, at the discretion of the SHC physician, it is determined that the hold should remain in place because a student is not yet ready to return, the student will be advised in writing by letter or via e-mail to their university account.  A student may appeal that decision by submitting an appeal letter in writing to the university’s provost by email (provost@ua.edu) or fax (205-348-9137) within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the SHC physician’s decision.  The provost, or provost’s designee, shall review the matter and make a final determination as to the student’s ability to return.

If the medical clearance hold is lifted, the returning student may have additional holds on their record (e.g., conduct hold, financial hold, academic hold, etc.) that will need to be resolved through other areas of the university before the student may return.  Additionally, to return, the student must meet any applicable admission and enrollment requirements of the university and of the school or college in which they wish to be enrolled.

Financial impact of Medical Withdrawals

The purpose of this policy is to provide academic relief to the student, not financial relief.  Please refer to http://studentreceivables.ua.edu/withdrawal.html for the financial impact of withdrawals at different stages in the semester.

Other options for students when medical withdrawal is not appropriate

When Medical Withdrawal is not appropriate, the student is directed to the appropriate dean’s office student services area for other potential options.

Questions?

Please call (205) 348-7164 for clarification or more information.

Withdrawal When Called to Active Military Duty

For purposes of this section, active military duty means service, whether voluntary or involuntary, in the Armed Forces, including service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve, on active duty, active duty for training, or full-time National Guard duty under Federal authority, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under a call or order to active duty of more than 30 consecutive days. A student who has been admitted to or who has been enrolled at The University of Alabama may request a withdrawal to fulfill a U.S. military obligation. The student should notify the Office of the University Registrar and provide documentation of his or her call to service, and submit notification whether or not he/she intends to return to the University. Graduate students should also provide documentation to the Graduate Dean. Withdrawal is not contingent on the student’s notification of intent to return to the University. The intent to return is used as information for future communication with the student.

A student returning from active military duty may be readmitted per the readmission provisions in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (Section 484C of the HEA) and implementing regulations in 34 CFR Section 668.18. A student can be promptly readmitted, providing he or she withdrew to fulfill a U.S. military obligation, was not dishonorably discharged from the uniformed services, and the cumulative length of his/her absence and of all previous absences from undergraduate studies due to military service did not exceed five years.

When a student is called to active military duty during an academic term, he or she may choose one of the following three options:

  1. The student may request retroactive withdrawal to the beginning of the semester, with a full refund of tuition and fees. 
  2. If at least 75 percent of the term has been completed, the student may request that the faculty member assign a grade for the course based on the work completed. The final decision about grading is left to the faculty member.
  3. If the faculty member assigns a grade of I, the student will have a minimum of two weeks after returning to campus to complete the course requirement. Additional time may be granted if alternative arrangements are made with the faculty member, and provided the alternative arrangement is in compliance with Alabama CodeS3 31-12-3. This requires individuals be restored to the educational status he or she had prior to military duty, without the loss of academic credits earned, scholarships or grants awarded, or tuition and other fees paid prior to the commencement of military duty.

Spouses of service members called to active duty

A student who is the spouse of a service member called to active duty qualifies for the same withdrawal options that apply to service members. The student should notify the Office of the University Registrar and provide documentation of the call to service, and submit notification whether or not he/she intends to return to the University. Graduate students should also provide documentation to the Graduate Dean. Withdrawal is not contingent on the student’s notification of intent to return to the University. The intent to return is used as information for future communication with the student.