Academic Policy Details

Withdrawal From William Woods University

Students who wish to withdraw from William Woods University must process the formal withdrawal through the Office of Community Life. Students may withdraw from the university during the first 11 weeks of the semester; exact dates are shown in the online academic calendar. A grade of WP will be entered for all courses in which the student is earning a passing (A, B, C, D) at the time of the withdrawal. A grade of WF will be entered for all courses in which the student is not earning a passing grade at the time of the withdrawal. A grade of "W" may be used for medical purposes. Neither the W, WP or WF count in the student's semester or cumulative GPA.

Students who are forced to withdraw due to medical reasons, may, with proper documentation and a letter of readmission, register with their class of current students upon returning to WWU within one year. They may also continue under the catalog requirements under which they began their studies at the university.



William Woods University (WWU) cares about the physical and mental health of its students. Therefore, health and counseling services are available on campus. At times, however, a student may experience such extreme medical or psychological conditions that the ability to function successfully or safely in the role of a student is significantly impaired. Students are encouraged to prioritize their health and safety and take steps toward recovery, even if academic progress must be delayed.

Medical Withdrawal

Students are encouraged to request a medical withdrawal when they believe their physical or mental health problems are preventing successful engagement in, and completion of, academic course work; when safety is in question; or when the demands of university life are interfering with the ability to recover from or adjust to a significant physical or mental health challenge. This can occur anytime throughout the semester; however, it may be more difficult to gain approval for a medical withdrawal during the final three weeks of the semester.

Students interested in pursuing a medical withdrawal are encouraged to discuss this option with providers at WWU Counseling and Health Services, or they may independently initiate the process through Bonnie Carr, Coordinator for Academic Advising. In the interest of gaining a better understanding of the student’s need for a medical withdrawal, the University may require appropriate documentation and/or request for the student to sign appropriate release forms allowing designated WWU staff to consult with the evaluating and/or treating clinician(s) serving the student.

The majority of students completing a medical withdrawal must complete the clearance procedures below when returning.

Clearance Procedures

Most students who have received a medical withdrawal will need to complete the following clearance procedures before being allowed to return to the University. The following steps are designed to ensure that a health emergency no longer exists and a treatment plan for continuing good health and safety is in place.

  • The student must be assessed by an appropriate outside professional whose opinions will be advisory to the University. The professional, who is selected by the student, must be a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist if evaluating mental health concerns, and must be a licensed physician if the evaluation is regarding other medical concerns. Students are encouraged to use WWU counseling and health services staff for referrals or assistance finding appropriate providers. Every effort will be made to consider a student’s financial situation and insurance coverage in making referrals for treatment or evaluation. Further, all providers must be unrelated to the student and must have specialty/credentials appropriate for the condition of concern (e.g., an eating disorder or substance abuse specialist).
  • To make an accurate assessment, before conducting the evaluation the provider must be given information relating to the precipitating events that led to the leave. This typically would involve the student signing a release allowing the University (e.g., the Health Center, Counseling Center, or Dean of Student Life) to share information regarding relevant incidents or concerns and, if applicable, recent hospital records. The outside mental health or medical professional, with the student’s written permission, must provide an assessment of current functioning of the student and provide written recommendations regarding:

a. given the precipitating events, the student’s readiness to return to the academic and co-
curricular demands of university life;
b. the student’s readiness to live in the on-campus residential community;
c. ongoing treatment or testing needs; and
d. any conditions or restrictions that the University should impose.

NOTE: Documentation of the assessment (conducted within 15-30 days of application for re-entry) and documentation of required treatment completion must be provided to either the Dean of Student Life or WWU Counseling and Health Services two weeks prior to the beginning of any session.

  • After the evaluation results and treatment documentation have been provided, the student must meet with a representative of WWU to be determined by the Dean of Student Life. This person is usually a member of the WWU Counseling and Health Services staff. The evaluation and the student’s own perception regarding readiness to return, needs, and plans for treatment will be discussed. Additionally, the representative will consider how the outside evaluator’s recommendations fit with the realities of student life at WWU and services that are available on campus or in the community. This meeting also ensures that those students requesting to return are aware of on-campus and community services available to address their needs.
  • If the representative is unsure whether the student’s needs can be met at WWU, he/she may refer the information to the Dean of Student Life. The Dean of Student Life may use any other processes or policies available to determine if recommendations for the student’s success are compatible with the WWU living and learning environment and resources available on campus or in the community.
  • WWU reserves the right to require the student to comply with a treatment plan recommended by the outside professional and/or WWU healthcare/mental health professional as a condition of returning. Review and monitoring of the student’s required treatment plan may be assigned to a University designee assigned by the Dean of Student Life.
  • If a student was living on campus prior to the emergency, approval for return to the University usually includes approval to return to housing. A student’s on-campus housing status may be restricted if the student’s behavior poses a health or safety threat to him/herself or others.
  • If a student was required to complete specific treatment (e.g, eating disorder or substance abuse treatment), the student must provide documentation regarding the completion of this requirement.

Additional Considerations

Academic Credit, Tuition

  • Once appropriate documentation has been provided and decisions have been made regarding a student’s status the Dean of Student Life will notify the Academic Dean of the need for a medical withdrawal and ability to successfully return. For all approved medical withdrawals, the student receives ‘W’s (withdrawals) on the academic transcript, or is completely dropped from classes, without any notation on the transcript of having left for medical reasons. Thus, a medical withdrawal will not affect the student’s grade point average.
  • In addition to any documentation required in the above procedures upon return, the student must complete the application for readmission found on the registrar’s website. (If a student has attended another institution while on medical withdrawal they may need to reapply through the admissions office. The required documentation must still be submitted.)
  • Refunds for medical withdrawals shall follow the University withdrawal procedure found in the student handbook and on the website.


    These policies apply to the Semester Program/On Campus students only.  Graduate College Students will need to consult the Graduate College Bulletin.

Academic Catalog 2009