Retroactive Withdrawal

Graduate students are not eligible for the undergraduate compassionate & medical withdrawal process. Instead, in accordance with University Senate Rules & Regulations, graduate student petitions for retroactive relief from a letter grade must be submitted to the school/College and reviewed by a faculty committee in that school/College.  For students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the CLAS Graduate Retroactive Withdrawal petition is used to request relief from a letter grade (A-F, or I) that has already been entered. If the petition is approved, a grade of "W" will be entered in place of the letter grade.

Note that for petitions for withdrawal after the final drop deadline for course in which you are currently enrolled, or for retroactive withdrawal from a course when a letter grade has not yet been entered yet (e.g. "WG"), a Request to the Faculty Executive Committee for Exception to a University-Wide Policy form is required. 

Please review the information below carefully to determine if you are eligible to petition for a retroactive withdrawal. 

You are NOT a candidate for retroactive withdrawal if any of the following are true: 

  • You are not satisfied with the grade you earned. 

  • You forgot to withdraw from the course during the term or you failed to get the instructor’s signature by the published withdrawal deadline. 

  • You were not aware of the withdrawal deadlines. 

  • You changed your mind and are now working towards a degree or concentration that does not require this course. 

  • You assumed non-academic activities which restricted your time for academic pursuit. 

  • You were ill or you suffered stress as the result of an accident, death, family crisis, or other crisis early enough to have withdrawn prior to a grade being entered. 

If any of the above are found to be true of your case, your request for retroactive withdrawal will be immediately denied by the College Office of Graduate Affairs and will not be reviewed by the faculty committee. 

Petitions for Retroactive Withdrawal are completed by you and submitted directly to COGA.  They do not require departmental approval in advance of submission.  In completing the petition, you are required to provide documentation to support their reasons for requesting withdrawal. After the petition has been submitted, representatives and/or faculty from the department that offered the course, including the course instructor, will be contacted directly by COGA for additional information and verification of the claim. 

Petitions for retroactive withdrawal are reviewed by a faculty subcommittee of the College Committee on Graduate Studies. Decisions may only be appealed only if the student is able to present new documentation to support the petition. 

The average period for a decision on a retroactive withdrawal petition is one to two months but can take longer. During the breaks and summer session the committee may not meet frequently, which can extend the decision timeframe. 

If your reason for seeking a withdrawal is related to a grievance against the instructor, you must initiate the department’s grievance procedure.  A list of each department’s official grievance procedure may be found in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences policies». 

If you are a graduate student and believe you are eligible for retroactive withdrawal, the petition form and further instructions must be obtained directly from COGA in 102 Strong Hall.   

For more information, you may also contact Morgan Swartzlander at 785-864-4201