Students may experience life circumstances or medical conditions that compromise their health, safety, or academic success. In such circumstances, students may need to leave the university and their studies and resume the pursuit of their academic and co-curricular goals at a later time.
When such circumstances arise after official deadlines to withdraw from classes and/or to receive a financial adjustment, students may request a withdrawal for medical reasons, extraordinary life circumstances, or military obligations by writing to the Associate Dean or designee of their college, or the Associate Dean of the Graduate School (for graduate students).
The withdrawal policy may not be exercised in lieu of disciplinary action(s) addressing violations of university standards, rules, regulations, or policies, including the Student Conduct Code. A student whose actions are found to constitute such a violation is subject to academic and/or disciplinary action and may be required to participate in a disciplinary process coincident with the request for withdrawal, after withdrawal, or upon the student’s return to the university. A student is permitted to withdraw under these policies while on academic and/or disciplinary status will return on that same status. This policy may not be used to avoid the issuance of a failing grade where that grade is unrelated to the demonstrated need for withdrawal.
A withdrawal may have significant implications for financial aid, veteran’s benefits (including housing allowance), health insurance, degree completion, and visa status (for international students). Students are responsible for understanding these implications and are encouraged to consult the appropriate academic or student life offices for additional information before withdrawing from the university.
The university has adopted this policy to ensure that students are given the attention, consideration, and support needed to address medical issues arising or escalating during their time at the university. The policy provides a flexible and individualized process that students should follow when requesting a withdrawal to address a medical situation.
A student who is experiencing significant medical issues that are interfering with their academic and university life may request a withdrawal from all or part of their academic program.
Examples of medical issues may include, but are not limited to, a mental or physical illness or injury that significantly limits a student’s capacity to function and their academic success.
A student will need to provide documentation supporting that the student’s health, safety, or academic success has been compromised by a medical issue necessitating the withdrawal. If the student has received treatment from a healthcare provider for that medical issue, the provider should be able to provide such documentation to the student.
If healthcare provider documentation is not available, the student should consult with their Associate Dean’s office, academic advisor, or the class instructor regarding what documentation may be provided.
The withdrawal period must be specified and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If additional leave time is required, students must apply to their Associate Dean or designee for an extension. Students should consult their Associate Dean or designee, department chair, or program coordinator about the possible ramifications of time away on program progress and/or completion.
When a student who has been granted a withdrawal for medical reasons from part or (if appropriately documented and approved) all of their program wishes to re-enroll or resume full-time or part-time status, the student must provide medical information substantiated by their healthcare provider demonstrating readiness to resume academics and university life by submitting documentation to the Associate Dean or designee. In some cases, the documentation for return will be satisfied by the healthcare provider’s initial certification supporting the withdrawal request.
Medical documentation for readmission must be submitted at least four (4) weeks prior to the start of the semester for which the student wishes to return unless an exception has been arranged in advance with the Associate Dean or designee. An effort will be made to respond to the student’s request to return within fourteen (14) business days of document submission.
At the time of a request to withdraw and at the time of a request to return to campus, the Associate Dean or designee will assess whether the information supplied by the student’s healthcare provider is complete, requires explanation or clarification, and/or is consistent with information in the student’s file. The Associate Dean or designee may request additional information and/or may consult with other campus professionals at their discretion. If for any reason the Associate Dean or designee considers denying a withdrawal for medical reasons or a readmission from withdrawal for medical reasons, they will consult Student Accessibility Services to ensure university compliance with federal and state nondiscrimination laws.
A student may request a withdrawal for other compelling reasons, such as a family emergency or other serious unforeseen circumstances. This may include being the victim of sexual discrimination or violence such as assault, domestic/dating violence, or stalking.
A request for withdrawal for extraordinary life circumstances should be made in writing to the Associate Dean or designee. Additional documentation supporting the request may be required by the Associate Dean or designee at their discretion. If the request is based on sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic/dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the Associate Dean or designee must provide this information to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator at 207.581.1406.
When a student who has been granted withdrawal from all or part of their program for extraordinary life circumstances wishes to re-enroll or resume full-time or part-time status, they must advise, in writing, the Associate Dean or designee of the student’s interest in returning. The student may be asked to provide a written statement or other documentation to the Associate Dean or designee demonstrating readiness to return. This information must be submitted at least four (4) weeks prior to the start of the semester for which the student wishes to return unless an exception has been arranged in advance. An effort will be made to respond to the student’s request to return within fourteen (14) business days of submission of all required materials.
If for any reason the Associate Dean or designee is considering denying a withdrawal or readmission from withdrawal requested by a victim of sexual discrimination or sexual violence (as described above), they must consult with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator at 207.581.1406 to ensure university compliance with federal and state nondiscrimination laws.
Withdrawal for Military Obligations
Click here for the full University of Maine System Student Military Mobilization and Activation Policy.