|Definition:||This policy governs course and university withdrawals.|
|Authority:||Executive Order 1037.|
|Scope:||The enrollment of new and continuing students at CSU San Marcos.|
|Responsible Division:||Academic Affairs|
|Signature Page/PDF:||View Signatures for Withdrawal Policy|
Students are held responsible for completion of every course in which they register through the end of the add/drop period for each term. To withdraw from some or all classes, students must submit a withdrawal form at Cougar Central; otherwise, the student will receive a grade of "WU" (unauthorized withdrawal) or "F" in the course. Students may withdraw from no more than 18 semester-units attempted at CSU San Marcos during each of their respective undergraduate, credential, or graduate studies, with exceptions specified below. Individual graduate programs may elect to establish more restrictive limits on the total number of semester-units allowed for withdrawal. The maximum allowable units for withdrawal applies to coursework taken in matriculated status and any courses taken through extended education, special session, or Open University.
I. WITHDRAWAL (W)
Students may withdraw on or before the Add/Drop deadline (end of the second week of semester (end of approximately 10% of the academic term) and the course will not appear on their permanent records. No symbol need be recorded in such instances. After the second week of instruction and prior to the 19th day of the semester, students may withdraw with a "W" for reasons such as inadequate preparation. In connection with all other approved withdrawals, the "W" symbol shall be used. Students may withdraw from no more than 18 semester-units attempted at CSU San Marcos during each of their respective undergraduate, credential, or graduate studies.
A. Withdrawals After the 19th Day of the Semester and Prior to the End of the Twelfth Week of Instruction. Withdrawal during this period is permissible only for serious and compelling reasons (see below). Permission to withdraw during this time shall be granted only with the approval of the instructor, and the department chair or dean or dean's designee. Permission to withdraw during this time from graduate or credential courses shall be granted only with the approval of the appropriate graduate or credential program coordinator or the Dean of Graduate Studies (or designee). All requests to withdraw under these circumstances and all approvals shall be documented as prescribed by the campus. The requests and approvals shall state the reasons for the withdrawal. Records of such approvals shall be maintained in accordance with the campus record retention policy.
1. Serious and Compelling Reasons. The following situations are typical of those for which "serious and compelling" is appropriate justification for approving withdrawals.
An extended absence due to a verifiable accident, illness, or personal problem serious enough to cause withdrawal from the university.
- An extended absence due to a death in the immediate family. This applies to absences exceeding a week due to family affairs that must be attended to by the student.
- A necessary change in employment status which interferes with the student's ability to attend class. The student's employer must verify this change in employment status in writing for the term in which the withdrawal is being requested.
- Other unusual or very special cases, considered on their own merit.
- For graduate and credential courses, level of academic preparation may be considered as a factor for justification in approving withdrawals.
- The following situations would not fall under the intent of "serious and compelling."
- Grade anticipated in class is not sufficiently high, or student is doing failing work.
- Failure to attend class, complete assignments, or take a test.
- Dissatisfaction with course material, instructional method, or instructor.
- Class is harder than expected.
- Pressure of other classes, participation in social activities, or simple lack of motivation.
A change of major.
2. Documentation. All requests for withdrawals after the 19th day of the semester must be for verifiable reasons and require appropriate documentation.
B. Withdrawals after the Twelfth Week or Retroactive Withdrawal. Requests for withdrawal from courses after the twelfth week of instruction (retroactive withdrawal) are seldom granted. Students are expected to formally withdraw from classes or the university prior to the end of the twelfth week of instruction if work, personal, or health reasons interfere with class attendance or ability to complete work or exams.
1. Withdrawals from classes or the university after the twelfth week of instruction will be considered only for accident or serious physical or mental illness, or serious personal or family problems where the cause of withdrawal is due to circumstances clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of an incomplete grade is not practicable. In addition, extenuating circumstances must be shown to have prevented withdrawal in a more timely fashion. Students may not request a late withdrawal for poor academic performance. Lack of awareness of the withdrawal procedures is not an extenuating circumstance.
2. Requests for permission to withdraw after the twelfth week of instruction shall be handled and filed as indicated in the section for withdrawals after the 19th day of the semester and prior to the end of the twelfth week of instruction, except that such requests must also be approved by the academic administrator appointed by the president. Permission to withdraw during this time from graduate or credential courses shall be granted only with the approval of the appropriate graduate or credential program coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Studies (or designee). Such withdrawals will not count against the 18 units maximum allowable to withdraw.
C. Notice in the Catalog. A "W" shall not be used in calculating grade point average or progress points. The following statement shall appear in the campus catalog:
The symbol "W" indicates that the student was permitted to withdraw from the course after the__(day/week) of instruction with the approval of the instructor and appropriate campus officials. It carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not used in calculating grade point average or progress points.
In addition to this statement, the campus catalog shall include a description of the procedures to be followed in withdrawing from a class or from the campus.
II. WITHDRAWALS FOR EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES
A. Complete Withdrawal for Medical Reasons. The University may allow a student to withdraw without academic penalty from all classes if the following criteria are met:
A completed Withdrawal Form, including any required medical documentation, is submitted to Cougar Central before the end of the semester, and
The student presents evidence to demonstrate that a severe medical or debilitating psychological condition prevented the student from attending and/or doing the required work of the courses to the extent that it was impossible to complete the courses.
A grade of "W" will be used for withdrawal from all courses for the term due to medical reasons, and will not be counted toward the maximum 18 units allowable for withdrawals.
B. Repeat Complete Medical Withdrawal. If the student has been granted a complete medical withdrawal in the subsequent preceding term, then additional medical withdrawal requests must consider the question of whether or not the student can complete appropriate educational objectives, and must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
After a repeat medical withdrawal is granted, the student may be required to obtain a clearance from an appropriate medical or psychological professional that states the student is well enough to return to classes with the full expectation that the student will be able to complete the semester and intended educational objectives.
C. Withdrawal Procedures for Students Mobilized for Active Military Duty. Students called for active military duty may withdraw from courses throughout the term without restriction or penalty with the appropriate documentation. For clarification of Veterans Administration policies on withdrawals, incompletes, course repeats, etc., please contact the veterans representative located in the Office of Registration and Records.
III. UNAUTHORIZED WITHDRAWAL (WU)
The symbol "WU" shall be used where a student, who is enrolled and does not officially withdraw from a course but fails to complete it. The symbol "WU" shall be identified as a failing grade in the transcript legend and shall be counted as units attempted but not passed in computing the grade point average. In courses which are graded Credit/No Credit or in cases where the student has elected Credit/No Credit evaluation, use of the symbol "WU" is inappropriate and "NC" shall be used instead. The following statement shall appear in the campus catalog:
The symbol "WU" indicates that an enrolled student did not withdraw from the course and also failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average and progress point computation this symbol is equivalent to an "F."