Withdrawal Policy

Academic Withdrawal After The Deadline

(Late Term Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty)

Policy Statement

Each semester the University publishes the deadline for withdrawing from classes without academic penalty (typically, the 50th day of the semester – see Academic Calendar), after which a letter grade is assigned for each course in which a student is enrolled. However, in rare cases, students may experience extreme personal hardship beyond their control on or after the published withdrawal deadline that hinders the continuation of their current class schedule, and they believe the best course of action is to withdraw from the University or from an individual course after the published withdrawal deadline. 

Students who seek a late term withdrawal must complete a Petition for Academic Withdrawal After the Deadline form:  one form to request withdrawal from the university (i.e., withdrawal from all classes for the semester) or another form to request to drop an individual course with a W.  As part of the petition, a student must provide appropriate documentation, which supports the date and nature of the personal hardship and shows how it prevented successful completion of the semester or an individual course.

This policy applies to the current semester only. Therefore, if a student believes that he/she may qualify for a late term withdrawal, the request should, ideally, be initiated prior to the end of the semester in which the hardship occurred. However, the University acknowledges that some hardships may prevent students from submitting a late term withdrawal request in a timely manner. Therefore, in order to give students a reasonable window of opportunity to complete the request form and to gather the appropriate documentation, requests must be submitted no later than the last day of classes of the semester immediately following, regardless of whether or not the student is enrolled during that semester. For example, a student who experiences a hardship after the last day to drop/withdraw without academic penalty during the Fall 2015 term, must submit the request and documentation no later than the last day of classes of the Spring 2016 term.

Before requesting an Academic Withdrawal After the Deadline, students should consider the following:

  1. Students will not receive any refunds for withdrawn courses.  Furthermore, withdrawing from a course or the university could affect a student’s future financial aid.
  2. This policy is intended to assist students who have experienced a hardship that was beyond their control; it is not intended for students who simply chose not to attend class, failed to submit assignments or take exams as scheduled, and/or failed to comply with published University dates and other guidelines.
  3. Only those petitions that are submitted per the policy guidelines (i.e. received by the appropriate term deadline, completed form with appropriate signatures, documentation, etc.) will be considered.
  4. Petitions are not granted automatically; each case is considered individually based on the evidence the student presents. Even if approved, petitions may take a few weeks to process through the various levels. Therefore, students should not expect their petition to have an immediate impact on their GPA or on their current academic status.
  5. If the petition for University Withdrawal After the Deadline from the University is approved, the student will receive a “W” grade for all courses approved during the term in question, except for those courses completed prior to the hardship or the last day to drop/withdraw without penalty (i.e. intersessions, 8W1, etc.). If the Petition to Drop a Course with a W After the Deadline from a Class is approved, the student will receive a “W” grade for the individual course in question while grades for courses already completed will remain on the student’s transcript.
  6. This policy does not apply to semesters or courses previously completed nor does it apply to future semesters or courses. If a student believes that extenuating circumstances existed that prevented his/her ability to make good grades during a previously completed term; please refer to the Administrative Withdrawal policy in the bulletin.
  7. This policy does not apply to courses in which the student believes that the final grade in an individual course was incorrect, arbitrary, or assigned unfairly; please refer to the Grade Review policy.
  8. If students are unsure which policy applies to their circumstances, they should consult the Office of the Registrar or the dean’s office in their college.

After reviewing the entire policy statement and considerations above, if a student believes that they may qualify for an Academic Withdrawal After the Deadline, they should complete the appropriate petition form along with all required documentation.

  • Hattiesburg students should submit a Petition for University Withdrawal After the Deadline form to the chair of their major department and a Petition to Drop a Course with a W After the Deadline form to the chair of department of the course.
  • Gulf Park students should submit either type of petition form to the Office of the Associate Provost for the Gulf Park Campus, who will deliver the forms to the appropriate administrator for review.
  • At both campuses, the chair (not the student) should forward the petition to the college dean within 10 business days, and the dean should forward the petition to the Registrar with 10 business days. The Registrar’s Office will notify the student by email of the petition’s decision. 

Students will be notified through their usm.edu account of the decision.