Policies and Procedures
Students are expected to be familiar with the policies and procedures of the University and the College of Education and Human Development.
Knowing the policies and procedures for the University and the College are major keys to student success! Some of the key policies and procedures that you need to know are highlighted in this section. The University Catalog and the Office of the University Registrar are excellent resources for information on topics that are not covered in this section. Students are also encouraged to contact the CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 703-993-2080 if you have questions.
Academic Clemency Appeal (Undergraduate Only)
Undergraduate students who have been away from Mason for three or more consecutive years are eligible to request academic clemency. Clemency allows for up to 16 credits of coursework from previous semesters to be removed from the calculation of their cumulative GPA. See the University Catalog, Section AP.5.2.9, for the official policy.
To request Clemency:
- Complete the CEHD Appeal Request form, providing a detailed explanation for why the student was unsuccessful in those courses and how they have made changes to ensure their academic progress upon their return to Mason. This form should be submitted to the student’s advisor within 12 months of the first day of the re-enrollment term.
- Meet with the student’s advisor to calculate mathematical feasibility for clemency to put student back into good academic standing.
- If good academic standing is possible, the student will work with their advisor to develop a success plan for their return to Mason.
- Complete at least 6 hours during their first 12 months back at Mason, at which time the clemency request will be reviewed for approval. If the student did not adhere to the success plan or wasn’t academically successful, they will be allowed one additional semester to achieve clemency.
- If the student isn’t academically successful after the additional semester granted, the request for clemency will not be approved.
Clemency is neither automatic nor guaranteed.
General complaints regarding the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) may be made to the Office of Student and Academic Affairs (SAA) by completing a Complaint Form and submitting it electronically to email@example.com.
A grievance is a formal complaint that is raised by a student towards faculty or staff. The student should complete a Complaint Form and submit it electronically to SAA at firstname.lastname@example.org. The request should include any appropriate documentation that supports the grievance. All grievances will be thoroughly investigated.
Students may appeal grades that they believe were assigned unjustly or were based on unclear criteria. Grade appeals are accepted until the last day of classes of the following semester (spring for fall grades, fall for spring and summer grades), not including reading days or exam periods.
Students who would like to contest a course grade should first contact their instructor for clarification regarding the assigned grade, and to ask the faculty member to reconsider the grade, if appropriate. If the instructor chooses to change a final grade, they will submit a Change of Grade to the Office of the University Registrar and note that the reason for the grade change is due to a grade appeal.
If a mutually satisfactory resolution or agreement is not reached with the instructor, the student may submit a formal grade appeal to the CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs (SAA) at email@example.com. The formal grade appeal should include the following:
- Grade Appeal Request form
- Statement that clearly describes the challenge, concern, or claim; Evidence of support for each challenge, concern, or claim; and the desired outcome for resolution (retake exam, different grade, etc.).
- Examples of the supporting evidence (Blackboard screen shots, sample(s) of work not graded accurately, email conversations, etc.)
- Copy of the course syllabus
- Any other documentation the student feels would support their request
It is the student’s responsibility to provide all information and documentation for the Grade Appeal in order for the reviewer to make an informed decision. Grade appeals may be denied if the information/documentation provided is inconclusive.
SAA will then forward the grade appeal to the appropriate program level reviewer (Division Director, Academic Program Coordinator or Review Committee). The reviewer will consider all information that was provided by the student, and may gather information from other parties in order to render a decision. Typical review time is three (3) weeks after the appeal was received by the reviewer. The student will be notified of the decision by SAA, including a justification for each challenge, claim, or concern that was noted in the submitted grade appeal. If the student has not been notified of a decision within one month of original submission to SAA, they may submit a status inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the program level reviewer, they may re-appeal to the College for the following reasons only:
- The grade appeal process was not conducted fairly at the program level.
- The information that was presented was misinterpreted by the program level reviewer.
- The student has additional information to provide that was not previously available to them at the time of the initial grade appeal submission.
The purpose of the re-appeal is not to override the decision of the program level reviewer unless the student can provide additional evidence that one of the above criteria was met.
To submit a Grade Re-appeal to the College, the student should complete a new Grade Appeal Request form, including a new statement explaining their rationale for contesting the original Grade Appeal decision. The re-appeal should be submitted to SAA through the same channels as noted above.
College level review may be conducted by the Associate Dean, the Assistant Dean, or the CEHD Appeals Committee. The following factors will be taken into consideration at this level of review: consistency in the review process at the program level and that proper protocols were followed; verification that the student’s challenge, claim or concern, and the evidence that was provided by the student, align with the findings and decision of the program level reviewer; and consideration of any new information that was not previously available to the student at the time of the program level review. Typical review time is three (3) weeks after the appeal was received by the college-level reviewer.
The student will be notified of the decision by SAA, including a justification for each challenge, claim, or concern that was noted in the submitted grade appeal. If the student has not been notified of a decision within one month of original submission to SAA, they may submit a status inquiry to email@example.com. The college level decision is final and is not subject to further appeal. The instructor will abide by the college level reviewer’s decision, and will submit a change of grade, if applicable.
The Provost’s Office does not consider grade appeals, nor does the University Academic Appeals Committee.
Incomplete Grades (IN)
Students may request an Incomplete (IN) from their instructor if they are passing the course but are unable to complete all coursework for a cause beyond reasonable control. A grade of incomplete is at the discretion of the instructor. If the instructor agrees to an IN, an Incomplete Grade Contract should be completed so that all parties are aware of the outstanding assignments that need to be completed for a final grade, as well as the deadline for submitting all assignments. A copy of the Incomplete Grade Contract should be retained by the instructor, the student, and the course program office. Students who have been granted an “IN” must submit all outstanding work by the date noted on the contract, which is either the 9th week of the following semester (not including summer terms) or a specific deadline established by the instructor.
If additional time is needed beyond the Incomplete Grade Contract deadline, the student may petition the instructor for additional time to complete the outstanding coursework. If permission is granted, an Incomplete Extension form must be filed with the Office of the University Registrar before the deadline noted on the Incomplete Grade Contract. If a final grade or an Incomplete Extension request is not submitted to the Registrar’s office before the established deadline, the grade of IN is automatically changed to the final grade the student will have earned without the completion of the outstanding coursework requirements.
Students who wish to graduate in the same semester in which an IN was posted must complete their outstanding coursework and have the final grades recorded by the Office of the University Registrar no later than 6 weeks after the conferral date for that semester.
Late Course Registration
Students are expected to register for classes prior to the first day of classes as per the University academic calendar. If course registration occurs after the first day of classes, the student may be charged a $125 late registration fee by the University.
If extenuating circumstances prevent registration by the last day to add classes, students must submit a Late Schedule Adjustment request to the instructor of the course. The student’s physical or verifiable digital signature is required for processing by the registrar’s office. The instructor will submit the form to the Course Department Chair/Director for further approval and processing. The registrar’s office will then add the student to the course and the associated tuition and fees will be included in the student’s account balance. The university may also assess a $125 fee for the late course addition.
Expectations for Professional Behavior in CEHD: Dispositions Review Process Overview
Throughout a student’s program of study in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at George Mason University (Mason), the student is expected to demonstrate behaviors that reflect the positive dispositions of an aspiring professional. Dispositions are the thoughts, habits, and associated actions that underlie professional responsibility. In CEHD, dispositions are integral to the student’s program of study and refinement of their professional identity.
Successful progression to capstone and culminating experiences (e.g., practicums, internships, field research), is dependent upon students meeting these behavioral expectations with mentoring, guidance, and support from relevant staff/faculty. Students are encouraged to reflect on their dispositions as they interact with Mason staff, faculty, and fellow students, as well as their engagements with community members and those within their field of practice.
Dispositions may be evaluated formally and informally at developmentally appropriate and intermittent points in an academic program. Dispositions will be evaluated in alignment with appropriate University policies and codes of conduct, and respective accreditation and professional organizational bodies. Based on observable actions and behaviors, additional evaluations may be implemented at the discretion of the program.
The evaluation of dispositions is part of the educational process and serves as an opportunity for growth, facilitated improvement, and demonstration of proficiency. When a student’s professional behavior does not meet expectations (whether identified through a formal or informal classroom or program assessment, observed classroom or community behavior, or communications), the following processes will be initiated.
Please note that any documentation pertinent to the dispositions process is expected to be housed confidentially by the APC/program leadership and/or Division/School leadership (depending on the level and parties involved). CEHD SAA will retain only the final documentation on which they are included (Warning Letter, Recommendation for Termination, Appeal of Termination).
Level 1: Initial Conversation Regarding Professional Dispositions
- Faculty/staff, such as: the instructor of record, Academic Program Coordinator (APC)/program leadership, University Supervisor, clinical coach, internship supervisor, and/or academic advisor will arrange for an initial conversation with the student to discuss the identified area(s) for improvement with regard to professional dispositions.
- The student should be given the opportunity to thoughtfully reflect and respond to the feedback in an effort to be a collaborative partner in their own development.
- Following this conversation, the faculty/staff should provide a written summary to the student, including feedback shared, documentation provided, actionable steps, and a specified timeline for completion (with a copy to the APC/program leadership).
- If steps have already been taken to satisfactorily address the areas for improvement, the written summary is sufficient and this process can be considered resolved.
- In the case that additional improvements with further support and assessment are deemed necessary, this conversation provides the foundation for the creation of a Developmental Plan and follow-up conference (Level 2).
Level 2: Developmental Plan Creation, Discussion, and Implementation
- Based on the conversation with the student and the written summary provided in Level 1, the faculty/staff should draft the Developmental Plan in consultation with the APC/program leadership.
- The faculty/staff and APC/program leadership should provide the Developmental Plan to the student during a formal conference and facilitate a collaborative and constructive conversation for plan review and implementation.
- The student is encouraged to acknowledge and sign the Developmental Plan.
- Please note that refusal to participate in the conference or acknowledge and sign the Developmental Plan does not release the student from responsibility. In the case that the student is not an active or willing participant in this process, the staff/faculty should proceed with the discussion in the student’s absence and provide a signed copy of the Developmental Plan to the student.
- Subsequent meetings should be held amongst the student, faculty/staff, and/or APC/program leadership to evaluate the student’s progress on the Developmental Plan aligned with the timeline and/or benchmarks documented in the plan. Written summaries should be provided to the student by the faculty/staff after these meetings.
- If the student has satisfied the Developmental Plan, a written summary will be provided to the student via Mason email informing them that the areas for improvement have been sufficiently addressed.
- If the student is making incremental progress but has not fully completed the terms of the Developmental Plan, the faculty/staff and APC/program leadership should meet with the student to revise the plan, discuss additional supports and/or follow-up meetings, and set new goals with appropriate timeframes. Once the student has satisfied the revised Developmental Plan, a written summary will be provided to the student via Mason email informing them the areas for improvement have been sufficiently addressed.
- If the student is not making progress, the faculty/staff and APC/program leadership should consult with the division/school leadership to proceed with the steps for a Formal Warning Notice (Level 3).
Level 3: Formal Warning Notice
- If the student has failed to make satisfactory progress after both Level 1 and Level 2, the APC/program leadership should recommend, in writing, to the division/school leadership that a formal warning notice be issued to the student.
- The formal warning notice should reiterate the importance of professional dispositions, set a deadline to schedule a follow-up conference with division/school leadership, and establish the timeframe to satisfy the Developmental Plan to avoid a recommendation for termination.
- The faculty/staff and APC/program leadership should provide a written summary to the division/school leadership regarding the student’s progress on satisfactory completion of the Developmental Plan:
- If the student has satisfied the Developmental Plan, a written summary will be provided to the student via Mason email informing them that the areas for improvement have been sufficiently addressed.
- If the student has not satisfied the Developmental Plan, the division/school leadership should send a written summary via email informing the student that the areas for improvement have not been sufficiently addressed, and proceed with the steps for Termination (Level 4).
Level 4: Recommendation for Termination from Program (Graduate) / Major (Undergraduate)
- The Office of Student and Academic Affairs (SAA) will formally notify the student, in writing, of the pending termination and will provide instructions to request an exception to the termination policy:
- If the student wishes to submit a request for an exception to the academic termination policy, the student is given ten (10) calendar days to submit the request directly to their academic program office.
- The exception to termination request should include the relevant termination exception request form, the student’s statement and rationale, and any additional supporting evidence or documentation provided by the student.
- The request will be reviewed by program/division/school leadership for approval, who will forward the signed termination exception request form and all other information submitted by the student to SAA with a rationale explaining their decision.
- If the student has been recommended for termination from the program (graduate) or major (undergraduate), they should familiarize themselves with the applicable academic termination process on this same CEHD SAA Policies and Procedures website, listed below under Termination Appeal (Undergraduate) and Termination Appeal (Graduate).
Graduate Students: A Graduate Re-Enrollment Application is needed for graduate students who have missed two or more consecutive semesters at Mason and wish to register for classes. The student must be within their six-year time window for degree completion and in good academic standing. A re-enrollment application may also be necessary for inactive students to apply for graduation in the current term.
Non-Degree Graduate Students: Non-degree graduate students who have missed two or more consecutive semesters at Mason must submit a Non-Degree Graduate Re-enrollment Application in order to register for classes. The re-enrollment application is for those graduate students who were admitted to Mason as a non-degree student who has not yet declared a specific degree program. Graduate students who were “Quick Admitted” for the purpose of taking a contract course in a specific term are not eligible to re-enroll using this method. They would need to apply for a new Quick Admission or apply to the university through the usual application process.
Undergraduate Students: An Undergraduate Re-enrollment Application is needed for undergraduate students who have missed one or more consecutive semesters at Mason and do not have an approved Leave of Absence request on file with the University. The application is a dynamic form, which can be found on the Registrar's Website - Forms tab. If the student has been away for more than two years without a current Leave of Absence on file, has taken courses at another institution during their absence, or has been academically dismissed from Mason, they must re-apply to Mason.
To request to study at another institution, the student must complete the appropriate Study Elsewhere request form for their student classification (graduate or undergraduate), which can be found on the Registrar's website - Forms tab. Catalog numbers and descriptions of courses to be taken elsewhere must be included with the request for approval.
The Study Elsewhere request should be submitted to the CEHD Student and Academic Affairs Office for approval to firstname.lastname@example.org, and must be received by the following required deadlines:
Spring Semester – January 2
Summer Term – May 1
Fall Semester – August 1
It is recommended that students wait for an approval prior to registering for the course at the other institution. Enrolled Mason students who complete courses elsewhere without advance written permission will not receive transfer credit for the coursework taken at another institution.
Upon course completion, students must submit to the University Registrar an official transcript from the visited institution where the coursework was completed. Note that credits accepted for transfer do not compute into any Mason GPA.
See the University Catalog section, AP.1.4 Special Registration Procedures for additional information.
Special Notes for Undergraduate Students
Once enrolled in degree status at Mason, students with fewer than 60 hours of transfer coursework (not including registration through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area or coursework completed through the Center for Global Education) may take up to twelve hours of coursework in CEHD disciplines at another institution. Students must be in good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in their Mason courses.
Students with 60 or more hours of transfer coursework are not permitted to take additional coursework in CEHD disciplines at another institution. A student may seek permission for additional hours beyond these limits for extenuating circumstances only.
Freshmen and transfer students in their first semester at Mason are not permitted to study elsewhere.
Courses previously attempted at Mason (including withdrawals) cannot be taken elsewhere for Mason credit.
Per the Study Elsewhere form, students must obtain approval from both their Academic Dean as well as the Academic Dean of the unit housing the Mason equivalent course.
Removal of Study Elsewhere Requests:
Students who were approved to take a course elsewhere but did not complete the course should request to have the study elsewhere permission removed from their student record by submitting a Study Elsewhere Removal request, which can be found on the Registrar's Website - Forms tab.
Outstanding Study Elsewhere requests that have not been removed or substantiated with official transcripts will prevent degree conferral.
Suspension Appeal (Undergraduate Only)
Students who have been placed on suspension (first or second) may petition for an exception to the policy for academic suspension to the CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs (SAA) if some type of extenuating circumstance led to the suspension. An Appeal Request form must be completed, including a statement describing what factors led to the suspension, and submitted with any appropriate supporting documentation to SAA at email@example.com no later than one week prior to the start of the semester.
Factors considered by SAA when reviewing exception requests to the academic suspension policy may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Documented reasons for student’s unsatisfactory performance (e.g., illness, unforeseen personal circumstances) and evidence of positive changes.
- The student’s cumulative GPA and number of credit hours successfully completed by the student in previous semesters.
- The possibility of another suspension or dismissal if the student is allowed an exception to policy (see the University Catalog, section A.P.5.2.3).
- Agreement to participate in Academic Success advising with the student’s advisor.
- Willingness to consult with Learning Services and complete the Academic Skills Certificate Program.
- Willingness to speak with other offices that could help the student improve academically (including the Disability Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Student Support and Advocacy Center or the Writing Center).
- Willingness to repeat appropriate courses to improve cumulative GPA.
- A well-defined plan of action in which the student states academic and career goals and lists courses necessary to help achieve these goals.
- Confirmation that the issue causing the poor academic performance has been remedied.
If a student is granted an exception to the suspension policy, they are limited to a maximum of 13 credits of coursework (no exceptions) and must meet with their academic advisor throughout that semester. A third suspension will result in a dismissal from the university.
Termination Appeal (Graduate)
According to University policy (AP.6.6.2), graduate students may be flagged for termination if they fail to make satisfactory academic progress as determined by the academic unit or as a result of accumulating unsatisfactory grades in graduate coursework. Students who are eligible for termination may request an exception to academic policy to remain enrolled in their degree program.
The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) academic termination procedures are as follows.
- The Office of the University Registrar (OUR) sends a termination eligibility notice to students via their Mason email. The notice references the academic termination policy and directs students to contact their college if they wish to request an exception to the termination policy.
- CEHD will follow up by sending information regarding the academic termination process to students who have been alerted by OUR of their eligibility for termination via their Mason email. The email includes a link to the Graduate Termination Exception Request Form (which can be found on the Registrar’s Graduate Forms page here), a contact person in their academic program unit, and a deadline for when the materials (i.e., appeal form, justification statement for an exception to policy, and supporting documentation) are to be submitted to the academic program.
- The student submits completed materials by the established deadline to the point of contact in their academic program unit.
- The point of contact in the academic program unit distributes the student’s materials to the program-level reviewers (the student’s academic advisor and the academic program coordinator).
- The program-level reviewers make a decision on the request for exception and complete the “College Review” section of the Graduate Termination Appeal form. They must also write a rationale for the decision, and route all materials, including documents submitted by the student, to the CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs (SAA) for College review by the established deadline.
- Upon initial review of materials, the College-level reviewers will first determine if other academic actions, such as a retroactive medical withdrawal, are more appropriate. Additional information from the student or the student’s academic advisor may be requested to facilitate this process. College-level reviewers will continue with the review of the exception to academic termination policy if no other academic actions are deemed appropriate or if the student does not respond to the request for additional information by the established deadline.
- The College-level reviewers make a decision on the request for exception to academic termination policy.
If the College approves the exception to academic termination policy, the request for exception materials are routed to the Associate Provost for Graduate Education (APGE) for a second approval.
If the APGE approves the exception request, the APGE notifies the College and OUR of the decision. The College notifies the program-level reviewers and the student via Mason email. No further action is required.
If the student’s exception request is denied at any point, the student is notified via Mason email and is offered one level of appeal within five (5) business days. If denied at the College level, the student would re-appeal to the Associate Provost for Graduate Education (APGE). If the request was approved at the College level, but then denied by the APGE, the student would re-appeal to the Graduate Academic Appeals Committee (GAAC). More information about either appeal process can be found here.
If the re-appeal is approved, the student will be able to continue in their academic program at Mason.
If the re-appeal is denied or if the student does not submit a re-appeal as noted above, CEHD will send the student an official notice of academic termination via their Mason email and postal mail. CEHD will notify OUR to process the termination and administratively drop the student from any currently enrolled classes. The College will notify program-level reviewers of the decision.
Termination Appeal (Undergraduate)
According to University policy AP.5.2.3 - Termination from the Concentration or Major, undergraduate students in any academic standing category may be reviewed for possible termination by their dean according to the published policy approved by the major program. Termination from a concentration, a major, or from all majors in a college—may be imposed as a result of excessive repeating of required courses without achieving the minimum standard, and for other evidence of continued failure to make adequate progress toward completion of the concentration or major.
The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) termination from major procedures are as follows.
- The Office of Student and Academic Affairs (SAA) sends a termination eligibility notice to students via their Mason email and will include a contact person in their academic program unit and a deadline for submitting an exception request to the termination from major policy.
- The student must submit the exception to policy request to their advisor or program office by the established deadline. The packet should include the following materials
- SAA Appeal Form
- The student’s justification statement for the exception to policy request.
- Any supporting documentation the student feels is appropriate to include with the request.
- The program-level reviewers make a decision on the request for exception and must write a rationale for the decision. All materials, including the signed SAA Appeal form, any documents submitted by the student, and the program’s rationale, shall be forwarded to SAA for College-level review.
- The College-level reviewers make a decision on the request for exception to the termination from major policy.
If exception to termination from major is granted at the college-level (CEHD SAA leadership), the student, program leadership, and division/school leadership will be notified by SAA, via Mason email, of the outcome. The student will be permitted to remain in the major. If the exception request was submitted as a result of not meeting the requirements of professional dispositions, the student will be required to revise their Developmental Plan with additional supports and updated timeframes for assessment in consultation with APC/program leadership.
If the exception is denied at the college-level (CEHD SAA leadership), the student, program leadership, and division/school leadership will be notified by SAA, via Mason email, of the outcome. The student will have the option to re-appeal to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education (APUG) within five (5) business days after receiving the decision from CEHD SAA. More information regarding an appeal to the APUG can be found here: https://advising.gmu.edu/appeals/.
If approved for the exception to termination by the APUG, SAA will notify the student, APC/program leadership, and division/school leadership, via Mason email, of the outcome. The student will be permitted to remain in the major. If the exception request was submitted as a result of not meeting the requirements of professional dispositions, the student will be required to revise their Developmental Plan with additional supports and updated timeframes for assessment in consultation with APC/program leadership.
If the exception to termination is denied by the APUG or if the student does not request an exception to policy during the specified window, the student is terminated from the major, but may remain enrolled at Mason. They will be redirected as an exploratory or undeclared student to the Office of Academic Advising within the Undergraduate Education team. More information about this process can be found here: https://advising.gmu.edu/redirected/.
Time Limit Extension Requests (Graduate Only)
Master’s degree students have six years from the time of initial enrollment in their graduate program to complete their degrees. Students who are unable to meet this time limit may apply for an extension. Students must complete the dynamic form found on the Registrar’s website and upload all documents requested, including a letter of support from the student’s Advisor or Dissertation/Thesis Chair that details the timeline for completion in alignment with the requested extension period. Requests that are submitted after the student’s time has actually expired may not be considered and/or approved. Failure to meet the time limit requirements or to secure approval of an extension request may result in termination from the program.
Voluntary Resignation from Graduate Program
Students who wish to resign from their graduate program must submit a completed Voluntary Resignation from Graduate Academic Program request form to their advisor or program. The resignation will become effective at the conclusion of the semester noted on the form. If the student wishes to resign before the end of the current semester, they will not be automatically withdrawn from any coursework they are currently enrolled in for the resignation semester. If the student wishes to be withdrawn from courses in conjunction with the resignation, they must submit a separate Withdrawal Request form to the Office of Student and Academic Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. To enroll in coursework at Mason after a voluntary resignation, students must submit a new application for admission.
Undergraduate and graduate students may request a withdrawal from their courses for non-academic reasons after the unrestricted withdrawal period. Such requests are only considered under extenuating circumstances. Students must provide verifiable, third-party documentation (dated and on official letterhead) with their request, along with a compelling rationale detailed in their personal narrative, that confirms how their ability to be a successful student was impacted during the timeframe of the affected semester or term. Withdrawals are typically only allowed for all courses within a semester/term; however, if a student is seeking a partial withdrawal, the student must clearly demonstrate why their extenuating circumstance(s) affected the particular course(s) specifically and not all courses taken in the same semester/term. Otherwise, only a full withdrawal from all courses in a semester or term will be considered.
Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to:
- Medical - Requests for withdrawals due to medical reasons must be supported by relevant, dated medical documentation. The documentation must show a substantial medical change that arose unexpectedly after the unrestricted withdrawal period ended. Medical documentation could be in the form of hospital records, receipts from doctor’s visits, a letter from your care provider on company letterhead, insurance claim receipts, etc. If you choose to obtain a letter from a doctor or therapist, the letter must include the following:
- The illness/condition you are/were being treated for.
- The period of time you have/had been receiving treatment for this illness/condition. If the illness/condition began prior to the semester/term you are requesting the withdrawal from, how has/had the illness/condition changed during the affected semester/term?
- How the illness/condition impacts/impacted you and/or your ability to be a student during the affected timeframe.
- The expected length of recovery or return to usual academic performance, and/or the supports, interventions, or measures that are being taken to ensure successful progression towards degree completion at Mason.
Employment - Requests for withdrawals due to work-related reasons are only considered for unanticipated and/or unavoidable changes in employment that occur after the unrestricted withdrawal date and which result in a direct scheduling conflict with a course (or courses). An increased or more stressful workload is not considered a valid reason to request a withdrawal for employment reasons (see the University Catalog), Section AP.1.2, Academic Load).
Documentation for this type of request is generally a letter from the student’s employer (dated and on company letterhead) confirming how the student’s job duties have changed since the unrestricted withdrawal period for the requested semester/term, what these new responsibilities include, and how the new job duties are impacting the student’s ability to attend classes or complete required coursework. If the reason is due to military orders or relocation, please provide a copy of the orders as documentation.
Death of a Loved One - Requests for withdrawals due to the death of a loved one may be considered when the student can provide verifiable third-party documentation that they were seriously impacted by the death (such as experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, etc.), and the steps for a medical withdrawal above should be followed. If the student was affected in some other way, they should provide a detailed explanation of how they were impacted in their personal narrative, along with verifiable third-party documentation that supports the rationale for the request.
A copy of the deceased’s death certificate, obituary, or funeral brochure may also be requested, however, this information alone will not be sufficient for an approval of a withdrawal.
- Other Extenuating Circumstances - Withdrawal requests for other types of extenuating circumstances may be considered. The student should describe the issue, and provide any third-party documentation that would corroborate the reason for the request.
Questions regarding documentation should be directed to the CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs at email@example.com.
Withdrawal is Not Allowed:
- To avoid an unsatisfactory grade due to academic reasons.
- To correct enrollment errors on the part of the student (For more information, review "Changing Registration" in the University Catalog). Students are responsible for all courses in which they remain officially enrolled after the drop period has ended.
Instructors do not have the authority to withdraw students from classes.
Withdrawal Request Procedure:
- Review all policies pertaining to non-academic withdrawals.
- Complete a Withdrawal Request Form explaining the specific request and reasons. An additional sheet may be necessary for your statement if there is insufficient space on the form.
- Gather your supporting documentation. Only written materials and verifiable, third-party documentation will be considered.
- Submit your completed form, additional statement page (if needed), and supporting documentation to the CEHD Student and Academic Affairs Office - firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submit your request in a timely manner. Timing is very important when submitting a request to withdraw. Delays in submitting requests increase the academic component of the request and can have an adverse effect on the final decision.
- Provide additional requested documentation in a timely manner. After 30 days, all undocumented requests may be automatically denied, and the case will be closed.
- Continue attending all classes in which you are officially enrolled and complete the required coursework unless you receive written approval from our office for a withdrawal. If permission is granted, you will need to confirm that there are no holds on your record for the withdrawal to be processed.
If you are granted a withdrawal, it will result in a "W" on your permanent record. These non-academic withdrawals do not count toward an undergraduate student’s selective withdrawal limits.
Effects of Withdrawals on Academic Standing:
Approved or selective withdrawal results in a grade of W on the student’s transcript for the withdrawn course(s). While a grade of W does not affect the GPA, undergraduate students should note that withdrawn courses are part of “attempted credit hours,” which serve as the basis for the student’s credit level. In the university’s undergraduate retention system, GPA standards increase according to credit level and withdrawals can result in a change in academic standing to probation or suspension. See the University Catalog, Section AP.5.2.3, Student Retention Categories, for more information.
Effects of Withdrawals on Student Account Balance:
Approved or selective withdrawals do not generate a tuition refund beyond the drop deadline. Students are responsible for all tuition and/or fees charged to their account for any courses that have been withdrawn. Students who have purchased tuition insurance through GradGuard may be eligible to submit a claim for reimbursement.