College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Withdrawal for Non-Academic Reasons

Undergraduate and graduate students may request a withdrawal from classes after the drop deadline for non-academic reasons. Such requests are only considered under exceptional circumstances. Students must provide verifiable, third-party documentation with the request. For questions about documentation, contact the CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs at

Withdrawals are typically allowed only for all courses within a semester.

Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  1. 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 drop period ended. If a student is seeking a partial withdrawal, the student must show why the condition has affected that course (or courses) specifically. Otherwise, only a full withdrawal from all courses in a semester will be considered.
  2. Employment - Requests for withdrawals due to work-related reasons must be documented by the employer on company letterhead. Only unanticipated and unavoidable changes in employment that occur after the drop date and which result in a direct scheduling conflict with a course (or courses) will be considered. An increased or more stressful workload is not considered a valid reason to request a withdrawal (see the University Catalog, Section AP.1.2, Academic Load).

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.

Requesting a Non-Academic Withdrawal

  1. Review all policies pertaining to non-academic withdrawals.
  2. Fill out a Withdrawal Request Form explaining the specific request and reasons. Only written materials and verifiable, third-party documentation will be considered.
  3. Submit your completed request and supporting documentation to the CEHD Student and Academic Affairs Office.
  4. 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.
  5. Provide requested documentation in a timely manner. After 30 days, all undocumented requests are automatically denied.
  6. 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 your allowed selective withdrawals.

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.