Leave of absence. Graduate students may request leaves of absence from their programs through written appeals to their advisers. The graduate advisers/program directors will forward the requests to the appropriate school dean/dean designee who, following departmental governance procedures, will forward their recommendations and any supporting documentation to the dean of the Graduate School who will respond for the university. Students who are out of compliance with continuous enrollment policies (see policy on Continuous enrollment for degree-seeking graduate students) and who have not been granted approved leaves of absence by the graduate dean must reapply for admission to VCU and to their graduate degree programs. Graduate students with approved leaves of absence are exempted from continuous enrollment requirements for the LOA period. Students should note that while leaves of absence temporarily suspend continuous enrollment requirements, they do not extend time limits for completion of degrees. (See policy on Exceptions.)
Withdrawal from classes. To withdraw officially from VCU courses, students must submit complete Official Withdrawal Forms to the Office of Records and Registration by the official withdrawal date as published in the official VCU Calendar. The Official Withdrawal Form is obtained from the Office of Records and Registration (Monroe Park Campus: Harris Hall, First Floor; MCV Campus: Sanger Hall, Room 1-055). Students may also withdraw on line via VCU E-services. Failure to complete this process may result in the assignment of failing grades in all or some of the courses.
A grade of withdrawn (W) will be recorded on the permanent student academic record for all courses from which students officially withdraw.
Health-related withdrawals. While graduate students are expected to work toward completion of their degrees without interruption, health-related problems may necessitate withdrawal from the university.
Some schools require a statement from a physician indicating the nature and severity of the condition, when a student should stop attending classes, and the anticipated date of return to school.
In the event that a student’s health problem poses a danger to the student, to patients or to others with whom the student may come in contact, and the student is unable or refuses to initiate steps to withdraw as stated above, administrative withdrawal of the student may be made by the dean of the Graduate School upon consultation with the appropriate faculty and a qualified physician.
Because curricular and course content changes may occur and a student’s progress toward a degree may be affected adversely because of an extended absence, specific time periods may be imposed by individual schools with respect to the length of time allowed for absence from school. If there is a delay in return beyond the allotted time period without written consent of the dean of the Graduate School, the student may petition for return with advanced standing.
Some schools require that prior to return to school, the student must submit to the dean of the Graduate School a statement from a physician. This statement should document that the condition that necessitated the withdrawal has been corrected to a point where the student can complete successfully all curriculum requirements with reasonable accommodation including classroom, laboratory, clinical and fieldwork experience.