Full Semester Withdrawals for Non-Academic Reasons (Exploratory and Undeclared)


Students are responsible for registering properly and paying all tuition and fees by the deadline. Students may not receive written confirmation of schedule changes and/or financial (tuition) obligations; therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to verify the accuracy of their schedules – including all course and section numbers – before the end of the add and drop periods for each of their classes. Students are responsible, both academically and financially for all courses in which they remain officially enrolled after the drop period has ended. Instructors do not have the authority to drop or withdraw students from classes.

Please also see the full academic calendars on the registrar’s website.  These calendars list all of the important dates and deadlines throughout the semester, such as the last day to add and drop courses, the last day to withdrawal and the last day to selectively withdrawal:  https://registrar.gmu.edu/calendars/

Withdrawals granted after the end of the drop period are typically only permitted for the entire semester and only for non-academic reasons. Withdrawals will not be granted to those who stop attending class. For more information, please review “Canceling Registration/Withdrawal from the Semester” in the Catalog.

Exceptions are considered only under exceptional circumstances beyond the student’s control with verifiable, third party documentation. Such documentation is required of all students submitting requests to ensure equity and fairness. No withdrawals can be approved to avoid an unsatisfactory grade. Exceptional circumstances include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • Medical Circumstances – Requests for withdrawals due to health or medical circumstances must be supported by relevant, dated medical documentation from the provider of treatment. The documentation must show a substantial medical change that arose unexpectedly after the drop period has ended. If a student is seeking a selective course withdrawal, the student must show why the condition has affected that course (or courses) specifically. Otherwise, only a total semester withdrawal would be considered by the committee.
  • 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 your University Catalog under “Academic Load”).

 To petition for withdrawal, please do the following as soon as possible:

  1. Complete an Academic Request form explaining your specific request and reasons. Only written materials and verifiable, third party documentation can be evaluated by the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Appeals Committee in reaching a decision.
  2. Time is of the essence when submitting a request and documentation. Delays in submitting requests increase the academic component of the request and can have an adverse effect on the final decision. After 30 days, all undocumented requests are automatically denied.
  3. Submit your completed request and supporting documentation to an Exploratory Academic Advisor or you can email advisor@gmu.edu.  Your request will then be reviewed by a committee, and a decision will be emailed to you within 7-10 business days. 
  4. Please continue attending all classes in which you are officially enrolled and complete the required coursework unless you receive written permission for a withdrawal. If permission is granted, you will need to have a clear financial record for the withdrawal to be processed.
  5. Any withdrawal will result in a “W” on your permanent record for each of the courses.
  6. Requests for withdrawals must be submitted within one calendar year of when the courses were taken.