Voluntary Medical Withdrawal Policy

Voluntary Medical Withdrawal Policy

This policy establishes procedures to follow when a student suffers from a physical, emotional, or psychological condition that signficantly impairs the student's ability to function successfully or safely as a student.
Effective Date:
Responsible Party:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Material Original Source:

University of Alabama at Birmingham 


Effective Date: August 26, 2019


Related Policies

Full Term Withdrawal and Refund Policy
Tuition Refund Appeals Policy



The Voluntary Medical Withdrawal policy at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) establishes procedures to follow when a student suffers from a physical, emotional, or psychological condition that significantly impairs the student's ability to function successfully or safely as a student.  The policy is primarily administered by the UAB’s Student Health Services (SHS) according to the procedures described below.


Academic Impact  

Medical withdrawal, when approved, withdraws a student from all courses for a given semester/term.  Students are not allowed to medically withdraw from individual courses, with the following exceptions:

  1. When a student is enrolled in clinical, physical education, and/or other courses in which the student cannot meet the essential requirements of the course.  For example, a student may be assigned to a clinical site that requires standing for an extended period of time and becomes unable to do so due to an injury.  The student could medically withdraw from the clinical coursework and remain enrolled in other courses.
  2. When parts of a term within a semester have unique start and end dates.  For example, the summer semester at UAB includes five separate parts (May Session, Summer A, Summer B, Summer 10-week, and full Summer Term).  It would be possible, if approved, for a student to complete coursework in Summer A and to medically withdraw from Summer B.  In this example, the student would not be medically withdrawn from the entire summer semester, but rather only from all courses for the Summer B. 

NOTE: A medical withdrawal may have an impact on financial aid.  Students should discuss the consequences of a medical withdrawal with a Financial Aid Advisor. 


Medical withdrawal requests are to be used when a documented medical condition affected a student’s ability to attend or successfully complete a course enrolled in during a previous semester/term.  Students who need to withdraw during the current semester should request a Regular Term Withdrawal. 

A timely medical withdrawal for a previous semester must be made within sixty (60) calendar days of the last day of class for the semester/term for which the withdrawal is requested, with any supporting documentation submitted within thirty (30) calendar days of initiating the medical withdrawal request.  The student must submit the Student Request for Voluntary Medical Withdrawal form and the Licensed Provider Recommendation for Medical Withdrawal form (forms available at TBD website).  For all approved retroactive medical withdrawals, the effective date shall be the last day of class for the semester/term in question.

Voluntary Medical Withdrawal Requests submitted outside of the semester in question, and beyond the required sixty (60) day deadline must have clearly documented extraordinary circumstances in order for the request to be considered.  Extensive documentation (such as extended hospitalization and/or extensive, required rehabilitation, etc.) must be submitted to the SHS and must be related to the reasons for the medical withdrawal and to the circumstances that prevented a timely request. 

After appropriate SHS personnel have deemed a medical withdrawal request eligible for consideration, a designated SHS physician handles all medical withdrawal decisions on behalf of the University.  The designated SHS physician, on behalf of the University and, where appropriate, in consultation with relevant University personnel, will conduct an individualized assessment of the student’s situation before deciding to approve or deny the request and determining the effective date of the withdrawal.  Once a decision is rendered, SHS will notify the Office of the University Registrar (for undergraduate students) or the Graduate School (for graduate students).  Upon notification by SHS, the University Registrar/Graduate School shall process the withdrawal (if approved) and notify the student of the outcome within ten (10) business days.


Medical Withdrawal Documentation 

A student must fully and accurately complete the Student Request for Voluntary Medical Withdrawal request via BlazerNET. 

A student must have a licensed medical provider (physician, nurse practitioner or physicians assistant, or mental health professional) submit a completed Licensed Provider Medical Withdrawal Recommendation Form via the Patient Portal, or if there is time by mail to UAB Student Health & Wellness Center, Medical Withdrawal, 1714 9th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294.  The licensed medical provider shall be a provider who is currently treating the student for the condition(s) prompting the withdrawal request and is responsible for obtaining permission from the student to provide the documentation and to discuss the medical conditions, if needed, with the appropriate University personnel.  If the University, in its sole discretion, determines that an extraordinary or emergency situation exists, alternative documentation may be requested and considered. 

A student may also attach to the student request form any further supportive documentation from the instructor of record for the courses within the semester/term for which a medical withdrawal is requested. 

In the event that the student’s medical condition so incapacitates the student that the student cannot act on his or her own behalf, the student’s parent, legal guardian, or spouse should contact the UAB Student Health & Wellness Center at 205-934-3581 for further guidance. 

Handling of a Medical Withdrawal 

Once a Medical Withdrawal has been approved, the Office of the University Registrar/Graduate School will assign a grade of “W” on the official transcript.  The student is still responsible for any tuition and fees associated with the term/semester in which the medical withdrawal applies.

Return to the University Following Medical Withdrawal 

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they are medically prepared to re-enroll.  While eligible to return in a future term after requesting a medical withdrawal, subsequent medical withdrawal requests for the same condition will not be approved within 24 months of the initial request.  Exceptions may be considered in situations where documented extraordinary circumstances are available.  Students who do not return within one academic year will be made inactive and must reapply for admission.  In cases where students need more than one year to return following a medical withdrawal, a Leave of Absence may be requested. 

If a student voluntarily withdraws from the University while academic honor code, non-academic, or Title IX charges against him or her are pending, permission for readmission will be granted only after the charges have been resolved.


As a general rule, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, UAB may modify its policies, practices, and procedures as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.  In Medical Withdrawal submissions in which individuals with disabilities request exception to policy as reasonable accommodations, UAB Disability Support Services will be consulted as appropriate.

Title IX Exception 

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Student Affairs oversees the University’s compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  The Title IX Office is responsible for the Title IX Sexual Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy and related procedures to foster a campus community free from sexual misconduct which includes gender-based assault, harassment, exploitation, dating and domestic violence, stalking, as well as discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and related retaliation. 

The Title IX Office provides reasonable protective measures and interim support, which may include a Medical Withdrawal.  In Medical Withdrawal submissions involving the Title IX Sexual Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy, the withdrawal will be handled outside of this policy and in conjunction with the Title IX Office.  For more information, please visit the Title IX Office webpage.


For clarification or more information, undergraduate students should contact the Office of the Registrar. Graduate Students should contact the Graduate School.