Retroactive Withdrawal Policy


The purpose of this policy is to provide the University with an alternative withdrawal option of courses for a student who may have experienced extenuating or traumatic circumstances that are beyond their control.


Retroactive Withdrawal: A process that allows students to be withdrawn from the University for a past semester due to extenuating and traumatic circumstances. A student must apply for a retroactive withdrawal within one calendar year from the last day of the term they unofficially withdrew from their courses.

Retroactive Withdrawal Procedures

A student may petition to have all grades in an academic period (one or more semesters of continuous enrollment) be retroactively removed and be replaced by entries of “–W” on his or her transcript. A retroactive withdrawal may be granted only when a student could neither function normally during the academic period nor be reasonably expected to complete a university withdrawal due to extenuating circumstances such as an incident leading to major physical or mental trauma, or a similar circumstance as determined in the sole discretion of the University.

The following issues are not adequate circumstances for a retroactive withdrawal:

  • Lack of time management
  • Not satisfied with the grade you earned
  • Not aware of university policies – withdrawal deadlines
  • Participated in non-academic activities, limiting time for academic requirements
  • Failed relationships or roommate issues
  • Disciplinary withdrawal

Generally, a retroactive withdrawal is allowed for students to petition to a “--W” grade for only program specific didactic courses. However, students seeking to retroactively withdraw from experiential or clerkships may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Dean’s Executive Council Committee. A request is not allowed if the last semester covered by the request exceeds more than one calendar year.

Steps in submitting a Petition for a Retroactive Withdrawal:

Step 1: Students requesting a Retroactive Withdrawal for a past semester are required to first meet with the College specific Student Affairs Office, Academic Affairs Office, and Financial Aid Office to provide guidance and assist the student in gathering all the necessary required documentation prior to submitting a retroactive withdrawal form to the applicable Dean’s Executive Council Committee.

The following documentation must be included with the Petition for a Retroactive Withdrawal. (Documentation not included will result in a denial of the petition).

Step 2: Personal Statement

Your personal statement must present a full account of why you feel you were unable to satisfactorily complete the semester. The extenuating circumstances must have been of major proportion and beyond your control.

Your personal statement must:

  • be clear and concise, yet fully explain the situation
  • include important reference dates
  • adequately explain the extenuating circumstances that prevented you from satisfactorily completing the semester

Step 3: Supporting documentation must:

  • clearly support and amplify the personal statement
  • be verifiable, and on letterhead or other official documentation
  • include specific dates noted in your personal statement
  • you may also include any appropriate letters of recommendation from faculty or advisors
  • the most convincing evidence will be from professionals who worked with you during the course of the illness or crisis and not from professionals who saw you after the trauma.

Step 4: Committee Decision:

Once the Petition for a Retroactive Withdrawal form has been completed and all required documentation has been included with the form, the Office of Student Affairs will give the information to the applicable Dean’s Executive Council Committee for determination of approval or denial of the petition.

Upon decision of the petition, the applicable Dean’s Executive Council Committee will forward the form and documentation to the Office of the Registrar for processing of approved petitions. If the petition is approved, the grade(s) will be retroactively removed and replaced by entries of “--W” on the academic transcript will include “Withdrawal” and the retroactive effective date.

A student who withdraws from CHSU and wants to return to complete their program may be considered for readmission upon re-application and are required to comply with all CHSU program specific admissions requirements for non-readmission applicants and provide the documentation as specified in the College specific Admissions Policy. Students who reapply for readmission must complete the specific program within the maximum length of time permitted by the program specific graduation requirements.