Partial Course Withdrawal Policy

Revised October 5, 2010.

Emory students may withdraw from one or more courses until the Friday at 4 pm of the sixth full week of class of the semester after the drop-add period providing that the student continues to carry a load of 12 credit hours or is in his/her final semester of residence as a graduating senior. In order for a partial withdrawal to be processed, a student must complete a withdrawal form through the Office for Undergraduate Education, consult with his/her course instructor and advisor of record, and receive signatures from both. These signatures indicate only that consultation has occurred, not that the course instructor and advisor necessarily approve of the student’s decision. Completed forms must be returned to the Office for Undergraduate Education.

In addition, students will be allowed one voluntary withdrawal from a course after the sixth week withdrawal deadline and until the Friday of the tenth week of classes during one of their first two semesters of full-time residency at Emory College provided that they maintain a 12 credit hour course load. Only one late withdrawal is allowed in that first year. An eligible student must complete a withdrawal form and follow the appropriate procedures as outlined above. This voluntary withdrawal policy applies to first-year students, transfer students and to Oxford continuees. This policy does not apply to students who are on study abroad programs.

One additional withdrawal provision is available. After the sixth full week of class after the drop-add period of the semester, a student may petition for a withdrawal from a class based on medical need, family emergency, death in the immediate family or other significant circumstance resulting in unforeseen hardship for the student. Petitions will be reviewed by academic advisors in the Office for Undergraduate Education, who, with the student’s permission, will consult with medical personnel where appropriate. Consultation with instructors, the student’s advisor and/or others will be part of the decision process. Petitions will be considered for approval by a dean of the College.

Cancellation and Complete Withdrawals

Registration may be cancelled through the ninth calendar day from the first day of classes. Cancellation of registration means that no entry for that semester will be made on the student’s transcript. Such cancellation of registration may occur prior to the beginning of a semester.

To cancel registration or withdraw from the college at any time other than the close of a semester, a student must secure written permission from a dean in the College’s Office for Undergraduate Education. Otherwise, honorable dismissal cannot be granted.

A student who withdraws voluntarily before the end of the twenty-third calendar day following the beginning of classes will receive grades of W in all the courses for which he or she is registered that term. Thereafter, a student who withdraws will normally receive grades of WF in all courses. A student may withdraw from all classes for reasons of illness with the approval of a dean in the Office for Undergraduate Education. If a dean grants the complete withdrawal, the student will receive grades of W in all courses for that term. Shortly after a complete withdrawal is processed, the Office for Undergraduate Education, often in consultation with the University Health Service and the University Counseling Center, will officially inform the student in writing as to the terms and timing for readmission.

Refunds of tuition are only partial. A student may cancel registration through the ninth calendar day from the first day of classes, in which case the deposit is forfeited. After the last day for cancellation of registration, a student may withdraw from the college with permission of the dean; the forfeit in withdrawal increases progressively, but is not less than that incurred for cancellation. The schedule of forfeits in withdrawal is as follows: during the second week of the term, 20 percent of tuition charges; during the third week, 40 percent; during the fourth week, 60 percent; during the fifth week, 80 percent. There will be no refunds after the fifth week. No refund is given if only a part of the work is dropped after the last day for approved course schedule changes as specified in the academic calendar. Refunds for first-time Emory University students who are federal (Title IV) aid recipients will be prorated in accordance with the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 and any related regulations.

Involuntary Withdrawal

Emory University considers the safety and welfare of its students, faculty and staff a top priority. When a student engages in behavior that violates Emory’s rules of conduct, the behavior will be addressed as a disciplinary matter under the applicable Student Conduct Code. The Student Conduct Code defines prohibited conduct and outlines a process for conducting disciplinary proceedings.

This Involuntary Withdrawal Policy and Procedure is not a disciplinary code, policy or process. It is not intended to apply to situations in which a student engages in behavior that violates the University’s rules of conduct. It is intended to apply when a student’s observed conduct, actions and/or statements indicate a direct threat to the student’s own health and/or safety, or a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others. There may be situations in which both this Involuntary Withdrawal Policy and the Student Conduct Code may apply. In all cases, the Dean of Emory College shall have final authority regarding the decision, enactment, enforcement and management of the involuntary withdrawal of a student.

Criteria

A student may be withdrawn involuntarily from Emory if the University determines that the student represents a direct threat to the health and safety of himself/herself or others by (1) engaging or threatening to engage in behavior which poses a high probability of substantial harm to himself/herself or others; or (2) engaging or threatening to engage in behavior which would cause significant property damage, would directly and substantially impede the lawful activities of others, or would interfere with the educational process and the orderly operation of the University.

Procedure

When the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, or his/ her designee, based on a student’s conduct, actions or statements, has reasonable cause to believe that the student meets one or more of the criteria for involuntary withdrawal, he or she may initiate an assessment of the student’s ability safely to participate in the University’s program.

The Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education initiates this assessment by first meeting with the student to:

  1. review available information concerning the behavior and/or incidents which have caused concern,
  2. provide the student with a copy of this Involuntary Withdrawal Policy and Procedure and discuss its contents with the student,
  3. provide the student an opportunity to explain his/her behavior, and
  4. discuss options available to the student, including counseling, voluntary withdrawal and evaluation for involuntary withdrawal.

If the student agrees to withdraw voluntarily from the University and waives any right to any further procedures available under this policy, the student will be given a grade of W for all courses, will be advised in writing of any conditions that must be satisfied prior to re-enrollment, and may be referred for appropriate mental health or other health services. If the student refuses to withdraw voluntarily from the University, and the Senior Associate Dean continues to have reasonable cause to believe the student meets one or more of the criteria for involuntary withdrawal, the Senior Associate Dean may require the student to be evaluated by an appropriate mental health professional.

Evaluation

The Senior Associate Dean may refer the student for a mandatory evaluation by an appropriate mental health professional or other appropriate professional. The professional may be selected by the University, so long as there is no cost to the student for the evaluation. A written copy of the involuntary referral shall be provided to the student.

The evaluation must be completed within five school days after the date the referral letter is provided to the student. Prior to the evaluation, the student will be required to sign a written authorization authorizing the exchange of relevant information among the mental health professional(s) (or other professional) and the University. Upon completion of the evaluation, copies of the evaluation report will be provided to the Senior Associate Dean and the student.

The professional making the evaluation shall make an individualized and objective assessment of the student’s ability safely to participate in Emory’s program, based on a reasonable professional judgment relying on the most current professional knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence. This assessment shall include a determination of the nature, duration and severity of the risk posed by the student to the health or safety of himself/herself or others, the probability that the potentially threatening injury will actually occur, and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices or procedures will sufficiently mitigate the risk. The professional will, with appropriate authorization, share his/ her recommendation with the Senior Associate Dean, who will take this recommendation into consideration in determining whether the student should be involuntarily withdrawn from Emory. A copy of the professional’s recommendation will be provided to the student, unless, in the opinion of the professional, it would be damaging to the student to do so.

If the evaluation results in a determination that the student’s continued attendance presents no significant risk to the health or safety of the student or others, and no significant threat to property, to the lawful activities of others, or to the educational processes and orderly operations of the University, no further action shall be taken to withdraw the student from the University.

If the evaluation results in a determination that the continued attendance of the student presents a significant risk to the health or safety of the student or others, such that there is a high probability of substantial harm, or a significant threat to property, to the lawful activities of others, or to the educational processes and orderly operations of the University, the student may be involuntarily withdrawn from the University. In such an event, the student shall be informed in writing by the Senior Associate Dean of the involuntary withdrawal, of his/her right to an informal hearing, of his/her right to appeal the decision of the hearing officer, and of any conditions necessary for re-enrollment. In most cases, a student who is involuntarily withdrawn will be given a grade of W in all courses in which the student is currently enrolled.

Informal Hearing

A student who has been involuntarily withdrawn may request an informal hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the Senior Associate Dean by submitting a written request to be heard within two business days from receipt of the notice of involuntary withdrawal. A hearing will be set as soon as possible. The student shall remain involuntarily suspended pending completion of the hearing.

The hearing shall be informal and non-adversarial. During the hearing, the student may present relevant information and may be advised by an Emory faculty or staff member or a health professional of his/her choice. The role of the advisor is limited to providing advice to the student.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall decide whether to uphold the involuntary withdrawal or whether to re-consider, and the student shall be provided written notice of the hearing officer’s decision as soon as possible.

Appeal to the Dean

The student may appeal the hearing officer’s decision to the Dean, who shall review all information presented and make a final decision as to whether or not to uphold the involuntary withdrawal.

Emergency Suspension

The University may take emergency action to suspend a student pending a final decision on whether the student will be involuntarily withdrawn, in situations in which:

  • there is imminent danger of serious physical harm to the student or others,
  • there is imminent danger of significant property damage,
  • the student is unable or unwilling to meet with the Senior Associate Dean,
  • the student refuses to complete the mandatory evaluation, or
  • the Senior Associate Dean determines such other exceptional circumstances exist that suspension is warranted.

In the event emergency action is taken to suspend the student on an interim basis, the student shall be given notice of the emergency suspension and an initial opportunity to address the circumstances on which the emergency suspension is based.

Conditions for Reenrollment

Because this Involuntary Withdrawal Policy applies to cases in which there is a concern about the safety of the student or others, the Dean or his/her designee may require a student who has been involuntarily withdrawn under this Policy to be reevaluated before he/she is readmitted in order to assure that he/ she presents no direct threat to himself/ herself or others.