Leaves and Withdrawals

Graduate students may withdraw from the University for either personal or medical reasons following the procedures below.

University Withdrawal by Students

If a student terminates coursework during the semester (weeks 1 through 14), registration must be formally withdrawn. Failure to submit a Student Withdrawal form to the Graduate School may result in F grades and in payment of tuition and fees that otherwise might be avoided.

Withdrawals are processed according to an established refund schedule. Notifying the Graduate School helps to ensure a smooth withdrawal-readmission process. Students may initiate the withdrawal process online by completing the Student Withdrawal form. If the student is not planning to return, a formal withdrawal assures a timely refund, if one is due to the student. Students may discuss their withdrawal options with the Graduate School (gradschool@mtu.edu) at any time.

Students who plan to return at a later date should register for one of the continuous enrollment courses. A student who fails to continuously enroll during academic year semesters will be dropped from their graduate program. Such students will need to apply for readmission if they choose to re-enter their graduate degree program.

University Withdrawal by Employees

If extenuating circumstances arise that require employees to drop a course, employees may apply for an emergency/conflict allowance. Contact the Benefits office for a Release from Course form which must be approved by the employee's supervisor and Human Resources. Release from Course forms must be received during the semester that employees are partaking in the course. Requests to be released from a course will be reviewed by Human Resources who will determine whether or not the request is approved. If approved, the course registration will be cancelled.

Withdrawal of Students Called to Active Military Service

Students called to active military duty are guaranteed readmission upon completion of their active service. Enrolled Michigan Tech students who are called to active military duty will be given the opportunity to work out the best possible solution for maintaining their academic status. A student must choose one of the following options before departing for active service:

  • Leave for active service with a tuition refund of 100 percent. Refunds involving financial aid will be adjudicated to decrease the payback required from the student to the lowest possible amount.
  • Agree that temporary grades will be issued for enrolled courses. The temporary grades will be P for Progress or I for Incomplete. In some cases, arrangements can be made to complete the coursework while on active duty. Otherwise, the student may complete the courses when he or she returns to the University.
  • Work with their department and the Graduate School to maintain continuous enrollment through UN5951 until they can return to campus.

Leave of Absence

Graduate students may encounter circumstances which make it difficult for them to make progress toward their degree. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to, financial difficulties, personal challenges, bereavement, or medical care for a family member.

Although continuous enrollment is expected to make progress toward the degree, in some situations, it will be in a graduate student’s best interests to take a leave of absence so they have the necessary time to resolve these circumstances. Students returning to a research-based degree (dissertation, thesis, or report) will need to have graduate program approval prior to returning to ensure that progress on their research can continue.

Graduate students eligible to enroll may apply for a leave of absence from their graduate program for any future semester. A leave of absence may be requested for up to one academic year and may be extended once. While on leave, students will be exempt from continuous enrollment, and the deadline to complete qualifying and research proposal exams will be extended. The Graduate School will review all leave of absence applications for compliance with the policy. For approved requests, the Graduate School will communicate with the student, graduate program, advisor, housing (on campus students), and IPS (international students).

To return from a leave of absence, students will complete an Application for readmission and reinstatement.

Please see the leave of absence policy for additional information and contact the Graduate School with any questions.

Medical Withdrawal

Graduate students who are not able to continue their studies due to medical reasons may apply to the Graduate School for a medical withdrawal by completing a Student Withdrawal form.  The request may be for medical, psychological, or substance-related conditions.  While on medical withdrawal, the requirement to continuously enroll is waived. The time limit to earn the degree is not automatically extended. Students may discuss their withdrawal options with the Graduate School (gradschool@mtu.edu) at any time.

Requesting a Medical Withdrawal

Students must request a medical withdrawal by completing a Student Withdrawal form.  The student request must include the reason a medical withdrawal is necessary and a summary of the treatment to be pursued while on medical withdrawal.  To support the medical withdrawal, students must arrange to provide a support letter on letterhead from a medical professional. The medical documentation may be submitted with the initial Student Withdrawal form, via mail, fax, or email to gradschool@mtu.edu (address to Dr. Debra Charlesworth).  The documentation must describe the treatment that is necessary and support the need for a withdrawal.  Medical documentation submitted to the Graduate School becomes part of the academic record of the student and subject to FERPA privacy rules.

The date the withdrawal is submitted will determine the refund a student is eligible for and the grades received in courses. All medical withdrawal requests received after the last date to drop a course with a grade of W, will be evaluated by the Graduate School to determine if they meet the criteria for a late drop and W grades.

Upon approval, the Graduate School will contact the student's advisor, instructors, and graduate program director to notify them that the student has been granted a medical withdrawal. A hold will be placed on the student’s account preventing future registration, and all classes for the current and future semesters will be dropped. The registration hold will be removed from the student’s account after the appropriate documentation is received by the Graduate School.

Returning from Medical Withdrawal

To return from medical withdrawal, students must:

  1. Complete a readmission form,
  2. Recommendation for readmission and supporting documentation from the student's health care provider (e.g. physician, psychiatrist, and/or licensed counselor) that the student is able to return and participate fully in academic life (with or without reasonable accommodation). This recommendation must include:
    1. Information regarding recommendations for continued treatment or follow-up care from health care provider.
    2. Evidence that the student has complied with treatment recommendations that were made during the medical withdrawal.
    3. Recommendations for any necessary accommodations.
    4. Authorization for disclosure by and between any person providing documentation in support of the student's request to return to Michigan Tech. The University may also require the student to submit an independent medical evaluation performed by a health care provider selected by the University and/or that the student provide additional information necessary to determine whether the student should be readmitted.
  3. Submit a letter of support from the advisor or graduate program director if they are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report as part of their degree requirements.

The form and all supporting documentation must be submitted six weeks prior to the start of the semester the student plans to return to campus.

This time frame ensures that the Graduate School has sufficient time to review your request and assist with the readmission. If materials are received shortly after this deadline, we will attempt to be flexible and review your request. However, if there is missing information and/or the University needs additional time to contact your treatment provider(s), or graduate program, consideration for a return may be made for the following semester rather than the semester for which you are seeking to return.

The Graduate School will carefully review all materials and render a decision as to whether the student has demonstrated their readiness to return to a rigorous academic environment.  

For approved returns from medical withdrawal, the Graduate School will offer to meet with the student and appropriate support staff on campus to review any accommodation or support services that may assist the student.

Involuntary Medical Withdrawal

In those cases where a counseling and/or medical evaluation indicates that it is necessary for a student to withdraw from Michigan Technological University, and the student refuses to withdraw voluntarily, an involuntary withdrawal may be imposed by the Dean of Students (in the case of undergraduate students) or by the Dean of the Graduate School (in the case of graduate students).  The Procedures for Involuntary Withdrawal are available online.