Undergraduate Withdrawal from the University

Withdrawal From Courses Following the Drop/Add Period

Withdrawal from individual courses by the published deadline

Students may withdraw from courses following the drop/add period if they submit a Course Withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office by the appropriate semester deadline date, which is posted on the Registrar’s Office website.

The Course Withdrawal Schedule is as follows:

  • The withdrawal period for 15-week semester courses ends the weekday following the completion of the tenth week of the semester.
  • The withdrawal period for seven-week quarter courses ends the weekday following the completion of the fifth week of the quarter.
  • The withdrawal period for five-week summer courses ends the weekday following the completion of the third week of the session.
  • The withdrawal period for 10-week summer courses ends the weekday following the completion of the seventh week of the session.
  • The withdrawal period for non-regular courses typically ends one weekday following the point when approximately 70 percent of the course has been completed. Students should consult the Registrar’s Office for exact deadlines for withdrawal from these courses.

Students who are taking a course online or off-campus or who are non-degree seeking must meet established deadlines and procedures.

Withdrawal from individual courses after the published deadline

When extraordinary circumstances arise after the published withdrawal date that prevent a student from continuing enrollment, a student may request a late withdrawal from a course. Such examples might include, but are not limited to, death of an immediate family member, extreme personal financial hardship, military deployment or training, or new information about the student’s academic progress.

In order to request a late withdrawal from a course, the student must contact the Academic Achievement Center and meet with an advisor who will conduct a short interview and will assist the student in completing the required late withdrawal forms. (A face to face meeting is not required.) Supporting documentation, including a detailed letter outlining the reasons for the request, should be attached. The student must present a compelling reason for this exception in the letter. The student will then present the forms to the office of the dean of the college that offers the course.

Late course withdrawals are not automatically approved. Any decision(s) reached by the dean(s) or associate dean(s) are considered final.

Late course withdrawal requests must be made within one academic year after the term of the student’s enrollment in the course.

Consequences of withdrawing from individual courses

  • Course withdrawals will be indicated on the student’s transcript with a “W” and will not affect the calculation of the student’s grade point average.
  • Course withdrawals are likely to extend a student’s time for degree completion.
  • Course withdrawals are subject to the university’s refund schedule.
  • Course withdrawals may affect eligibility for financial aid, health insurance, participation in extracurricular activities and on-campus housing.
  • Approved withdrawals requested by a student are considered final, and students will not be re-enrolled.

Transcripts

A transcript is a cumulative, permanent record of a student’s grades and degrees earned at Bridgewater State University. Students may request a copy of an official transcript online or from the Registrar’s Office. Current students can access their unofficial transcripts through InfoBear. See the Registrar’s Office website for details. 

Transfer of Credit After Admission

In order to receive credit for courses taken at other accredited institutions, degree-seeking undergraduate students must obtain approval in advance. Failure to obtain this approval could result in denial of the course credit.

Request forms are available on the Registrar’s Office website and in the Registrar’s Office. Requests for approval of a course from another institution should be accompanied by the course description from that institution’s catalog. Approval must be obtained prior to registering for the course at the other institution. It is the student’s responsibility to have official transcripts sent directly by the institution to the Registrar’s Office upon completion of the course.

NOTE: A minimum grade of “C-” is required to receive transfer credit. Students may transfer up to 90 credits to Bridgewater State University toward a baccalaureate degree; however, only 69 credits will be accepted from two-year institutions. Transfer courses do not factor into a student’s GPA.

Credit by Examination

The university encourages qualified students to meet certain graduation requirements through “Credit by Examination.” Currently the university will award credit for successful completion of the College Level Examination Program’s (CLEP) general or subject area examinations. In addition, certain departments offer their own examinations for which credit can be awarded. Additional information can be obtained from the Office of Testing Services in the Academic Achievement Center, 508.531.1780.

See the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog for further information concerning credit by examination. 

VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy

Consistent with the Massachusetts VALOR Act, the university accepts military course work credit listed on the Joint Services transcript as recommended by the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services. For more information, see the Admission-Undergraduate section of this catalog.

Full Semester Withdrawals, Undergraduate

If a student decides after the drop period has ended that they are unable to finish all of their courses, they have the option of withdrawing from all courses. This is defined as a “full semester withdrawal” regardless of whether the student plans to return to BSU in the semester immediately following or not at all.

There are two ways in which a student may initiate a withdrawal from the semester: voluntary withdrawal and medical withdrawal. In addition, the university may withdraw students through an involuntary withdrawal process. Depending on the manner in which a student is withdrawn, the student will be required to follow certain steps to return to the university.

Voluntary Full Semester Withdrawal, Before or After the Deadline

Any undergraduate student considering a full semester withdrawal before or after the published deadline must meet with an advisor in the Academic Achievement Center to identify any alternatives to withdrawal, discuss the possible implications of withdrawing, review the process for returning, and prepare the necessary withdrawal paperwork. (A face to face meeting is not required.)This important consultation will include careful consideration of the many possible implications of withdrawing, including but not limited to, the completion of current coursework, graduation requirements, financial aid, account balances, student employment, on-campus housing, health insurance, pending disciplinary matters, immigration status, and/or participation in extracurricular activities. Following this discussion, the student may be directed to follow-up with other offices to discuss the potential impact of their withdrawal.

If a student leaves the university without processing an official withdrawal, failing grades may be recorded in all courses.

Full semester withdrawals requested before the published deadline are reviewed and approved by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Once completed, paperwork regarding the withdrawal will be submitted to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

Late full semester withdrawal requests are reviewed by the Assistant Administrative Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Since the request may result in a change to a student’s transcript, late semester withdrawal requests are held to a higher level of scrutiny than withdrawal requests submitted by the deadline. Students must demonstrate that they: a) attempted to withdraw by the deadline and were not able to be successful in that attempt; or b) that circumstances arose after the withdrawal deadline that support their need for a late withdrawal from the semester.

Appeals for late semester withdrawals must be submitted within one academic year from the term of enrollment. Requests submitted after the one academic year deadline will not be considered.

Once a decision about a semester withdrawal, whether on time or late, has been made, the student will be notified in writing about the decision and any conditions placed on their return. If the request is denied, the student may appeal that decision in writing to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies who will review the request for appeal. Once a decision has been reached, the outcome will be communicated in writing to the student. All decisions reached by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies are considered final.

Full semester withdrawals, whether on time or late, adhere to the University Refund Policy

Voluntary Medical Withdrawal

The university understands that students may experience physical or psychological situations that may significantly impair their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students. In those situations, students may request a medical withdrawal. The goal of a medical withdrawal is to ensure that students return to the university with an increased opportunity for success.

Unless the student can demonstrate that the ability to complete selected courses was not affected by the medical condition, medical withdrawals apply to all courses taken in the given semester.

The university uses an individualized process that allows students to request a medical withdrawal so that they can receive treatment, return to the university, and successfully achieve their academic goals. Any conditions placed upon the student at the time of the medical withdrawal may be incorporated into a written agreement with the student and may result in a hold being placed on the student’s account.

It is important to note that a medical withdrawal does not exempt the student from their financial obligation to the university and does not guarantee a refund or partial refund. The student may still be responsible for any outstanding fees, fines, or costs. In extraordinary circumstances, the university may, in its sole discretion, provide a refund.

Additionally, the student may be responsible for repayment of financial aid if mandated by the federal government. If a student has received financial aid and withdraws before completing 60% of the semester (for extraordinary reasons or not), the U.S. Department of Education requires the university to perform a Return of Title IV calculation to determine what financial aid must be returned to the federal government.

Medical withdrawals may have the following benefits:

  • For students who are currently enrolled in the BSU Health Insurance Plan, it is possible to seek permission to stay on that plan until the end of that premium period.
  • For students who have purchased tuition reimbursement insurance, a medical withdrawal generally qualifies a student for benefits under tuition insurance plans they may carry. However, please refer to your policy for clarification.
  • For international students, a medical withdrawal may provide a way to remain in the United States in compliance with applicable immigration regulations. Additionally, international students who are currently enrolled in the BSU Health Insurance Plan may request that the university allow them to stay on the plan until the end of the premium period. For further information, please consult with International Student and Scholar Services, (508) 531-6195, isss@bridgew.edu.
  • Students may receive prioritized consideration for on campus housing upon reinstatement.

To request a medical withdrawal before or after the published withdrawal deadline, the student should contact the Academic Achievement Center and follow the process for a semester withdrawal as outlined above. Medical documentation to support the request is required. An Academic Affairs designee will maintain all medical documentation related to withdrawal determinations but may share such documentation with others within the university with whom the office consults, on a need-to-know basis, and consistent with applicable privacy laws.

Once the request is complete, the Academic Affairs designee will evaluate the request and any re-enrollment plans in consultation with other appropriate university personnel. Depending on the circumstances, an individualized risk assessment may be conducted as part of the consultative process. Generally, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies will review requests for medical withdrawals before the withdrawal deadline and the Assistant Administrative Dean of Undergraduate Studies will review requests after the deadline.

After a determination has been made regarding whether or not the request qualifies for a medical withdrawal, and if applicable, for subsequent reinstatement subject to certain conditions, the student will be notified in writing of the decision. 

If the request for a late medical withdrawal is denied, the student may appeal that decision in writing to the Dean for Undergraduate Studies who will review the request for appeal. Once a decision has been reached, the outcome will be communicated in writing to the student. All decisions reached by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies are considered final.

Interim Involuntary Withdrawal and Involuntary Withdrawal

In situations in which a student presents a significant risk of harm to the safety, health or wellbeing of any person or the campus community or where the ability of the university to carry out its essential operations is seriously threatened or impaired (collectively referred to as a “serious risk of harm”), the university may require the student to withdraw in accordance with the following procedures.

This policy does not take the place of disciplinary action and sanctions associated with a student’s behavior that is in violation of any law or university rule, code or policy, including, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct or the policies set forth in the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan, or the Academic Integrity Policy. Such processes may run concurrently.

An Involuntary Withdrawal is meant to be used in cases where students experience needs that exceed the university’s services or resources. In such circumstances, the student will be advised to consider a voluntary withdrawal. If the student declines to voluntarily withdraw from the university, the university may involuntarily withdraw the student in situations where: (1) the student is unable or unwilling to carry out substantial self-care obligations; (2) the student has health needs requiring a level of care that exceeds what the university can appropriately provide; (3) the student presents a substantial risk of seriously affecting the health or wellbeing of any student or other member of the university community; (4) the student causes a substantial disruption to the university community.

Upon learning of credible evidence, including observed or recorded behavior, that a student may pose a serious risk of harm, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may initiate the following procedures:

Interim Involuntary Withdrawal

In circumstances where a student’s behavior may pose an imminent serious risk of harm, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may immediately implement an interim involuntary withdrawal or other measures. Under such circumstances, the student will receive notice of the interim involuntary withdrawal and will have an initial opportunity to respond to the evidence; however, the student’s right to more fully respond to the evidence and provide additional information will be delayed until it has been determined that there is no imminent serious risk of harm, in accordance with the process outlined below.

Involuntary Withdrawal Process

In instances where an Interim Involuntary Withdrawal was not initiated, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will notify the student that an involuntary withdrawal is under consideration and provide the student with a copy of this policy and a description of the reasons involuntary withdrawal is under consideration and the implications of an involuntary withdrawal. Whenever appropriate, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will discuss with the student the opportunity to take a voluntary withdrawal from the university or agree to other measures that could mitigate the serious risk of harm. 

The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will consult as appropriate and feasible in the circumstances with appropriate university personnel and others regarding whether the student poses a serious risk of harm.

The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee may require an evaluation of the student’s behavior and any relevant physical/mental conditions by an appropriate provider designated by the university if the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee believes that an evaluation will facilitate an informed decision. A student who fails or refuses to undertake a requested evaluation may not be permitted to return to the university as determined at the discretion of the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee. 

The student will be offered a reasonable opportunity to address the evidence and to provide additional information relevant to the university’s evaluation, including information from student’s treatment provider(s).

Following a review of the best available relevant information, including available current medical information, and these consultations, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee will determine whether to impose an involuntary withdrawal.

  1. If an involuntary withdrawal is imposed, the university will give the student written notice of the decision, including the beginning date and notification of any conditions that must be satisfied in order to return to the university. The student must leave campus (or the applicable university program or activity) within the time frame established in the written notice. In accordance with applicable law, the university may notify a parent, guardian or other person, if notification is deemed appropriate. During the duration of the involuntary withdrawal, the student may visit the university’s owned or leased property only with the prior written authorization from the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee. Conditions for return following an involuntary withdrawal will be determined by the university on an individualized basis and will be documented in the involuntary withdrawal notification. For examples of the types of conditions that may be imposed, please refer to the section on Reinstatement and Readmission.
  2. If an Involuntary Withdrawal is not imposed, the university will provide written notice of that decision.

Interim Involuntary Withdrawals and Involuntary Withdrawals will adhere to the University Refund Policy.

Governing Principles for an Involuntary Withdrawal 

  • Any withdrawal determinations should be based on an assessment of current, available medical documentation or advice about the student, and/or observable conduct that affects the health, safety or welfare of the campus community.
  • Any assessments of risks should be individualized and conducted in a team environment.
  • In the absence of an emergency or direct threat, voluntary withdrawal or restrictions shall be encouraged prior to any determination of involuntary withdrawal. • Any imposed conditions, including re-enrollment conditions (if any), will be reasonable and individualized for a particular student’s situation.
  • Any conduct code or other policies relevant to a withdrawal shall be applied equally to all similarly-situated students, i.e., without regard to known or perceived medical or mental health conditions.
  • Students shall be provided notice of any withdrawal determinations and shall be afforded the opportunity to appeal such determinations.

Reinstatement and Readmission following a Medical, Late and/or Involuntary Withdrawal

Students wishing to be reinstated or readmitted following a medical, late, or an involuntary withdrawal must satisfy all of the re-enrollment conditions established at the time of the withdrawal. If medical documentation was established as a condition for re-enrollment, the university will give significant weight to the opinion of the student’s treatment providers regarding the student’s readiness to return to the academic environment at the university, with or without accommodations. In extraordinary circumstances, the university may require the student to undergo an additional individualized assessment to make a determination regarding the student’s readiness for return. The university may also impose conditions on the student as part of their return, based on the particular student’s situation.

Additionally, in reviewing requests for return from a medical, late or involuntary withdrawal, the university looks for evidence that the issues that led to the request to withdraw have been addressed. Specifically, that the student has maintained stability and demonstrated follow through with treatment for a sufficient period of time to enable the student to be successful. Additionally, evidence of productive functioning (i.e. employment, volunteerism, etc.) is looked upon favorably.

A student may appeal any decision concerning reinstatement to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or designee and the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

If a student is permitted to re-enroll following a withdrawal, the student is responsible for coordinating the return to the university community with the appropriate university offices. A student must also resolve any outstanding Code of Conduct issues with the Office of Community Standards and/or the Equal Opportunity Office prior to their return.

Consequences of semester withdrawals, whether voluntary or involuntary

  • A “W” for withdrawal or “ME” for medical withdrawal will be placed on the student’s transcript for each course.
  • Withdrawals will not affect the calculation of the student’s grade point average.
  • Withdrawal determinations should proceed as quickly as possible to allow a student experiencing difficulties to receive the support they need. However, decisions about withdrawals will not be made unless the Academic Affairs designee has all of the required and requested information. 
  • The date of withdrawal for tuition refund purposes is the last date of class attendance. Charges for other services provided by the university are incurred as they are used or as otherwise required by contract or policy. 
  • Withdrawals may extend a student’s time for degree completion. 
  • University withdrawals may affect eligibility for some sources of financial aid, health insurance, participation in extracurricular activities and on-campus housing. 
  • A withdrawal is final. Once a mark of “W” or “ME” is entered on a student’s transcript, it will not be changed.

Requests for Withdrawals from Others

Due to the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students must make requests to alter their registration. In extreme circumstances, a FERPA release form may be signed and someone other than the student may request a course or semester withdrawal. All withdrawals may be completed after the published deadline (as long as they are completed within an academic year) however, it is recommended that students delay future registration decisions until they are able to complete the requests themselves.

Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities in the Withdrawal Process

At any point in the withdrawal process, a student may seek input or discuss with the Disability Resource Office, the availability of a reasonable accommodation. A student with a disability who desires an accommodation must request an accommodation by following the procedure for requesting an accommodation through the Disability Resource Office. The Disability Resource Office will make a determination regarding the request and notify the appropriate parties. A student will not be considered to have a disability unless and until the student registers with the Disability Resources Office. The Disability Resources Office can be contacted via phone at (508.531.2194) or by email at Disability_Resources@bridgew.edu for further information. 

Reasonable accommodations depend upon the nature and degree of severity of the individual’s documented disability and the setting for which the accommodations are requested. The university is not required to grant a requested accommodation that is unreasonable, ineffective, an undue burden or substantially alters a university program, service or practice. Reasonable accommodations will be provided as required by law.

Designee

While this Policy identifies certain university officers, employees and others who have particular roles and duties, each such party and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, may designate other officers or employees to perform such roles or duties set forth herein. 

Withdrawals when Academic Integrity or Disciplinary Matters are Pending

Please note that if a student withdraws with pending disciplinary charges of any kind, the student will be subject to the provisions of the applicable university policy, procedure or The Student Code of Conduct. The university reserves the right to initiate these procedures at any time, including after the student has chosen to withdraw and/or before the student is allowed to return to university. Additionally, if a student is subsequently separated or expelled from the university, or a grade change is warranted, the student’s academic record will be updated to reflect that suspension, expulsion or any grade that might be assigned.

Reviewed and Revised 8/2021 by Rita Miller, Academic Affairs