What does it mean to withdraw from the university?

This section contains information for L&S undergraduate students about withdrawing from the university.

What does it mean if I withdraw from the semester/term?


If a Letters & Science undergraduate student wishes to drop all of his/her classes for a particular semester or term after the first day of classes, a student needs to formally withdraw from the term.    In other words, withdrawal indicates that a student intends to stop attending classes for the current term/semester.  This is done by the official withdrawal deadline in the fall/spring term or the summer term (see Deadlines at a Glance under Enrollment Information on the Registrar's homepage or go directly to Deadlines at a Glance).  

Students who wish to withdraw  must submit a withdrawal request in their MyUW Student Center between the first and last day of the term
The electronic withdrawal process will not require submission of a signed paper form.  Once L&S undergraduate students submit their withdrawal request via their MyUW Student Center, the requests are then routed electronically to L&S Academic Deans' Services in 110 Ingraham Hall for review.  Approval from L&S Academic Deans' Services, as well as from the Office of International Student Services for students on J1 and F1 visas, is required before an L&S undergraduate student is formally withdrawn from the semester/term.   See below for more information about withdrawing via the Student Center.   You can also find additional information about the withdrawal process by referring to Term Withdrawal FAQ.
  • A student may withdraw from the University at any time up to the end of the twelfth week of classes during the fall or spring term.  Students should refer to the Summer Key Deadlines if they are enrolled in a summer term and wish to withdraw.  Additional information about withdrawing from the summer term can be found below under Summer Withdrawal Information .
  • Every student who withdraws must complete the official withdrawal process through his/her Student Center after the first day of classes. 

Withdrawing from a semester/term before the term/session begins:  If a student withdraws prior to the beginning of the fall/spring semester or summer term, the student only needs to drop all of his/her classes from their Student Center before the first day of classes.    Students should make sure to confirm that they have dropped all of their classes successfully from their Student Center.   Student should also let their academic advisors know of their intention to withdraw so their advisor is aware of their change in status for the semester/term. 

It's important to remember that students who are receiving financial aid should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid as soon as possible if they are planning to withdraw or drop below six (6) credits during the fall or spring semester.  Information can be found at Withdrawals: Refunds and Repayments

The University of Wisconsin-Madison does not use the term "to withdraw" to signify dropping one or more classes if a student intends to remain enrolled in at least one course for the semester/term.  See "What does it mean to drop a course?" for more information about dropping a class.

Withdrawing after the term beginsStudents who wish to withdraw after the term begins are required to submit a withdrawal request through their Student Center.   Once the student has submitted the withdrawal request, it will get routed through the necessary approval process (academic deans' unit, International Student Services) before being processed by the Office of the Registrar.  
  • Students will no longer be able to drop all of their classes without notifying their academic deans' unit.  Thus, students will no longer be able to drop their last class via their Student Center.  Students will be redirected to the "Term Withdrawal" tab on the Course Enrollment page in Student Center to submit a withdrawal request. 
  • The L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans' Services in 110 Ingraham Hall will review an L&S undergraduate student's withdrawal request submitted to the Worklist in ISIS to either approve or deny the student's withdrawal request.
  • Academic deans will be able to submit a withdrawal request in the event that a student is unable to successfully submit a withdrawal request through his/her Student Center.

More important information about the withdrawal process on the UW-Madison campus can be found at Cancelling Your Enrollment - Withdrawals.

A student will still be able to drop their last class(es) via his/her Student Center if:

  • The student is attempting to withdraw from a future term.
  • The student is attempting to withdraw from the current term and it is before his/her earliest session begin date.
  • The student is attempting to withdraw from the current term and at least one of their classes has been graded and it is before the drop deadline for his/her remaining classes.

Students will not be able to submit a withdrawal request via their Student Center and will be directed to withdraw through their academic dean's office (110 Ingraham Hall for L&S undergraduate students) if:

  • A student attempts to withdraw from a previous term.
  • A student attempts to withdraw from the current term and it is after the withdrawal deadline for the fall or spring term/semester.
  • A student attempts to withdraw from the current term and at least one of their classes has been graded but it is after the drop deadline for their remaining classes.
  • A student attempts to withdraw from the current term and s/he has a hold on his/her record preventing enrollment activity.

Summer Withdrawal Information

The withdrawal deadline for the College of Letters & Science undergraduate students enrolled during the summer term is the end of the three-quarters of the session, extended to the following Friday. The following rules apply to L&S undergraduate students enrolled in a summer session on the UW-Madison campus:
  • For a student enrolled in a summer term less then two weeks, the withdrawal deadline is the same as the drop deadline (the end of the 1st week on Friday).
  • For a student enrolled in a two-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the same as the drop deadline (the end of the 2nd week on Friday).
  • For a student enrolled in a three-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the same as the drop deadline (the end of the 2nd week on Friday).
  • For a student enrolled in a four-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the same as the drop deadline (the end of the 3rd week on Friday).
  • For a student enrolled in a five-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the 4th week on Friday.
  • For a student enrolled in a six-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the 5th week on Friday.
  • For a student enrolled in a seven-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the 6th week on Friday.
  • For a student enrolled in an eight-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the 6th week on Friday.
  • For a student enrolled in a nine-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the 7th week on Friday.
  • For a student enrolled in a ten-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the 8th week on Friday.
  • For a student enrolled in an eleven-week summer term, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the 9th week on Friday.
  • For a student enrolled in a summer term of more than eleven weeks, the withdrawal deadline is the end of the 9th week on Friday.
Specific deadlines for the summer term are located at Summer Key Deadlines.

Students who wish to withdraw from the summer session must submit their request to withdraw through their Student Center.  The summer withdrawal process differs slightly from the fall/spring terms in that:
  1. Students in the summer term will be allowed to drop their last enrolled class in the Student Center.
  2. At the point of dropping his/her last summer class in the Student Center, a student will be asked to indicate whether s/he intends to enroll in future classes for the current Summer term.  If the student answers "No," the s/he will be asked to submit a withdrawal request on the Term Withdrawal tab.  If the student answers "Yes" or "Uncertain,"  the student's intent is simply noted and the student will not be asked to submit a withdrawal request.
In short, the summer withdrawal process will mean:
  • Students will be able to drop their last class via the Student Center (unlike fall/spring).  Once all classes are dropped, the student will be asked to indicate his/her intent to enroll for future classes in the current summer term.  If the student answers "No," they can submit a term withdrawal request.
  • L&S Undergraduate Academic Dean's Services (110 Ingraham Hall) will still need to review all withdrawal requests submitted by L&S undergraduate students.
  • The paper withdrawal request form will not be available for summer withdrawals.
  • Students who complete a course in an early session of the summer term will not be asked to submit a Term Withdrawal request, as this action is not an option.
Information regarding withdrawing can be found at Cancelling Your Enrollment - Withdrawals on the Registrar's website.  For more general information about the withdrawal process for L&S undergraduate students, please call (608) 262-0617 for more assistance.  

See Also:




Keywords:withdrawal, online withdrawal, deadlines, drop deadline, summer session withdrawal deadline, semester, term   Doc ID:21703
Owner:Tori R.Group:College of Letters & Science
Created:2011-12-12 22:54 CDTUpdated:2015-04-02 14:16 CDT
Sites:College of Letters & Science
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