Medical Withdrawal Process at SMU

Students may experience medical and/or psychological concerns that significantly impact their ability to fulfill academic obligations. In these instances, students may request to withdraw from the university for a period of time to focus on treatment for these concerns prior to returning to campus. A medical withdrawal gives students the opportunity to pause their academic pursuits, seek this treatment, and return to campus as a continuing student once conditions of leave are fulfilled. The University is committed to assisting students throughout this process such that withdrawal and the transition back to campus are smooth and students are connected to appropriate resources.

A medical withdrawal requires the approval of the Student Support Team (SST). If the withdrawal is granted, the student will be assigned grades of "W" for all enrolled courses and should seek appropriate treatment and recovery while away in order to return. The last day a student can request a medical withdrawal for the Spring 2024 is April 22, 2024.

  • Any student who wants to request a medical withdrawal should first complete and submit a CCC submission form and select the “medical withdrawal request” checkbox. Once the form is received, the student will be contacted to schedule an appointment to review the medical withdrawal process with a staff member and schedule an appointment with the Health Center for an evaluation of the request. The student will be asked to complete a “Statement of Understanding” form and review the “Medical Withdrawal Checklist.” Links to both forms are provided below. Other paperwork will also be provided to the student as may be necessary for completing this process.
  • Following the evaluation, the Health Center will provide a statement to the Student Support Team (SST) indicating whether a student meets criteria for a medical withdrawal. The team will review the request and make a determination. 
  • Decisions about medical withdrawal are communicated to students in writing. If the medical withdrawal is granted, a HOLD will be placed on the student’s my.SMU account and the student will not be able to return to campus or enroll in courses until the HOLD is lifted. If the medical withdrawal is not granted, the student will be referred to the Office of Student Success and Retention to discuss other withdrawal options.
  • Students who take a medical withdrawal receive a prorated refund of tuition/fees. Schedule of reimbursement is maintained in the Bursar’s office.
  • Students who live on campus should contact Residence Life and Student Housing regarding any associated refund of room and board.
  • Students who are approved to take a medical withdrawal must demonstrate appropriate treatment received and 3 months of stability prior to request to return to campus. This means that generally, students who take a medical withdrawal should plan to be on leave for the following long (Spring or Fall) semester.


Medical Withdrawal Checklist (PDF)

Statement of Understanding (PDF)

Students who have met the requirements to return from a medical withdrawal should first email to start the request to return process. After speaking with a member of Student Advocacy and Support (OSAS) and submitting the Request to Return from Medical Withdrawal form (linked here and below), students will be asked to:

  • Submit a Request to Return from Medical Withdrawal packet to the Health Center, which includes the following:
    • appropriate releases of information forms
    • a clinical documentation form
  • The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center will first review the clinical documentation and gather any additional necessary information, if needed. The reviewing clinician will then prepare a summary for the Student Support Team (SST) to review. The summary should detail whether the student has met the necessary treatment obligations for return, as well as any recommendations the student’s treatment provider outlined for the return.
  • The Student Support Team (SST) will review the summary provided by the Health Center and outline any other recommendations or conditions for return. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, course enrollment limits and/or recommendations to work with a Clinical Case Manager and/or an Office of Student Advocacy and Support staff member to transition back to campus.

Decisions about return from medical withdrawal will be communicated to the student in writing. If the request to return is granted, the student's HOLD will be released.

Deadlines to Request Return

Fall: July 1

Spring: November 15

May Term: March 1

Summer: April 1

Request to Return from Medical Withdrawal Checklist (PDF)

Request to Return from Medical Withdrawal Form (PDF)