03-14.00 – Withdrawal Policy

  1. Policy:

    Towson University (“TU”) expects admitted students to make regular and consistent progress toward completion of their degree. However, TU understands that students may need to withdraw from some or all of their classes for medical, psychological, or other personal reasons. In addition, TU may require that a student withdraw from classes. TU’s goal is to support students, assist them in addressing their needs, and enable them to return to classes. This policy defines and addresses criteria and information related to withdrawing from courses, including Late and Involuntary Withdrawals.

    This policy does not address refunds of tuition and/or fees. For refund requests, please contact the Office of the Bursar.

  2. Withdrawing Before the Withdrawal Deadline:

    Each semester, TU publishes an Academic Calendar setting a Withdrawal Deadline. Students may withdraw from a course(s) at any time on or prior to the Withdrawal Deadline using the Student Center in Towson Online Services. When a student has withdrawn on or prior to the Withdrawal Deadline, they will receive a grade of “W” for that course. For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar or visit the TU Registrations & Records website.

  3. Late Withdrawals:

    If the Withdrawal Deadline has passed, students must seek approval from the Office of the Registrar for a Late Withdrawal. Such requests must include Appropriate Documentation and may be denied without it. If the Office of the Registrar approves a request for a Late Withdrawal, the student will receive a grade of “W” for the course. If the Office of the Registrar denies a request for Late Withdrawal, the student will not be withdrawn and will receive a grade consistent with the then-current policies and procedures for the course. A student may appeal decisions related to a Late Withdrawal to the Office of the Provost. That office’s decision shall be final.

    For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar or visit the TU Registrations & Records website.

  4. Involuntary Withdrawals:

    TU reserves the right to take immediate, necessary, and appropriate action to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the University Community. A student who does not conduct themselves in a manner compatible with a safe and orderly environment is subject to discipline pursuant to the Code of Student Conduct. In an unusual case, Towson may mandate an Involuntary Withdrawal. Behaviors which may subject a student to an Involuntary Withdrawal include, but are not limited to, those which: (a) pose a danger to or threaten the well-being of the University Community; (b) demonstrate an inabilty to satisfy basic personal needs; and/or (c) substantially impede the lawful, normal activities of others or otherwise interfere with TU’s orderly operations. The Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs manages the Involuntary Withdrawal process.

    A student will have an opportunity to withdraw voluntarily before an Involuntary Withdrawal occurs. In addition, a student may appeal a decision regarding an Involuntary Withdrawal to the Vice President of Student Affairs as provided for in the procedures implementing this policy. See Section VIII, below. A student may only appeal if the decision (i) occurred as a result of procedural errors serious enough to impact the outcome, (ii) occurred without new information that is relevant to the decision but could not previously be considered, or (iii) was otherwise not supported by the evidence. 

  5. Definitions:

    1. “Appropriate Documentation” is a document or other information substantiating the merits of a student’s request for a (i) Late Withdrawal (whether Full or Selective) or (ii) a Late Withdrawal for medical reasons (whether Full or Selective) after the Withdrawal Deadline. Appropriate Documentation should identify the specific circumstances affecting the student’s ability to (i) withdraw before the Withdrawal Deadline and/or (ii) complete a course(s) successfully. Examples include, but are not necessarily limited to, a letter from a medical provider, social worker, or employer; a police report; and/or a court document. 

    2. “Full Withdrawal” is a withdrawal from all courses for which a student is registered in a semester, term, or session. If the Office of the Registrar approves a Full Withdrawal after the Withdrawal Deadline, the student is withdrawn from all courses and receives a grade of “W” on his or her transcript for those courses. If the Office of the Registrar does not approve a Full Withdrawal after the Withdrawal Deadline, then the student is not withdrawn from the applicable courses. 

    3. “Involuntary Withdrawal” is a Full or Selective Withdrawal mandated by Towson. 

    4. “Late Withdrawal” is a withdrawal from a course(s) after the Withdrawal Deadline pursuant to this policy. 

    5. “Selective Withdrawal” is a withdrawal from a subset of courses for which a student registered in a semester, term, or session. If the Office of the Registrar approves a Selective Withdrawal after the Withdrawal Deadline, the student is withdrawn from the applicable course(s) and receives a grade of “W” on his or her transcript for those courses. If the Office of the Registrar does not approve a Selective Withdrawal after the Withdrawal Deadline, then the student is not withdrawn from the applicable courses. 

    6. “University Community” includes students, faculty, staff, and affiliates. 

    7. “Withdrawal Deadline” is the last day students may withdraw themselves unilaterally from a course(s) as set forth in the then-current Academic Calendar. The Withdrawal Deadline usually falls at about the 60% point of a semester, term, or sessions (i.e., the 10th week in the fall and spring semesters; varying dates for the minimester and four summer sessions). 

  6. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

    Responsible Office:
    Office of the Provost
    Office of Student Affairs 

  7. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    All Towson University students.

  8. Procedures:

    Procedures for seeking permission to withdraw after the Withdrawal Deadline are available at:

    1. Withdrawal Procedures; 

    2. Involuntary Withdrawal Procedures.

    3. These procedures may be amended from time to time without the need to amend this policy.

Related Policies:

USM Policy III-5.00, Policy on Academic Calendar

See also:

Undergraduate student academic calendar

Graduate student academic calendar

Bursar’s Office (including information about refunds)

Effective Date:

Acknowledged By: President’s Council

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .