Medical Withdrawal

Under certain situations where a student’s health or well-being prevents continued enrollment, the student may initiate medical withdrawal procedures.  Students may indicate a medical rationale when completing the Request for Withdrawal form.

Contact/meet with the primary academic advisor to discuss withdrawal.

  • Students may voluntarily initiate a medical withdrawal during any standard withdrawal period: Period One, Period Two, or Period Three.
  • Graduate and professional students seeking a medical leave of absence should contact the Graduate College or College of Veterinary Medicine student services office as appropriate for guidance.
Complete a Request for Withdrawal form.
International Students must also meet with an advisor in the International Students and Scholars Office prior to submitting the Request for Withdrawal form to the college office.
Submit completed Request for Withdrawal form signed by the student and the advisor to the college student services office for student’s primary major.

If the withdrawal request is approved, the student is eligible to return to the university for a future term with the same academic status that the student held at the beginning of the withdrawal term.

  • A medical withdrawal will create a medical hold on the student's record.  In order to return after a medical withdrawal the student must contact Student Assistance in the Dean of Students Office. 

Late-term Medical Withdrawal (Period Three) the student must provide documentation establishing an “extenuating circumstance” that prevents the student from fulfilling their academic responsibilities.

  • Undergraduate students on academic probation who are granted medical withdrawal during Period Three will be subject to academic dismissal at the end of the term.

Return from Medical Withdrawal

When the student initiates Medical Withdrawal from the university, requests to return will initially be reviewed by Student Assistance in the Dean of Students Office to clear the Medical Hold.
To provide ample time for consideration, this process should be initiated by the student at least 30 calendar days prior to the start of the term the student wishes to enroll. International students are encouraged to allow additional time to complete the process. 

Students will need to provide the following information to Student Assistance staff to clear the Medical Hold:

  • Description of what medical conditions prompted the withdrawal and what treatment(s) occurred while away from Iowa State.
  • Documentation from a licensed medical provider indicating the following.
  1. Name of medical provider, office address, and phone number
  2. Student's full name
  3. Identification of medical issue.
  4. Date of onset and dates of treatment.
  5. Desribe how the medical issue has changed since the withdrawal date of the student from Iowa State University. Provide medical opinion regarding students readiness to return to campus.
  6. Does the student need any accommodations to return (i.e. reduced credit load, mobility assistance, etc.).
  • Guidance for students and providers, including a sample letter, is available on the Medical Withdrawal Sample Provider Letter webpage.
  • This documentation can be submitted to the Student Assistance Office at or Student Assistance 1010 Student Services Building Ames, IA 50011. Please call 515-294-1020 with additional questions.
Student Assistance staff will review the documentation provided and determine if additional documentation or further review is required. A decision to clear the Medical Hold will be made based on the information provided by the student and their treating professionals.
If no further documentation or review is required, the Medical Hold will be lifted and the student will be referred to the appropriate academic College Official. (Students wishing to change majors upon return will be referred to their current college to start the major change process.) Notification when Medical Holds are released will be sent by the Dean of Students Office to the appropriate College Officials.
If further review of the student’s medical situation is needed, the student may be required to attend a re-entry meeting with the Withdrawal Consultation Committee.
All medical documentation provided at the time of the withdrawal will be forwarded to the Dean of Students Office to be retained in compliance with FERPA regulations.

Tuition Appeal

Iowa State University will review a request for tuition and fee refund provided you meet the requirements of the Tuition and Fee Appeal policy.


Withdrawal Policy

Withdrawal Form

Withdrawal Terminology

Roles and Responsibilities

Tuition Appeal