UW System adopts universal medical withdrawal policy

MADISON, Wis. — A new policy taking effect this fall will make it easier for students in the University of Wisconsin System to suspend their coursework without academic or financial penalty under certain medical circumstances.

According to a news release, System President Tommy Thompson approved the Medical Withdrawal Policy last month on response to the circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The release said the policy will apply to all 13 UW System universities; only three universities currently have such policies.

The policy is triggered when students experience a serious or unexpected physical behavioral health condition, the death of an immediate family member, or the need to care for a family member who has experienced a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition.

Officials said requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and the process will be managed by a centralized office at each campus.

The policy will undergo a review in January 2024.

“This policy is another way the UW System seeks to serve its students,” Thompson said in a statement. “We understand that sometimes there is no other option than withdrawal and that unforeseen circumstances can emerge at any time.”