Policies and Appeals

The following policies relate to leaving and returning to the University, Academic Probation and Suspension, Extension of a course (incomplete), and Grade appeals.

  • Leaving the University

    The University withdrawal form is located on the SIS Student Self Service page in a box on the lower right titled eForms. The form is titled “Leaving the University (Leaves, Withdrawals, and Transfers)." 

    • Leave of Absence is an action students can take after the completion of a semester, indicating that the student plans to be away from the university for at least one semester. 
    • Withdrawal is an action students can take during the semester. All registered courses will show a grade of W, indicating withdrawal. Typically, if you withdraw during the last 10 class days immediately preceding the Final Examination period, you are not permitted to re-enroll during the succeeding semester. However, for the Spring 2020 semester only, undergraduate students may withdraw from all courses through May 8th, 2020 and still return for the Fall 2020 semester. 
    • Transfer in this context indicates that a student will transfer to another institution (this is NOT an internal transfer to another UVa school); this is an action taken following the successful completion of a semester. 

     

    Application for readmission from leave of absence or withdrawal must be submitted electronically by completing the Returning to the University form under the eForms section of the Student Center page in SIS (located in the bottom left). Students must be readmitted to the School of their previous enrollment. That is, even if a student plans to transfer from UVA Engineering to another undergraduate school at the University, the student must first be readmitted to UVA Engineering. Students should refer to the UVA Engineering Undergraduate Handbook for additional details and deadlines. 

    Students may withdraw from the University at any point of the semester, for any reason. The University classifies full semester withdrawals as either “personal” or “medical”. Depending upon when in the semester the withdrawal takes place, students may be eligible for a pro-rated tuition rebate; see the Student Financial Services website for more details. Withdrawal is a very serious action and should only be taken after due consideration of the consequences. Students should speak to their advisor and/or instructors, their parents, their friends, and others whose opinion they value. Semester withdrawals potentially have consequences for graduation date (i.e., your graduation could be delayed), financial aid, health insurance, and on-Grounds housing. Students should explore all of these issues before making a final decision. Example circumstances that could lead to a semester withdrawal: 

    • Personal withdrawal: family-related issues including financial hardship, death in the family, serious and on-going family obligations; pursuing opportunities outside academics such as employment or other personal hobbies and interests; non-medically motivated academic troubles that would likely result in serious academic sanctions 
    • Medical withdrawal: physical or mental health challenges that comprise a student’s ability to succeed academically; especially mental health conditions that interfere with a student’s ability to thrive in this academic environment

     

    Students who elect to take a semester withdrawal will be classified as “inactive” students, and will not have access to University housing, dining services, recreation facilities or Student Health. They may also not participate in on-Grounds clubs and organizations, Greek life, or other University-affiliated activities. Inactive students participating in University life are subject to disciplinary actions (including UJC actions) that may prevent them from rejoining the University community until such sanctions are resolved.

  • Returning to the University

    Readmission to the University following an academic suspension, leave of absence, or semester withdrawal is not automatic and students must apply for readmission. Students must submit the appropriate documentation (described below) by the appropriate deadline:

    For readmission in the Fall semester, students must apply for readmission no later than July 1st. For readmission in J-term or Spring semester, students must apply for readmission no later than December 1st. For readmission in the Summer term, students must apply for readmission no later than April 1st. No late applications will be accepted.

    Readmission takes the following steps. These steps are designed to ensure that students rejoining the University community are fully ready to engage with their academics on a sustained basis and to succeed in their studies. 

    • Return from an academic suspension. The student must submit a request to return to the University, on or before the appropriate deadline, by completing the Returning to the University form under the eForms section of the Student Center page in SIS (located in the bottom left). The form should detail how the student has spent the suspension period, and include a specific academic plan for success. This plan must include a proposed course schedule for at least the first two semesters after the student’s return, and this plan should be developed in conjunction with the student’s advisor. The academic plan should also explain the steps the student will take to improve their academic performance, i.e., take advantage of office hours, join a study group, etc.
    • Return from a leave of absence. A student who takes time away from the University after a successful academic semester (i.e., a semester from which they did NOT withdraw), must submit a request to return to the University, on or before the appropriate deadline, by completing the Returning to the University form under the eForms section of the Student Center page in SIS (located in the bottom left). The form should detail what the student has been doing since leaving the University, and briefly explain why the student is now ready to re-engage with their academics.
    • Return from a “personal” withdrawal. The student must submit a request to return to the University, on or before the appropriate deadline, by completing the Returning to the University form under the eForms section of the Student Center page in SIS (located in the bottom left). The form should address the issue that caused the student to elect the personal withdrawal, and state how and when it has been resolved. Students who cannot demonstrate that their personal issue has been resolved will not be readmitted.
    • Return from a “medical” withdrawal. The student must submit a request to return to the University, on or before the appropriate deadline, by completing the Returning to the University form under the eForms section of the Student Center page in SIS (located in the bottom left). The form should detail what the student has been doing since leaving the University and briefly explain why the student is now ready to re-engage with their academics. In addition to the SIS form, medical documentation through Student Health is required. You can access required forms and guidance about this process on the Student Health Website Student Health website (Note: There are separate medical re-enrollment forms for psychiatric/psychological and non-psychiatric/psychological health concerns). 

     

    The medical withdrawal and re-enrollment process through Student Health will address two key elements:

    1. The student’s current medical situation and their fitness to engage with their academics on a sustained basis, and
    2. A continuity of care plan that details the arrangements for any on-going and sustained medical care that will be required for the student
    3. This medical documentation will be reviewed by health care professionals at Student Health who provide a recommendation on the student’s readiness for return as well as recommendations regarding ongoing care and support. After Student Health staff have received and reviewed medical documentation, they will notify administrators in Engineering and in the Office of the Dean of Students that the Student Health medical re-enrollment process has been completed. Additionally, you may be asked to do either or both of the following:
      1. Meet with personnel at Student Health for an in-person readmission evaluation
      2. Consider signing a consent form that authorizes Student Health personnel to speak openly with your health care provider and with the Assistant Dean of Students about your request for readmission

     

    An example: a student leaves the University in November due to mental health struggles. The student seeks a return the following August. He submits the SIS Returning to the University form before July 1. He also provides a letter to Student Health from his care providers stating that he has engaged in a sustained counseling relationship, and the care providers express confidence that the student is fully fit and ready to resume his studies. Further, the student has arranged to meet with a care provider in the Charlottesville community once per week for the duration of the semester, so that his current healthy condition continues throughout the semester. The staff at CAPS review the documentation, agree that it accurately documents that student’s situation, and recommend readmission. The Engineering school and the Office of the Dean of Students will both approve the student’s return in SIS, and the student will contact his advisor to discuss course selection prior to the start of the semester. 
        
    Enforced Withdrawal from a Course

    With the approval of the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs, faculty may impose enforced withdrawal with a notation of W on the transcript as a penalty for habitual delinquency in class, habitual idleness, or any other fault that prevents the student from fulfilling the purposes implied by registration in the University.

    Important Notes:

    •    For all readmissions, the Office of the Dean of Students reviews each case to ensure that there are no UJC or other University sanctions in process or pending. Students with UJC or other sanctions in process or pending must resolve those issues before they will be readmitted. Therefore, all students should be prepared to meet with a representative from the Office of the Dean of Students as part of their return to the University.
    •    International students must work with the International Studies Office in Minor Hall to ensure legal status for their return to the University
    •    Upon readmission, students should immediately contact other relevant University offices, including Student Financial Services, Housing, Dining, etc. to work out relevant non-academic details.
    •    Readmitted students cannot register for courses until all of their enrollment holds (for instance, a financial aid hold, student health hold, or an advisor hold) have been removed.
    •    Students wishing to return from an absence of twenty-four continuous months or longer will need additional approval from the Provost’s Committee on Student Readmission. 

  • Probation and Suspension Policy

    Academic Probation

    All UVA Engineering students who receive a semester grade point average below 2.000 are placed on academic probation. Students who fail a required course twice are placed on academic probation. 

    Academic Suspension

    Students who have previously been on academic probation are suspended from the University following any semester in which both their current and cumulative GPA is below 2.000. Students who fail a required course they have failed at least twice before are suspended from the University.
    Academic credits taken elsewhere while on academic suspension are not accepted for transfer towards a UVA degree. Students must be readmitted to the School of their previous enrollment. That is, even if a student plans to transfer from UVA Engineering to another undergraduate school at the University, the student must first be readmitted to UVA Engineering.

    The term of the first suspension is one year. A second suspension is final and the student is not allowed to return to the University. Readmission to the University following the first suspension is governed by Returning to the University Policy
    Students on academic suspension may not participate in University student groups, including CIOs and greek life, and may not use athletic or student health facilities

    Appeals from Students

    Appeal of Academic Decisions

    Appeal of Academic Sanctions

    • The UVA Engineering Committee on Academic Standards (CAS) considers petitions from students for circumstances/requests not otherwise covered by specific Engineering or University policies or regulations, or in circumstances that have not been satisfactorily resolved with the instructor concerned, the faculty advisor, or the student’s major department. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs chairs the CAS and convenes the committee to hear petitions from students.

     

    The vast majority of CAS cases relate to academic sanctions, including suspension and early readmission. Students who are subject to academic sanctions according to the policies of the School of Engineering and Applied Science will be notified in writing, via email, by the appropriate Assistant Dean. Students have the right to appeal the sanction to the Committee on Academic Standards, a committee of faculty members representing the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The action by the committee on the appeal is final inasmuch as the committee acts for the full UVA Engineering faculty in these matters.

    All petitions to the CAS must be submitted to the Associate Dean by email and contain the following:

    • ACADEMIC STANDARDS PETITION COVER PAGE or RETRO-ACTIVE MEDICAL WITHDRAWAL FORM
    • a narrative letter describing, in your own words, the rationale for the appeal specifically addressing any mitigating circumstances (address this letter to the UVA Engineering Committee on Academic Standards)
    • A current, unofficial transcript
    • If you cite medical issues in your narrative letter, supporting documentation from medical care providers (e.g., a letter from a medical care provider) addressing how your health impacted your academic performance . Students are not obligated or required to provide protected medical records to the CAS as part of an appeal
    • (optional) Supporting documentation from your advisor, instructors, or others with knowledge of your situation (submit only if relevant to your case)

     

    The deadline for appeal will be clearly stated in the communication from the Associate Dean about the sanction. The committee’s decision will be communicated to the student within 30 days of receiving the petition, and the committee’s decision is final; there is no further mechanism for appeal.

    The CAS meets several times per year, usually at the beginning and/or end of the semester (dates vary; contact the Undergraduate Programs Office for specific dates), when academic standards actions take place. It is crucial that students promptly submit their petition–especially related to actions taken as a result of Fall semester academic performance–so that the CAS can promptly issue a decision (that might impact Spring semester enrollment). No students will be re-admitted/re-enrolled after the semester has begun.

  • Grade Appeal Policy

    Students who wish to appeal a grade in a course offered by the School of Engineering and Applied Science must first attempt to resolve the issue with the instructor of the course. Absent a satisfactory outcome, the student may appeal in writing to the Undergraduate Committee on Academic Standards.

    The appeal of a grade from a course offered during the fall term must be initiated by the student by March 1st of the following spring term; the appeal of a grade from a course offered during the spring or summer terms must be initiated by the student by October 1st of the following fall term. The appeal of a grade from a course offered during a student’s final term before graduation must be appealed before graduation.

    A disagreement over the quality of the student’s work is not sufficient grounds for an appeal. The student should include all documentation that the student deems relevant to the appeal. The committee will provide a written response to the student’s appeal within thirty (30) calendar days.

    If the above procedures are not followed, the student may submit a written appeal to the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs with regard to the procedure only and not the grade appeal decision within five (5) calendar days. The Assistant Dean will provide a written response to the student’s appeal within thirty (30) calendar days. The decision of the Assistant Dean is final.

    Students who have questions about the grade appeal process or who wish to discuss any classroom issue may contact the Undergraduate Program Office.

  • Extension of an (incomplete) Course Policy

    ​After the withdrawal date, a student can no longer withdraw from a course. If there are extenuating circumstances, and if it is feasible, a student may request a course extension. Students must have a compelling reason to justify a course extension. The details of a course extension are negotiated between the instructor and student, and approved by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs. The student and instructor must mutually agree upon: (i) the work to be completed, and (ii) the date by which it will be completed. This agreement should be viewed as a contract between the instructor and the student, and the agreement should be documented on the course extension form. 

     

    The instructor awards the student a grade of IN (incomplete) when reporting grades at the end of the semester, and then changes the grade to whatever the student has earned based upon work submitted by the negotiated deadline. Grade delay petitions must be submitted before the course ends. That is, a student cannot request a course extension if they have already completed all graded work for the course.

    The default time period (the “lapse date”) for resolution of the IN is 30 days after the end of the semester in which the students took the course. After the lapse date, the IN is automatically turned into an F. Longer lapse periods are possible and should be clearly negotiated by the student and instructor, with input from the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs if necessary. Feasibility is determined after a review of the outstanding work, availability of the instructor, accessibility of laboratory facilities, and other practical considerations.

    Simply needing more time to complete the course work (i.e., because you have fallen behind), without any extenuating circumstances, is NOT sufficient grounds to grant an extension. Moreover, if an extension is granted, the instructor is not under any obligation to renegotiate a new lapse date if a student is unable to complete the work by the originally agreed upon deadline.

    Note: A student cannot request a course extension if they have already completed all graded work for the course.