Leave of Absence


The Leave of Absence Policy is designed for students who have had significant life circumstances impact their ability to maintain good academic standing and who may need to take a break from their current academic coursework (i.e. illness of family member, personal illness, significant financial distress or life changing circumstances).

Traditional degree seeking undergraduate students who will not be registered for Gardner-Webb University academic credit during a given semester (fall/spring) may apply for a leave of absence. A leave of absence is approved when there are extenuating circumstances that prevent the student from attending classes. Listed below are typically reasons a student would request a leave of absence:

  • Students who have officially withdrawn from semester courses but plan to resume their education at Gardner-Webb University within two years;
  • Students who obtain credit while on a leave from another institution in conjunction with a Gardner-Webb University program (transfer credit will be reviewed by the appropriate Gardner- Webb University personnel for possible credit);
  • Students who, for other reasons, will not be registered at Gardner-Webb University for a semester or more;
  • Institutional forms of Financial Aid will be renewed at the same level upon return provided students meet the standard renewal requirements (GPA, application renewals, etc.) Federal and State financial aid will be determined as a result of the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Students must be otherwise in good academic, student code of conduct, and financial standing. All program admission requirements, programmatic and degree requirements, departmental student handbook and accreditation requirements, at the time of student’s return, will apply. Policy may be appealed under certain circumstances.

Upon formal approval of the leave, a specific termination date by which a student must either re-enroll or request an extension is assigned. An extension of the approved leave of absence can be applied for by emailing the Office of Retention at [email protected] with a request for the amount of additional time needed. A leave of absence, including extensions, is not given for more than two years during the time a student is pursuing an undergraduate degree. A student who does not re-enroll by the end of the approved leave of absence is considered to have voluntarily withdrawn from the University. The maximum of two years allowed on leave of absence applies even when those semesters are not consecutive.

Forms requesting a leave of absence are available online; student must then obtain the signatures of the Student Accounts Office, Advising Center and meet with the Office of Retention.

Medical Withdrawal


Any registered student who experiences medical trauma or chronic illness that may prevent completing the semester may apply for a medical withdrawal from the University. A medical withdrawal request must be filed with the Registrar’s Office prior to the start of final exams and must include documentation submitted from a physician or psychologist trained in the diagnosis of the medical condition.

A qualifying medical condition, as determined by the physician or psychologist, must prevent the student from participating in all classes remaining during the current semester. A medical withdrawal is a complete withdrawal from the University. The supporting documentation from a physician or psychologist accompanying the medical withdrawal request must be submitted on official letterhead from the physician or psychologist and must be addressed to the Gardner- Webb University Registrar. The medical documentation must also include the physician or psychologist’s name, title, professional credentials, license and certification number, and should address the following:

  • Specific diagnoses and findings.
  • Date the examination, assessment, and or evaluation was performed.
  • In the event that the medical withdrawal is the result of an injury or accident, the date the injury or accident occurred.
  • In the event the medical withdrawal is due to chronic illness, the date the illness made it necessary to stop attending classes

A student will be notified of the decision following the review of the medical documentation. If the request is approved, the student will receive a final grade of “W” for each class (except in instances of Academic Dishonesty).

Upon medical withdrawal from the University, a student must apply for readmission to the University to continue studies. The student must provide documentation from the same physician or psychologist, when possible, stating the student is able to continue studies at the University. This documentation should follow the same format as the above.