Student Withdrawal from the University

Effective: August 8, 2017
Reviewed/Updated: January 7, 2021
Contact: Office of the Registrar


From time to time circumstances may arise that make students unable to continue their enrollment as an ISU student for the remainder of the current term. If the timing of this occurs after the first day of the term or any point prior to finals week, students must initiate the withdrawal process in order to formally discontinue their university enrollment.  This is a collaborative process that requires student responsibility, student affairs and academic affairs partnership, and central coordination.  

Policy Statement

Undergraduate, graduate and professional students seeking to withdraw from Iowa State University as defined by this policy must comply with the processes established by the Office of the Registrar.  Withdrawal from the university is categorized in four classifications, each with distinct processes and documentation requirements.  These classifications include:

  • Standard Withdrawal,
  • Medical Withdrawal,
  • Out of Term Withdrawal, and
  • University Initiated Withdrawal.  

Further, additional guidelines for returning to the university may apply for students who repeatedly request withdrawal to ensure appropriate support services are in place to facilitate student success.  The applicable procedures and processes for each withdrawal classification are maintained by the Office of the Registrar.  See Resources below.  

Cancellation of course registration prior to the first day of the term (“Course Cancellation” or “Withdrawal from Admission”) is not within the purview of this policy.