Medical Excuses and Withdrawals

Medical Excuses from Class:

Students will receive an automatic notification that they were seen in the Health Service.  Privacy regulations prohibit us from releasing any information without the patient's permission.  However, the student may share information they were seen, along with the automatic notification.  

On the Academic Affairs website, under the Syllabi Policy and Statement Information page, all course syllabi should include the following: The Student Health Services DOES NOT write medical excuses for students who miss a class for illness or injury. However, faculty may call Student Health Services at (828) 262-3100 to verify the day and time the student was seen. The nature of the student's illness or problem will not be divulged unless the student has signed the appropriate release of medical information.

A complete document of the Attendance Policy, including the above statement, can be found at this link.

Medical Withdrawal

The policy for medical withdrawal and retroactive withdrawal has changed.

Please see the Office of the Registrar for details.  They can be contacted through their website at


All full withdrawals (including for medical reasons) are handled by enrollment management/registrar’s office. Retroactive medical withdrawals are also handled by enrollment management.    For details for the process of full retroactive withdrawal, please see:

Student seeking full withdrawal for medical reasons do NOT need to be seen at Student Health.  Again, the process is entirely through the Registrar’s office! 

Currently, requests for retroactive class load reductions after that date are handled differently than requests for complete withdrawal. 

Requests for retroactive courseload reductions -(again dropping one or some but not all classes)- are handled as follows:

1)   Submit a personal statement detailing your request.   This should include the term(s) that you are requesting retroactive courseload reduction for and how many classes and credit hours you are requesting reduction of.    It should also detail what medical issues led to your request. There should be details about the medical issue and how that issue impacted class attendance and academics.  The statement should also detail WHY you did not seek to drop the class through the regular withdrawal path during the term in question. 

2)  Also, submit a statement from a medical provider that substantiates medical claims.   The statement should be on that practice's letterhead and the clinician's qualifications should be stated.    It should give details on medical issues leading to the request.  The statement should not be from a family member or friend.   If a statement cannot be obtained, other medical records (from clinic or ER visits) might be considered.   If you got care at Student Health, you may provide written permission for the committee to review your Student Health medical records/documentation.  

You may submit the above documentation to Student Health and we will get it to the committee to review.  (An appointment at SHS is not required.)  They meet a few times a semester. Once they review your request and make a decision, you would receive an email from them advising of their decision.