Withdrawal with Cause

What is a Withdrawal With Cause (WC)?

A WC designation is a ‘Withdrawal with Cause’ record on your transcript which indicates a course withdrawal in case of serious illness or extenuating circumstances. A WC can occur following the last day to drop classes (extended drop) up until the last day of classes.

According to the University of Lethbridge Calendar:
The designation ‘WC’ is recorded only in case of serious illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student, which make continuation in a course impossible and where an ‘Incomplete’ designation is not in order. For admitted students, the ‘WC’ is recorded only on application to the Faculty Advising Office.

Why would I request a WC?

A WC shows future transcript reviewers that your course withdrawal was due to extraordinary circumstances. For some students, a new or ongoing health issue has caused problems during the semester; for others, emotional problems like grief or a mental health issue has interfered with academic success.

Are there alternatives to a WC?

After the add/drop deadline, you can Withdraw, Withdraw with Cause, or apply for an Incomplete, depending on your circumstances. You can refer to the U of L Calendar or meet with your Academic Advisor to see which best fits your situation.

If I decide that I want to pursue a WC, what should I do?

First, email your Academic Advisor to set up an appointment to discuss your situation and determine eligibility. Your advisor will request supporting documentation (information or paperwork from a physician, counsellor, or other source) to accompany the Withdrawal form. Keep in mind that each request is reviewed individually and requests are granted by the Faculty on a case-by-case basis. Students who request a complete withdrawal with cause may be asked to sign an acknowledgement form and may be asked to submit a medical clearance form prior to returning to your studies.

Where can I get documentation to support my WC request?

The University of Lethbridge’s Counselling Services offers confidential appointments to assess personal and academic situations, and the U of L Health Centre provides nurse and physician care. Supporting documentation can come from on-campus of off-campus offices. Please note that documentation from counsellors and physicians is often titled ‘Recommendation for Withdrawal for Medical Causes’ which is meant to be a support to you in your request for a WC, however, it does not guarantee an automatic granting of the request.

I am returning to school after a Withdrawal with Cause and I’m being asked for documentation updating my illness/extenuating circumstance. Why?

In order to ensure that you are well enough to return to school and succeed, the Advising office may request that you see a physician/counsellor to get a note regarding your current health.

Where can I get assistance?

Academic Advising


Counselling Services
counselling.services@uleth.ca; 403-317-2845; TH217

Health Centre
health.centre@uleth.ca; 403-329-2484; SU020