About Medical Withdrawal Support Letters

As everyone knows, college can be stressful. At UH Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), we recognize that students face a number of potential stressors during their college years, both on- and off-campus. Taking care of yourself, emotionally as well as physically, is a key component to a successful college experience.  Sometimes unexpected circumstances, changes in your emotional or physical health, and family crises, for example, can negatively affect your ability to be successful.  At times like these, we strongly encourage you to contact CAPS for counseling services to support you through the crisis and help you get back on track academically.  The sooner you get help, the better the chances of preventing further problems such as failing grades, academic probation or suspension, loss of financial aid, or loss of a student visa.

What if it’s too late to get back on track?

If it is past the deadline to drop/withdraw from courses, you may consider a medical withdrawal from a semester’s classes in certain instances.  For more information, please see the following resource page: uh.edu/provost/policies/student/

If you have further questions about this process, you can contact the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs (UAA) at 713/743-9112.

Where does UH CAPS come in?

In order to receive a medical withdrawal, you will be required to provide a letter of support from a doctor, psychiatrist, or other licensed mental health provider.  The letter provides documentation to assist the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs in their decision making about your medical withdrawal request.  In certain circumstances, if you are an enrolled student at UH, a CAPS clinician may provide such a letter for you.  See below to determine if a CAPS clinician is the best choice to assist you with a support letter:

  • If you have past experience working with a mental health provider, then that person may be your best choice for a support letter, since they will already have knowledge about your situation prior to and leading up to your request for a medical withdrawal.
  • If you have current or past experience working with a UH CAPS clinician, then that person may be able to assist you with a support letter.
  • If you have not had any experience working with a mental health professional, you can choose a private provider in the community or see a CAPS clinician about your interest in a support letter.

How can I get a support letter through UH CAPS?

If you choose a CAPS clinician to assist you with a support letter, you must follow the steps below:

  • Consult with the Program Coordinator at UH Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and follow their recommendations regarding all available options for addressing your academic concerns. 
  • Get advising from any applicable UH departments about the potential consequences a medical withdrawal could have on your future academic plans.  These could include the following, depending on your particular circumstances:
  • Academic Advising
  • Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
  • Veterans Services
  • Office of International Student and Scholar Services
  • Student Housing and Residential Life
  • If you are currently seeing, or have seen in the past, a CAPS clinician, please contact CAPS to make an appointment with that clinician.
  • If you are new to CAPS, please complete the application for a medical withdrawal support letter before your Initial Appointment at CAPS. If you have any questions or are having trouble filling out the application, your CAPS clinician will be happy to assist you with this process at your initial appointment.

Please Note:

  • It can take several sessions and/or up to 60 days for a CAPS clinician to determine if you meet the criteria for a support letter. 
  • CAPS reserves the right to refuse your request if you do not meet with a CAPS clinician about your request for a support letter within 60 days of the last day of the semester for which you have requested a medical withdrawal.
  • Obtaining a support letter from CAPS is not a guarantee that your request will be granted.  Final decision about granting the medical withdrawal is made by the UH Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.