Definition: Withdrawing from all courses you are taking during the current semester OR completing the current semester but deciding not to return to classes for the next academic semester

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I withdraw from my classes in the middle of the semester?

Each semester has a withdrawal deadline that is just prior to the final four weeks of classes. Students may sometimes withdraw after this time, but must obtain special permission per regulations in their academic college. Student must obtain the appropriate signatures to withdraw their entire registration. The signatures will vary by college and by the student’s individual circumstances.

What is the general process to withdraw my entire registration?

  1. Obtain Student Withdrawal Card from the Registrar Service Center (17 Calvin Hall)
  2. Obtain all necessary signatures, including a signature from International Student and Scholar Services
  3. Submit Student Withdrawal Card to the Registrar Service Center (17 Calvin Hall)

What happens to my academic record after I withdraw from my classes?

Your academic record will indicate that you withdrew for a given semester. You will not receive grades or academic credit for the courses you had been enrolled in prior to withdrawing your registration for that given semester.

Are there any ramifications to my J-1 record if I choose to withdraw my registration during the current semester?

You must notify an advisor in International Student and Scholar Services of your intent to withdraw.

This can be done when you bring the Student Withdrawal Card to ISSS for a signature; but we recommend meeting an advisor before you make the decision to withdraw your registration. As soon as you submit your withdrawal request to the Office of the Registrar, you must be prepared to depart the U.S.

I did complete the semester, but now I’ve decided I want to take some time off. When do I need to depart the U.S.?

If you are still here in Iowa City, please come in to our office to discuss your plans before departure. If you have already left the U.S. prior to discussing your situation, please e-mail us as soon as possible at isss@uiowa.edu. If you fail to notify our office of your plans in a timely manner, your record will auto-terminate for failure to enroll.

Are there any ramifications to my J-1 record if I decide to take some time off?

Yes. You may not remain in the U.S. in J-1 status if you do not intend to register during the next academic term. (Exception: Continuing J-1 students are not required to enroll during the summer registration period). If you decide to take some time off, please discuss your plans with the ISSS.

How can I return after my absence?

In order to return the University of Iowa as a J-1 student after taking time off from your academic program, you will need to obtain a new DS-2019 and apply for a new J-1 visa, which will also require payment of the SEVIS fee. Please contact an ISSS advisor for more information.

Other Absences

Study Abroad or Research Abroad

If you will be absent from the U.S. for an extended period of time, but will be registered in an official study abroad program OR you will be maintaining your registration at the University of Iowa while doing research/working on your dissertation, your SEVIS record will not be terminated, provided you continue to maintain status and agree to meet certain requirements.

  • For students conducting research abroad, you must maintain full-time enrollment or be authorized for part-time enrollment by ISSS each semester you are absent (12 s.h. for undergraduates and 9 s.h. for graduate students). If you pursue part-time enrollment, you must turn in the appropriate part-time authorization form located on the ISSS website no later than the second week of the semester
  • For students studying abroad, please ask for a verification form from your Study Abroad advisor.
  • You are encouraged to e-mail isss@uiowa.edu at least one month prior to returning to confirm your SEVIS record is active and you will be able to return successfully.