A Student's Guide to Hospitalization

If you have been admitted to a hospital or were recently discharged, you may be confused or worried about what this means for your academics. You could be concerned that you will fall behind in learning course material, miss submitting an assignment, or even about how your attendance will impact your grade. Student Outreach & Support, a unit of the Office of the Dean of Students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, is a resource to help you both while you are in the hospital and once you leave.

There are many reasons why someone may be hospitalized. We have created a brief guide for the services we can offer and things you should consider. If you were previously hospitalized and have not notified the University or your professors, please visit the website below to learn how to contact your professors and when to ask Student Outreach & Support for help.


If you, your family, or someone at the hospital have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the case manager at (423) 425-4301 or by emailing sos@utc.edu

For a downloadable version of this guide, please click this link.

Hospitalization for mental health concerns is very common for college students. It is important to remember that, while there may be stigma surrounding mental health diagnoses, it does not mean that you cannot be successful! For some students, withdrawing from the semester and taking some time away to focus on their well-being is the best option. For others, returning to classes could be better. Staff in Student Outreach & Support are here to help you make the decision that works best for you.

Some important things to consider while you are in the hospital:

  • Consider signing a release of information that would allow your counselor, social worker or other hospital staff to contact the University’s case manager. The case manager would then know about your hospitalization and could begin contacting your instructors to let them know that you are unable to attend classes due to being in the hospital. The notification will not include a diagnosis and you will receive a copy in your UTC email.
  • Your mental health is more important than your grades! Do not rush your hospital stay in order to get back to classes. If your doctor recommends you stay longer or that you withdraw, you should consider that this is their area of expertise. They don’t want you to fail, more importantly they want you to get better and ultimately be more productive in your classes once you are ready to return!
  • Student Outreach & Support does not provide counseling. The case manager can work to help you find a provider in the community or connect you to the Counseling Center on-campus (so long as you fall within their scope of service).
  • The case manager is happy to schedule a time to talk to you while you are in the hospital to go over your options or any questions you may have.
  • NOTE: Student Outreach & Support is not a confidential resource, however all of your information will remain private as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

We all get sick from time to time and sometimes it is more serious than others. If your illness does not result in hospitalization for more than two days, it is necessary that you (the student) contact your instructors.

If you are hospitalized for more than two days, it may be a good idea to get in touch with Student Outreach & Support in order to notify your instructors and learn about your options for continuing your semester. If you have access, visit www.utc.edu/dean-students/studentoutreach/academicnotification.php for tips on how to talk to your faculty or to submit a request for academic notification if needed. 

Note: The abovelisted information does not apply to students who are pregnant and/or parenting.

UTC’s Policy on Educational Accommodations for Pregnant Students provides accommodations for pregnancy, recovery from childbirth, and other related conditions. For more information, click here.