What does it mean to drop a course?
If a student wishes to drop a course (or courses), this means that he/she will drop one or more classes from a specific semester or term while still staying enrolled in at least one course. If a student wishes to drop all of his/her classes and not stay enrolled in any classes for a specific semester or term, the student will need to formally withdraw from the semester. For more information about withdrawing, see (withdraw ).
Dropping a course
Students may drop a course or courses* via the MyUW Student Center at any time up until the end of the 9th week of courses (specific deadline dates are listed on the Registrar's website). NCAA student athletes or international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must consult their Fetzer Center advisor (for student athletes) or ISS advisor before dropping below 12 credits.
It is always a good idea to contact your academic advisor before making any drastic changes to your registration or if you are unsure about whether you should keep a class or drop it. Plan ahead! Contact your advisor before the 9th week of classes.
Courses dropped within the first two weeks of classes (usually before the 8th day of classes) during the fall/spring semester do not appear on your transcript. (Please note that the summer session deadlines for dropping a course so a DR does not appear on your record are usually in the first couple of days during the first week of a summer session.) You must consult the appropriate semester or term's Deadlines at a Glance section on the Registrar's homepage for the exact date since DR's will not be erased from a student's records after the official deadline has passed. Courses dropped after this official deadline through the end of the 9th week will appear on your transcript with a DR in place of a grade. This does not affect your grade point average or have any negative implications regarding graduate school or future employment.
A few things to consider:
- It is better to drop a class than to fail it.
- Dropping a class does not mean you are a failure or a quitter.
- Dropping a course and having a DR on your transcript or even a couple of DRs is not a bad thing; it shows that you are a conscientious student and realized that (for whatever reason) the course was not going well and you addressed the problem and solved it as best you could
- Do not expect to do really well on the final exam or remaining homework and papers to bring up your grade in the course dramatically. If the course really hasn't gone well after 8 weeks it is very unlikely that it is going to get dramatically better nearer the end of the semester.
- If you are not sure how you are doing in the course, talk with the instructor or teaching assistant (TA). This is what office hours are for! The instructor or TA might be able to give you advice about whether remaining in the course is a good idea or what you need to do to earn a passing grade.
*If you want to drop all of the courses you are registered for in a particular term you need to withdraw.
It is the College's policy to allow you to drop the course only when verifiable circumstances beyond your control either prevented you from dropping the course before the deadline (e.g., you were hospitalized and the deadline passed while you were there) or prevented you from completing the class (e.g., you broke a leg and won't be able to finish your swimming class).
An example of a circumstance that DOES NOT qualify is "I did not know when the deadline was." The relevant dates are located in the Enrollment Information section on the Registrar's home page. In addition, each L&S student receives an e-mail reminder at the beginning of the 9th week (during Fall and Spring). "I forgot" or "I did not know how I was doing in the class" are also not compelling reasons to be granted a late drop.
We encourage you to assess your performance in each of your classes before the 9-week drop deadline so you are able to make an informed decision about dropping one or more classes. "I just got my mid-term (or second examination/quiz) back after the drop deadline" is not an acceptable or viable reason. Further, a "recommendation" or authorization from the course professor or TA is also not a warrant to drop the class. We will take what you have to say (and what the instructor says) into consideration, but just because a professor or TA gives you permission to drop the course does not mean we will allow it.
What incident or circumstances occurred that negatively impacted your performance in a course?
When did the incident happen or the circumstances occur?
What could you have done to make sure this did not affect your academic performance?
Do you have documentation that verifies what happened and when it happened?
If you think you have circumstances beyond your control, please call the L&S Academic Deans' Services at 608/262-0617 to schedule an appointment to speak with an academic dean if you are an L&S undergraduate student.
Bring documentation supporting your claim to the appointment. Providing documentation is not a guarantee that your request to drop a class will be granted. A dean has the discretion to determine if the circumstances you claim were indeed beyond your control, merits approval and, in fact, prevented you from dropping the class in a timely manner. Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis.