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Department of Biological Sciences


To Withdraw or Not to Withdraw

The following questions are designed to help you through the decision making process of keeping or withdrawing from a course. The last day to withdraw from a course is generally towards the end of October for the fall semester and towards the end of March for the spring semester. For specific dates check the syllabus attachment for the current academic year.

Gather information

  • What is my current situation in the class?
    • What grade have I earned at this point?
    • How much time and effort have I put into the course?
    • How much of the final grade is already determined?
  • What do I need to do to improve my situation?
  • What does the professor recommend?
  • How much more time/effort do I need to invest?
  • How well do I need to do on future tests/papers?

Identify options

  • What are my chances of passing the class? of getting a C ?
  • Will I still have at least 12 credits after dropping this class? (You must carry at least 12 credits to be considered a full-time student.) If not, how will dropping down to part-time status affect my financial aid (Financial Aid Office: 341-5457)? If I am a varsity athlete and I go below 12 hours, I will immediately have to stop playing and practicing with the team.
  • Courses with a grade of W count as attempted courses.  Recent change in the federal rules for financial aid stipulate that a certain percentage of attempted courses must be completed to get future financial aid.  Check with the Financial Aid Office for the most up-to-date information on accepatble academic progress.
  • Will dropping to part-time status affect medical coverage (insurance)? Housing (can I remain in the residence hall; Residential Life Office: 341-5264)? Car insurance (if covered under your parents insurance)?


Consider the consequences of those options

  • What are the consequences of earning a D grade in the class? At least a C is required for EG 101, EG 102, and for math MA 110 (some majors).
  • Is this course a prerequisite for something else I need to take? (Do I need a C in this course for it to satisfy the prerequisite requirement?) Is my foundation solid enough to do well in the next course?
  • How will my performance in other classes be affected if I invest additional time and energy into this class? How will dropping this class affect other classes?
  • What are the consequences of having a W on my transcript? A couple of W's on a transcript probably won't attract much attention. However, a pattern of W's is quite noticeable and may raise questions.
  • If I drop the class, will I have trouble making up the credits? Will I need to go to summer school? Will I be off in the sequence of courses I need for my major?