Grading Policy Manual: University Academic Grading Policies -- Withdrawal Grades

Students may drop and/or add courses by following instructions and adhering to deadlines set by the Registrar  each semester.  External Link Change of Schedule (drop/add) forms are available in departments and can also be printed in .pdf format on the Office of the Registrar's Web site.  To see when a Change of Schedule form is required, see External Link Dates and Deadlines.

As of the first day of classes and through the last day of registration for credit, as stated in the Academic Calendar a student may not add a course with a Change of Schedule form without the permission and the signature of the course instructor.

Fall & Spring Semesters (16-week courses):

Course withdrawals before the first deadline, at the end of the second week of classes (the tenth day of regularly scheduled classes), result in cancellation of registration in the course.  The course enrollment is deleted from the student's permanent record.

For course withdrawals filed between the first and second withdrawal deadlines--at the end of the tenth week of classes--a grade of W is awarded, regardless of whether the student is passing at the time of withdrawal.  No approval is needed.  Students use UAccess Student Self-Service to withdraw from a course.  The W will appear on the student's permanent record, but it does not affect the student's grade-point-average (GPA).

The second withdrawal deadline is normally the student's last opportunity to drop a course, except for an extraordinary reason approved by the course instructor and student's college dean via a Late Change Petition.  With the college dean's approval, undergraduates may drop a course from the eleventh through the thirteenth week of regularly scheduled classes.  Any approved Late Change Petitions must be submitted to the Registrar prior to the final examination period.   

Summer & Winter Session courses, and courses with non-standard start-and-end dates: 

The Registrar determines the first and second withdrawal deadlines for shorter terms and for courses with non-standard start-and-end dates.  Those deadlines are based on the length of the session (or the course); see theExternal LinkDates & Deadlines.

Courses dropped before the first deadline result in cancellation of registration; the student's enrollment in the course is deleted from the permanent record.  Courses dropped between the first and second withdrawal deadlines result in a grade of W, regardless of whether the student is passing at the time of withdrawal.  No approval is needed to withdraw before the second deadline.  Students use UAccess Student Self-Service to withdraw from a course.  The W grade will appear the student's permanent record, but it does not affect the student's GPA.  Specific withdrawal deadlines for shorter or non-standard terms are published in the External LinkDates & Deadlines.

The two drop deadlines for courses with extended terms (i.e., those extending 5 or more months) are proportional with those set for the Fall or Spring Semester. 

The second deadline to drop a course is normally the student's last opportunity to withdraw, except for an extraordinary reason approved by the course instructor and student's college dean via a Late Change Petition.  With the college dean's approval, undergraduates may drop a course with shorter or non-standard start-and-end dates--prior to the final examination period.  

For professional students in the colleges of Law and Medicine, course withdrawals are governed by regulations established by the respective college faculties.

Unit Maximum on Course Withdrawals: 

5/7/14 Note: The 18-unit cap on course withdrawals applies to all undergraduates, effective in Fall 2014; that is, the count of W grades begins for all incoming, continuing, and readmitted undergraduates in September 2014.

The number of undergraduate course withdrawals (drops) cannot exceed 18 units during the student's undergraduate career.  The 18-unit maximum applies to all courses dropped with a W grade.  The W grade is awarded for all withdrawals between the first and final withdrawal deadlines--from the third week through the thirteenth week of a regular semester (including W grades awarded for administrative drops or for approved Late Change Petitions).

Undergraduate Complete Withdrawal from the University

5/7/14 Note: The WC grade for complete withdrawals is effective for all undergraduates beginning in Fall 2014.

A complete withdrawal from the University is defined as leaving the University by dropping all classes after having paid registration fees. This option for undergraduates only applies to the Fall and Spring (regular) Semesters.  During the regular semester, students are allowed seven days to complete the withdrawal process after initiating the procedure External Linkonline through the Registrar's Office.  Complete withdrawals cannot be initiated after the last day of classes of the semester and must be completed before the beginning of the final examination period. If a student withdraws from all classes before the end of the second week of the semester, all classes are deleted from the student's permanent record for the term.  If a student withdraws from the University from the third week of classes and before the final exam period, the student will receive a grade of WC (withdrawal-complete) for each class processed in the complete withdrawal, regardless of whether the student is passing at the time of withdrawal.  Grades for a complete withdrawal appear on the permanent record but are not included in the student's grade average or in the W unit maximum.

Students are encouraged to consult with their advisor prior to submitting the online withdrawal request to discuss the consequences of this action.  The External Link Withdrawal from the University section in the Schedule of Classes provides detailed instructions, deadlines, and refund information.

Graduate and Professional Complete Withdrawal from the University

11/4/14 Note: The WC grade for complete withdrawals is effective for all graduate/professional students beginning Spring 2015.

A complete withdrawal from the University is defined as leaving the University by dropping all classes after having paid registration fees. This option for graduate and professional students only applies to the Fall and Spring (regular) Semesters.  During the regular semester, students are allowed seven days to complete the withdrawal process after initiating the procedure External Linkonline through the Registrar's Office.  Complete withdrawals cannot be initiated after the last day of classes of the semester and must be completed before the beginning of the final examination period. If a graduate or professional student withdraws from all classes before the end of the fourth week of the semester, all classes are deleted from the student's permanent record for the term.  If the student withdraws from the University from the fifth week of classes and before the final exam period, the student will receive a grade of WC (withdrawal-complete) for each class processed in the complete withdrawal, regardless of whether the student is passing at the time of withdrawal.  WC grades appear on the permanent record but are not included in the student's grade average.

Students should be aware that withdrawal from all courses might adversely affect their financial aid and visa status and their eligibility for fellowships, awards, scholarships, and graduate assistantships.  For this reason, students are urged to consult with their advisors in their home departments prior to submitting the online withdrawal request.  The External Link Withdrawal from the University section in the Schedule of Classes provides detailed instructions, deadlines, and refund information.

Medical Withdrawal

Withdrawals filed before the first deadline at the end of the second week of classes (Fall and Spring Semesters), result in cancellation of registration in all courses. Since there is no record of enrollment, the Medical Withdrawal is unnecessary.

Medical withdrawal after the tuition refund deadline (after the fourth week of classes), should be initiated with theExternal Link Campus Health Service. Adequate medical documentation from a licensed health care provider in support of the medical withdrawal must be submitted to Campus Health by the student. Procedures and instructions for completing a medical withdrawal may be obtained from theExternal LinkCampus Health Service.

A student requesting a retroactive medical withdrawal after the last day of classes must attach a signed Medical Withdrawal Form from the Campus Health Service to the petition for a retroactive withdrawal. Undergraduates must submit aExternal Link General Petition to the University Petition Committee, while graduate students must submit aExternal Link Graduate Petition to the Graduate College.

Exception: The University offers accelerated, professional and special degree programs that are sometimes supported by outside donors or organizations. Because of the nature of these programs, students may not be entitled to any refunds of tuition or fees, irrespective of the reason for the withdrawal. It is the student's responsibility to know the terms and conditions of such accelerated or special programs in which they are enrolled.

Note: Students who withdraw from the University for medical reasons and who are medically encumbered must have their readmission approved by the Campus Health Service.

Retroactive Withdrawal

Under appropriate circumstances, undergraduate students may petition for a complete retroactive withdrawal from all classes for a previous semester, and may, in rare circumstances, consider a petition for partial retroactive withdrawal.  Petitions for retroactive withdrawal are only available before the student's degree is awarded.

Students may petition for a complete retroactive withdrawal based on either extenuating circumstances (Retroactive Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances), or for other reasons that do not rise to that level (General Retroactive Withdrawal).  Neither unsatisfactory performance nor failure to take action within published deadlines constitutes an adequate reason for any type of retroactive withdrawal.  Other restrictions, along with filing procedures, are available on the External LinkGeneral Petitions site.

The time limit for filing a petition for a retroactive withdrawal either for extenuating circumstances or other reasons is typically one year from the last day of class of the semester for which the retroactive withdrawal is sought.  If a student demonstrates good cause for being unable to file a petition within this one year period, then the time period may be extended.  If a petition for retroactive withdrawal is approved, the student will receive a WC grade for all classes to which the retroactive withdrawal relates during the semester for which the student sought the withdrawal.

For the graduate student policy on retroactive withdrawal, see the External LinkGraduate Catalog.

Dismissal from Courses or from the University

Reprehensible conduct or failure to comply with university regulations may result in a student's dismissal from a course or from the University at any time. The Dean of Students Office is responsible for this procedure. Such action may be posted on the student's academic record. Students suspended from the University are denied student privileges during the period of suspension, and may not register for online or correspondence work except with permission of the dean of the college in which they have previously registered. They may not enroll in UA Outreach College courses, nor establish credit by examination during the period of suspension.

For further information about these policies contact yourExternal Link academic advisor or:

External Link Office of the Registrar
The University of Arizona
Administration Building, Room 210
Phone:  (520) 621-3113
Email: REG-reghelp@email.arizona.edu