When registering for the semester, few students expect to change their course selections. It’s only when they have some classes under their belt that regret and reality set in. Maybe it turns out that Stats and Anatomy in the same semester are just too much, or the elective you thought was going to be a perfect fit with your major doesn’t mesh with your degree plans at all. Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, when you want to get your semester back on track, it’s important to understand Mason policy regarding adding, dropping, and withdrawing from classes.
What are your options for course changes, when can you use them, and what are the repercussions of each? Find out below!
** You can find all Add/Drop deadlines here. Please note that the dates and guidelines below apply only to full-semester 15-week courses. Courses shorter than 15 weeks will have different deadlines found here.
Adding a Course
The Upside: You can add to your course load or replace a dropped class.
The Downside: If you’re adding a course after the start of the semester, chances are you have missed a few class sessions and will need to catch up. Pro tip: Stop by your instructor’s office hours to introduce yourself and ask questions about the syllabus and expectations.
The Deadline: Monday, January 30, 2023
Dropping a Course
The Upside: You have a chance to evaluate your class and your course load without any financial penalties or impact on your transcript. It’s as if the class never happened. If you drop at the FIRST drop deadline and have already paid, your tuition is fully refundable. If you drop at the SECOND drop deadline and have already paid, 50% of your tuition is refundable.
The Downside: You may need to replace the dropped class by adding a new class in order to maintain your enrollment status, financial aid, and housing eligibility.
- Monday, February 6, 2023 (100% Tuition Refund)
- Monday, February 13, 2023 (50% Tuition Refund)
Unrestricted Withdrawal Period
The Upside: Withdrawing from a class results in a W on your transcript. This is much better than the alternative of an F. The W has no impact on your overall GPA.
The Downside: No tuition is refunded when you withdraw from a course. A withdrawal also counts toward the number of credits attempted on your academic record. This is probably not a big deal if you only withdraw from one or two courses over the span of your entire degree, but students must successfully complete at least 67% of the credits they have attempted to maintain the Satisfactory Academic Progress needed to qualify for financial aid and to maintain good academic standing.
** Reminder: We suggest you check in with your academic advisor and/or financial aid counselor before withdrawing from a course.
The Deadline: All students may withdraw from a class via Patriot Web from Tuesday, February 14 – Monday, February 27, 2023
Selective Withdrawal Period
The Upside: The benefits are the same as an Unrestricted Withdrawal but with the added bonus of more time to try to ace the midterm and boost your grade. Undergraduates may use a maximum of three selective withdrawals for any reason over the entire course of their degree.
The Downside: Sorry graduate students, Selective Withdrawals are ONLY FOR UNDERGRADUATES. Like Unrestricted Withdrawals, Selective Withdrawals don’t come with tuition refunds and the course still counts toward your attempted credit hours.
The Deadline: Undergraduates can use a Selective Withdrawal from February 28 – April 3, 2023
Students can add, drop, and withdraw from classes online via Patriot Web. However – and we cannot say this enough – if you’re making significant changes to your schedule, make an appointment to see your advisor! The beginning of the semester is a busy time for you and your academic advisor, but many offer walk-in or virtual office hours, and even those who don’t may be able to find time to give a little guidance via email. A conversation with your advisor can help ensure that your course changes won’t have a negative impact on your degree path, financial aid, or housing status.
Do you still have questions about add, drop, and withdrawal policy? The College of Education and Human Development Office of Student and Academic Affairs is here to help! Email us at email@example.com!