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Dropping a Course

Drop a Course

Dropping a course means removing a course from your current schedule. Students can drop a course from their schedule during a drop period, without penalty. There are two course drop deadlines each semester: the regular drop deadline and the late drop deadline. Courses dropped during the regular drop period will not appear on your academic record. Courses you late drop will be entered with a notation of the late drop on your academic record. There are academic and financial implications for dropping a course before each of these deadlines, and your advisor and financial aid representative can help you consider how dropping a course may impact you. Information from the Registrar's Office about dropping courses can be found here: Adding, Dropping, and Auditing Courses. Course add and drop periods can be found on the Academic Calendar or in LionPATH. For specific World Campus procedures regarding dropping a course, please see Dropping a Course.

Please also see the Tuition Adjustment Schedule. This schedule is not very forgiving. If you drop a course beyond the first couple of days of the term, you will owe money for the course.

Withdraw From a Semester

Withdrawing means to unregister for the entire semester. Students who wish to drop the last/only course from their schedule should go through the withdrawal process. The process of a withdrawal is defined as dropping all registered courses for the current semester or session. A withdrawal will delay normal degree progress, may affect academic programming, and may have financial implications for students with loans or financial aid. It is suggested that a degree-seeking student contact his/her academic program of study to discuss alternatives to withdrawing before proceeding. Information from the Graduate School about the withdrawal process can be found at: Withdrawal Process.

Students who choose to withdraw for a semester, or who are absent from their academic career for one spring or fall semester, are required to file to resume their studies in order to be able to take courses again. The application to resume studies can be found here: Resume Study.

Defer a Grade

If a major life event makes you unable to complete course assignments on schedule, Penn State policy allows instructors to temporarily defer grades (see the Graduate School Grading System Policy).

To request a deferred grade ("DF"), submit your request in writing to your instructor by e-mail. Important points of emphasis to keep in mind:

  • What constitutes an extenuating circumstance worthy of a deferred grade is at the instructor's discretion. What one instructor sees as worthy, another may not.
  • You and the instructor will agree to a revised schedule of deadlines (up to a maximum of 12 weeks from the end of the term).
  • A deferred grade automatically reverts to an F if no grade update has been provided after 12 weeks.
  • Students who obtain a grade deferral should avoid enrolling in other courses until the DF is resolved.
  • Do not wait until the end of the course to request a deferred grade.