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Undergraduate Policy on Course Withdrawals
Five "W"-grades Limit
FAQs for Students

A summary of the withdrawal policy changes:

Effective Fall 2011, all undergraduate students will be limited to a total of five course withdrawals while enrolled as a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking undergraduate student at USF. The five course withdrawals will be restricted to three course withdrawals for students with less than or equal to 59 earned semester credit hours, and two course withdrawals for students with 60 or more earned semester credit hours. Only in extenuating circumstances will approval be granted for more than five course withdrawals. Appeals for additional course withdrawals due to extenuating circumstances must be submitted to the Academic Regulations Committee in the college of the student's academic major.

Frequently Asked Questions (click on question for answer)

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1. To whom does the policy apply?
The policy applies to ALL undergraduate students - current, transfer, first year students, and post-baccalaureate - regardless of when they first enrolled. It does not apply to students in graduate programs.
2. When does the policy take effect?
The policy takes effect in Fall semester 2011. The new withdrawal limits apply to all undergraduate students from that point forward, regardless of how long they have attended USF.
3. What withdrawals will not count under this policy?
  • All withdrawals granted through an ARC petition for medical, mental health, or military issues with the grade WC or "withdrawal with cause" are not counted in the total.
  • Any course withdrawals taken at USF any semester PRIOR to Fall semester 2011 are NOT COUNTED in the total, but continue to be reflected on the student's transcript.
  • Course withdrawals at other institutions are not counted in the total.
4. Is there a time limit for using withdrawals?
Yes. All students, new and continuing, will have 5 withdrawals; three (3) at freshman/sophomore status (59 earned hours or less), and two (2) at junior/senior status (60 or more earned hours). NOTE: Unused withdrawals during freshman/sophomore year do not increase the number of withdrawals available during junior/senior year.
5. If I drop a lecture and lab together, does that count as two (2) 'W's?
No, it doesn't need to. If a student is dropping a class which requires concurrent enrollment in another class (e.g., lecture/lab combination), this will be considered a single instance, but only if both are dropped within the same term.
6. What happens once I reach the withdrawal limit?
After the 'W' limit is reached, students will be blocked from further course withdrawals by the University's registration system. Requests for more than the course withdrawal limit must be requested through a petition to the Academic Regulation Committee in the college of the student's major, http://www.ugs.usf.edu/arc/ A Personal Statement with supporting documentation must be attached to an Academic Regulations Petition form. The Personal Statement should address why the student needs to withdraw, what changes will be made to complete the course in the future, and when the course deficit will be corrected.
7. How can I find out more about how the policy on dropping courses affects me?
You may consult with your academic advisor for any questions you may have about how your coursework decisions may affect your specific degree plan and your academic career. All academic advisors are listed at http://www.ugs.usf.edu/student/advisingcontacts.htm Students who have not yet declared a major, or who may be changing majors, may contact an advisor through the Transitional Advising Center (TRAC). You can read more about the University's drop and withdrawal policy at http://www.ugs.usf.edu/catalogs/1112/pdf/DropsWithdrawals.pdf

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