What Are the Consequences of Withdrawing?
If a student opts to withdraw from a class it can impact their ability to enroll in subsequent classes and graduate on schedule, as well as affect financial aid.
- If the class is a prerequisite to successive classes or to the students major, withdrawing can prevent the student from registering for the next series of classes or from progressing in their major.
- Some classes are only offered specific semesters or years; withdrawing can delay progress toward graduation if the class is required and not offered again for some time.
- Withdrawing from classes, leaving a student enrolled below full-time status, can have a negative effect on financial aid and satisfactory progress requirements; students should contact their financial aid advisor before opting to withdraw.
- While grades of W are not punitive to a student's GPA, a pattern of withdrawals each semester may be viewed negatively by future employers, graduate schools, or professional programs.
Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor before withdrawing from any class to discuss the consequences on their progress toward degree. Degree audits give students a tool to view degree requirements and should be consulted when meeting with their academic advisor. Degree audits are updated 24 hours after withdrawing to reflect the current progress toward degree.
What Does a Grade of W Mean?
A grade of W designates withdrawal from an individual class and does not affect GPA. Withdrawals do not count as failing grades. Grades of W are recorded on a student's transcript for class withdrawals after the tenth day of the semester. A grade of W is simply recording that the student started a class and did not complete it.
Is There a Limit To the Number of W's?
Undergraduate and non-degree seeking students are limited to 21 credits of withdrawal over their entire career. Graduate, law, and medical students are not limited in their withdrawals. Students are cautioned that withdrawing from classes repeatedly can delay completion of degree requirements.
Will My Transcript Look Bad with W's?
A transcript is a record of the student's academic work each semester and a W grade does not have an effect on the GPA. Applications to graduate or professional programs, such as law or medical schools, will review a student's transcript for admission but since W grades are not punitive they are not converted to a failing grade.
A full semester withdrawal from all classes does not result in W grades and therefore does not count toward the limit. Visit the Semester Withdrawal page for details.