Add/Drop Policy

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Submit an Add or Drop Course Form

ADD/DROP PERIOD

After initial registration, a student may add (register for) one or more additional courses, or drop (cancel registration for) any course for which they are registered during the first full week of the trimester. This period is considered the add/drop period. 

ADDING A COURSE ON OR PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF THE CLASS

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  Students must register for the course by the end of the day on which the course first meets, including labs.  A registration request form or Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. 

Procedure:  Students MUST register online or complete an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form to add the course to their registration. Emailed requests will not be accepted.

Course of Duration other than the Full Trimester

Policy:  Students must register for the course by the end of the day on which the course first meets (including labs).  A registration request form or Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. 

Procedure:  Students MUST register online or complete an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form to add the course to their registration.  Emailed requests will not be accepted.

ADDING A COURSE AFTER THE FIRST DAY

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  Students in good standing may register for a full trimester course by the end of the 2nd day on which the course meets (including labs) with permission and an appropriate signature from one of the individuals noted in the procedures below. 

Procedure:  To add the course, the student must complete a paper copy of the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and obtain a signature of approval from the instructor, if available, or the department chair. Department chairs are encouraged to consult with the instructor prior to approving the request.  Completed paper Add/Drop/Withdrawal Forms should be delivered to the Registrar’s for processing. Emailed requests will not be accepted.

Course of Duration other than the Full Trimester

Policy:  Students in good standing may register for a course of duration other than the full trimester by the end of the 2nd day on which the course meets (including labs) with permission and an appropriate signature from one of the individuals noted in the procedures below.

Procedure:  To add the course, the student must complete a paper copy of the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and obtain a signature of approval from the instructor, if available, or the department chair. Department chairs are encouraged to consult with the instructor prior to approving the request.  Completed paper Add/Drop/Withdrawal Forms should be delivered to the Registrar’s Office for processing. Emailed requests will not be accepted.

ADDING A COURSE AFTER THE SECOND DAY

Full Trimester Course

Policy: A student in good standing may register for a full trimester course after the second meeting of the course, with permission and the appropriate signatures from the individuals noted in the procedures below.

Procedure:  To add the course, the student must complete an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form (available in the Registrar’s Office) and obtain signatures of approval from the University’s academic advisor and both the instructor and the department chair of the course. Completed Add/Drop/Withdrawal Forms should be delivered to the Registrar’s Office for processing. Emailed requests will not be accepted.

Course of Duration other than the Full Trimester

Policy: A student in good standing may register after the second meeting for a course of duration other than a full trimester, with permission and the appropriate signatures from the individuals noted in the procedures below.

 Procedure:  To add the course, the student must complete an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form (available in the Registrar’s Office) and obtain signatures of approval from the University’s academic advisor and both the instructor and the department chair of the course. Completed Add/Drop/Withdrawal Forms should be delivered to the Registrar’s Office for processing. Emailed requests will not be accepted. 

DROPPING OR WITHDRAWALING FROM A COURSE

The difference between dropping a course and/or withdrawing from a course is based on the time at which the student decides to stop participating in a course. If a student decides to stop participating in a course on or BEFORE the last day of the Add/Drop period, it is defined as dropping a course. If a student decides to stop participating in a course AFTER the Add/Drop Period, it is defined as withdrawing from a course.  Completion of an Add/Drop Withdrawal Form is required to officially drop or withdraw from a course.

If a student officially drops a course, the course will no longer appear on the transcript.  If a student withdraws from a course, the course will be included on their transcript with a grade of 'W.' This 'W' indicates to transcript reviewers that the student attempted the course but eventually withdrew prior to completing the course for a letter grade. 'W's do not count towards a student's GPA. Students may withdraw from courses (“required” or elective) up to, but not beyond the equivalent of 60% of the course contact time (e.g., the end of the 9th week in a traditional, 15-week course). University refund policies will apply.  

DROPPING A COURSE

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  Students may drop a full term course without academic penalty before the end of the Add/Drop Period.  The course will no longer appear on the student’s transcript. An Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. The student must include appropriate approval to drop a “required” course.  Emailed requests will not be accepted. Please note: financial aid eligibility may be adjusted according to federal and or state rules and regulations.

Procedure:  Students MUST complete an Official Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form (either online or in paper form) to change their registration.  Students dropping from a “required” course must obtain approval from the University’s academic advisor prior to completion of the form.  Please note:  A signature of approval is required on the paper form.  The paper form must be delivered to the Registrar’s Office for processing.  The date the student signs the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is considered the official drop date for the course.  Failure to attend courses does NOT constitute a drop and does NOT cancel the student's registration or obligation to pay all tuition and related fees for the course.  A change in the credit hours a student is enrolled in may result in a financial aid adjustment. A new award notification will be sent to the student, if applicable.

Course of Duration Other Than the Full Trimester

Policy:  Students may drop a course of duration other that the full trimester without academic penalty by the end of the first day on which the course meets (including labs). The course will no longer appear on the student’s transcript. An Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. The student must include appropriate approval to drop a “required” course.  Please note: financial aid eligibility may be adjusted according to federal and or state rules and regulations.

Procedure:  Students MUST complete an Official Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form (either online or in paper form) to change their registration.  Students dropping from a “required” course must obtain approval from the University’s academic advisor prior to completion of the form.  Please note:  A signature of approval is required on the paper form.  The paper form must be delivered to the Registrar’s Office for processing.  The date the student signs the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is considered the official drop date for the course.  Failure to attend courses does NOT constitute a drop and does NOT cancel the student's registration or obligation to pay all tuition and related fees for the course.  A change in the credit hours a student is enrolled in may result in a financial aid adjustment. A new award notification will be sent to the student, if applicable.

WITHDRAWING FROM A COURSE

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  Students may withdraw from a full trimester course up to, but not beyond the equivalent of 60% of the course contact time (e.g., the end of the 9th week in a traditional, 15-week course). An Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. The student must include appropriate approval to withdraw from a “required” course.  University refund policies will apply.  A grade of "W" will appear on the student’s transcript.  Please note: financial aid eligibility may be adjusted according to federal and or state rules and regulations.

Procedure:  Students MUST complete an Official Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form (either online or in paper form) to change their registration.  Students dropping from a “required” course must obtain approval from the University’s academic advisor prior to completion of the form.  Please note:  A signature of approval is required on the paper form.  The paper form must be delivered to the Registrar’s Office for processing.  The date the student signs the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is considered the official drop date for the course.  Failure to attend courses does NOT constitute a drop and does NOT cancel the student's registration or obligation to pay all tuition and related fees for the course.  A grade of "W" will appear on the student’s transcript.  A change in the credit hours a student is enrolled in may result in a financial aid adjustment. A new award notification will be sent to the student, if applicable.

Course of Duration Other Than the Full Trimester

Policy:  Students may withdraw from a course of duration other than a full trimester beginning the second day the course meets and any time prior to the end of the midpoint of the course (e.g. the end of the 4th week of an 8 week course).  A grade of "W" will appear on the student’s transcript. University refund policies apply. Please note:  financial aid eligibility may be adjusted according to federal and or state rules and regulations.

Procedure:  Students MUST complete an Official Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form (either online or in paper form) to change their registration.  Students dropping from a “required” course must obtain approval from the University’s academic advisor prior to completion of the form.  Please note:  A signature of approval is required on the paper form.  The paper form must be delivered to the Registrar’s Office for processing.  The date the student signs the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is considered the official drop date for the course.  Failure to attend courses does NOT constitute a drop and does NOT cancel the student's registration or obligation to pay all tuition and related fees for the course.  A grade of "W" will appear on the student’s transcript.  A change in the credit hours a student is enrolled in may result in a financial aid adjustment. A new award notification will be sent to the student, if applicable.

LATE WITHDRAWALS/FAILURE TO WITHDRAW

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  A student may not withdraw from a full term course after the 9th week in the trimester or after the course has ended unless highly unusual, extenuating circumstances (beyond the student's control) are established to the satisfaction of the Program Dean of the student's program.

Procedure:  A failing grade (F or U) will be reported if a student stops attending a course and neither officially withdraws from the course prior to the appropriate deadline nor establishes, prior to the end of the term and to the satisfaction of the instructor, that extenuating circumstances prevented completion of the course. If the instructor determines that such extenuating circumstances were present, the instructor may approve the late withdrawal or recommend that the student request an incomplete.  An Incomplete Request Form must be completed by the student and instructor, if applicable. Incomplete Request Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.  Completed forms should be returned to the Registrar’s Office.

Course of Duration other than the Full Trimester

Policy:  A student may not withdraw from a course after the midpoint for courses of duration other than the full trimester or after the course has ended unless highly unusual, extenuating circumstances (beyond the student's control) are established to the satisfaction of the Program Dean of the student's program.

Procedure:  A failing grade (F or U) will be reported if a student stops attending a course and neither officially withdraws from the course prior to the appropriate deadline nor establishes, prior to the end of the term and to the satisfaction of the instructor, that extenuating circumstances prevented completion of the course. If the instructor determines that such extenuating circumstances were present, the instructor may approve the late withdrawal or recommend that the student request an incomplete.  An Incomplete Request Form must be completed by the student and instructor, if applicable. Incomplete Request Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.  Completed forms should be returned to the Registrar’s Office.

ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL

Policy:  Students are expected to be properly registered for courses and to abide by drop/add and late registration changes according to all existing procedures and all officially posted deadlines; and to attend all courses in which they are enrolled.

In certain circumstances, a student may be administratively withdrawn from their program. While the University reserves the right in each instance to determine when administrative withdrawal appears appropriate, this process can be initiated after the following conditions have occurred:  The student missed at least two weeks of attendance, or attendance and work for the course is erratic; The student does not respond appropriately or at all to reasonable requests from faculty, and/or other University personnel for explanation of non-attendance.

Procedure:  Based on the above considerations, the Registrar, in consultation with faculty and other relevant University personnel, identifies the student for administrative withdrawal consideration and attempts to make contact with the student, giving the student a one-week warning of impending administrative withdrawal including its reasons and consequences.  If the student responds on or before the end of the one week warning period, the Registrar will meet with the student to determine whether the student desires to withdraw from University, and if not, any conditions for the student's continued enrollment with the University; if the student does not respond on or before the end of the one week warning period, the Registrar and the Program Dean, will meet to determine the conditions of withdrawal and the actions the student must take in order to be readmitted to the college. These conditions are described in a letter sent to the student; the letter is placed in the student's academic file.

Refund Policies

Not all tuition is refundable - please check Northwestern's tuition refund policy.

Check the Student Handbook (pdf) for additional policy information.

Academic Calendar

Academic Calendar

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