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Withdrawing from a Class

Students withdraw from a class when a decision has been made to stop attending after the last day of Late Registration. The Office of the Registrar is the official office of notification for withdrawal from classes.

If a student withdraws from a class:

  • After the end of Late Registration but before the semester midpoint, the course will appear on the student’s transcript and a grade of either W or WF must be assigned at the instructor's discretion when grades are entered at the end of term; or
  • After the midpoint of the semester, but before the final two weeks of scheduled classes, the course will appear on the student’s transcript and a grade of WF will be assigned. For the only exception to this policy, see the Hardship Withdrawal heading in this section

Involuntary Withdrawal

Students are expected to observe all policies governing the class. Faculty must clearly state these policies in the course syllabus. When a faculty member determines that a student is in violation of one of the class policies (e.g., has missed a required assignment or has excessive absences), that faculty member may withdraw the student from the course. Students involuntarily withdrawn prior to the midpoint of the course will be assigned a grade of W or WF by the instructor. Students involuntarily withdrawn after the midpoint of the course will be assigned a grade of WF. Note that a WF is treated as an F for GPA calculation purposes. The instructor will notify, in writing, a student who is involuntarily withdrawn, and within ten days of this notification, the student may petition to the department chair for reinstatement in the course.

Hardship Withdrawal

Students may be granted hardship withdrawals after the midpoint of the semester when nonacademic emergency situations which prevent them from completing their course work occur.

Hardship withdrawals are subject to the following restrictions:

  • Students are not eligible for hardship withdrawals in any course in which they have completed the course requirements (e.g., taking the final exam or submitting the final project).
  • Students must initiate an application for a hardship withdrawal no later than one academic year after the semester in which the courses were taken.
  • Hardship status normally applies to all the courses a student took in a semester but in some cases may be granted for some of a student's courses. Students requesting a hardship withdrawal in some but not all of their courses must provide documentation to justify such a partial withdrawal. If a student is granted a hardship withdrawal (full or partial), the instructors of the courses from which the student is withdrawing must award a grade of "W" or "WF," depending on whether the student was doing passing work as of the effective date of the hardship.

Hardship approval usually comes in the form of a letter from the Dean's Office indicating that the student has been awarded a hardship withdrawal. This means that the student's personal plea to the instructor alone is not sufficient. In cases of partial withdrawal, instructors may receive a letter from the dean's office asking for an evaluation as to whether a hardship is appropriate for a particular student. The instructor’s assessment may be a factor in determining approval of a hardship withdrawal.

Decisions regarding hardship withdrawals shall be made by the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students is not authorized to grant exceptions to the two restrictions above. If the student or the faculty members involved in a case wish to appeal the decision of the Dean of Students, or if the Dean of Students feels that an exception to the two restrictions above is justified, the student’s case shall be considered by the Hardship Withdrawal Appeals Committee. If the Hardship Withdrawals Appeals Committee is considering granting an exception to the two restrictions above, the instructor of the course(s) in question shall be contacted in advance of the Committee’s meeting and offered the opportunity to write a letter to the Committee stating anything the instructor feels is relevant to the case. Appeals of the decisions of the Committee may be initiated by either the faculty or the students involved in the case and shall be heard by the Provost.

Administrative Withdrawal

A student may be administratively withdrawn from the university, when, in the judgment of the Dean of Students, the director of the Counseling Center, and the university physician, if any, and after consultation with the student’s parents and/or personal physician, if any, it is determined that the student suffers from a physical, mental, emotional, or psychological health condition which:

  1. poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the student or to the person or property of others;
  2. causes the student to interfere with the rights of other members of the university community or with the exercise of any proper activities or functions of the university or its personnel; or
  3. causes the student to be unable to meet institutional requirements for admission and continued enrollment, as defined in the fee payment rules of the university, Student Conduct Code and Policies, and other academic policies of the university.
  4. Except in some situations, a student shall, upon request, be accorded an appropriate hearing prior to the final decision concerning his or her continued enrollment at the university. Students who are administratively withdrawn will be assigned a grade of W or WF by the instructor if they are withdrawn before the semester midpoint and a WF if they are withdrawn after the semester midpoint.

Limits on Withdrawals with a Grade of W

  1. Students are allowed to withdraw with a grade of W a maximum of six times in their undergraduate careers at Georgia State.
  2. The limit on withdrawals does not apply if a student withdraws from all classes during a term before the midpoint. However, students are only allowed to withdraw from all classes prior to the midpoint twice without having their withdrawals count against the limit. Students who withdraw from all classes a third or subsequent time will automatically receive a grade of WF in their classes if they have reached their limit of Ws.
  3. It is possible that a student will withdraw from more than one class in a particular semester and not have enough Ws left to use a W in all those classes. In that case, classes will be awarded a W based on the date and time the student initiated the withdrawal from that class. For example, if a student had taken five Ws in their career at Georgia State and then withdrew from three of the four classes in which the student is enrolled, the student’s sixth W allowed would be assigned to the class from which the student withdrew first. The student would receive a WF in the other two classes. In these cases, students may make an appeal to the Student Advisement Center or their Office of Academic Advisement to shift the W from one class to another. Such requests must be made no later than the end of the semester after the semester in which the student withdrew from the classes. (Whether a student is enrolled in the semester after the semester in which the student withdrew from the classes does not change this time limit.) Students may not shift Ws between semesters.
  4. The following sorts of withdrawals do not count against the limit on withdrawals with a grade of W.
    • Hardship withdrawals
    • Grades of WF (withdrawal failing)
    • Grade of WM (withdrawal military)
    • Withdrawals taken in semesters before Fall Semester 2006
    • Withdrawals taken at other institutions
  5. This policy applies to all degree seeking undergraduate students. It does not apply to non-degree students (such as post baccalaureate students).
    Students formally withdrawing from all classes may be entitled to a refund of a portion of their fees (see Section 1210).
    In an emergency situation that precludes personal action to withdraw from classes, a student may communicate with the Office of the Dean of Students.