Drop a course

Consider your options before you drop

You are responsible for managing your courses. If you miss a deadline you will not be able to drop the course, so be sure to consider the implications of dropping listed below.

If you want to drop a course, you can't just stop attending classes—you'll need to officially drop it. Otherwise, you will receive an F or Incomplete (INC), which counts as 0 in your GPA.

Know the course-drop deadlines and check the Refund Schedule.  Academic deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar (right-side menu in each calendar under Academic Dates); or see the Open Learning Drop Dates file on Important Dates for courses that don't follow set term dates; i.e. courses that don't have a number/letter* in brackets before the date range on the Academic Timetable. * the number/letter corresponds to the Term Identifier column on the Academic Dates page.

If you need help deciding whether or not to drop or withdraw, or you encounter a registration error or require an exception/waiver, here's where to go for advising.

Before you drop a course, consider these questions:

What are the implications of dropping?

How it can impact graduation

  • If you drop a course, you will need to make up the credit.
  • Dropping a course may also affect your graduation date.

Financial implications

  • Dropping courses may affect your eligibility for a student loan. Make sure you check the rules for your loan.
  • If you drop a course by the last day to cancel your registration, you'll receive a full refund.
  • If you drop a course after the last day to cancel your registration, you'll only receive a partial refund.
  • The amount of the refund decreases as the term progresses. Beyond a certain point each term, there is no refund. Check the refund schedule on the Student Accounts website.

If you have a scholarship

  • Many scholarships require you to take a minimum number of courses. Ask the Registrar’s Office about your scholarship rules before dropping a course and meet with an Academic Advisor for help in deciding what to do.

Your international student status

Your varsity status

  • Dropping a course may affect your eligibility to play varsity sports. Ask your coach for information before finalizing your decision.

Are you living in residence?

  • Depending on the number of courses dropped, it may affect your eligibility to live in residence. Find out before finalizing your decision.

What does dropping with a "W" mean?

  • 'W' stands for Withdrew after the deadline.
  • A course you withdraw from will appear on your transcript with a grade of 'W.'
  • A 'W' has no effect on your GPA.
  • Having one 'W' on your transcript isn't a bad thing, but having many 'W's on your transcript is not ideal because it could be interpreted as an inability to cope with taking 4-5 courses per term. This matters if you are a full-time student planning to apply for further study, because admission committees can view handling a demanding course load as a strength and an inability to do so a cause for concern.

Can you drop courses after the deadline?

You might be given special permission to withdraw from a course to correct your registration errors. E.g.:

  • You thought you had dropped the course but later realized that you really hadn't.
  • You discovered you are registered in the wrong course by mistake and need to drop the one you haven’t been going to and add the one you have. 
  • You've been attending a different section from the one you're actually registered for and neglected to fix this before the add/drop deadline.
  • You've been attending a course and want to change the section you're in to accommodate another course.
  • Withdrawing due to extenuating circumstances. E.g. You are experiencing extreme circumstances such as illness, a family emergency, or other situations beyond your control which are affecting your studies.

If you believe any of the above circumstances apply to you, meet with an academic advisor. They will help you determine if your circumstances warrant an exception and, if so, explain what you will need to do next.

How to drop a course

If you need to drop a course, in the Register for Classes page, Summary pane use the drop down from the Action column. Depending on the date you are dropping a course, the option for dropping will change. For example, if you are dropping your course before the withdraw deadline, it will say "Drop - Web." If you are dropping your course during the withdraw period, it will say "Dropped Course - with "W," as pictured below:

Remember to click Submit to save your changes. Your Schedule Details list will be updated.

Review the How to Drop a Course video to see what that would look like; and the Registration Videos page and Dal Online's Help for more information. If you encounter any issues, please contact the Registrar's Office at 902-494-2450 or StudentOnline@dal.ca