Dropping Courses

Consider your options before you drop

Get good advice before making a decision

If you need help deciding whether or not to drop or withdraw, or you encounter a registration error/require an exception, meet with an Academic Advisor.

Acting within the Drop and Withdraw (W) deadlines is your responsibility

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.

You must officially drop a course

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.

Be sure to drop courses before the deadline

  • Each term has a Drop and a W (Withdraw) deadline. See the important dates calendar for more information.
  • If you drop a course before the drop deadline, the course simply disappears from your record, although there may be financial implications.
  • If you drop a course after the drop deadline, but before the W deadline, the course remains on your record with a grade of W.

Dropping 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.

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.

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.
How to drop a course

To drop a course, you will need to login to Dal Online. See How to Drop a Course for detailed steps.