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The College expects students to finalize their academic schedules in the first three weeks of a term (first two weeks of a half-term). Later changes may be made according to the policies described below.

Courses dropped in the first three weeks of a term (first two weeks of a half-term) do not appear on the academic record. Thereafter, all courses officially dropped appear on the transcript with a "W" notation indicating withdrawal. For students in their first fall or winter term at the University of Michigan, the W(s) are expunged from the official transcript after the term is completed. The "W" means that the student dropped a course after the third week of a Fall or Winter Term (second week of a half-term) and that the College accepted the reason(s) for the drop and gave its approval.

Failure to complete a course or to secure approval for a late drop of the course results in the transcript notation Unofficial Drop (ED) which is averaged into the term and cumulative grade point averages as a failing grade (E). Courses elected on a non-graded pattern do not affect the term or cumulative grade point averages.

Weeks one through three of a term (weeks one through two of a half-term):

Students may make drop/add changes without advisor approval when these changes result in an academic schedule of 18 credits or less during a term (9 credits in a half-term). Programs of more than 18 credits during a term (more than 9 credits during a half-term) require advisor approval as do all course changes made by Honors students. Adds of classes that are closed or require permission of instructor must be accompanied by an electronic permission from the department. Students are responsible for any work assigned in the course from its beginning, regardless of the date of election. Therefore, it is important to talk with the course instructor about work assigned to date before adding a course in the second or third week.

Since the tuition and fee assessment is not set until the end of this three-week period (two weeks in a half-term), a student dropping below 12 credits (six in a half-term) will be assessed a lower tuition charge.

Weeks four through nine of a term (three through five of a half-term):

The deadline for students to submit their Late Drop/Add request is 11:59 PM EST on the Late Drop/Add Deadline. W’s are posted for courses dropped during this period, regardless of the reason for the drop.

Students requesting a late drop must:

  1. Go to their Backpack/Registration page in Wolverine Access and select the DROP tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Select the class, click “Drop,” then click the green button “Request Late Drop.”
  3. Answer the questions and click “Submit Request” at the bottom.
  4. Click “OK” on the confirmation page. Students will receive a confirmation email.

Students requesting a late add must:

  1. Go to their Backpack/Registration page in Wolverine Access, select the class to add, click “Proceed to Step Two,” then click “Finish Registering.”
  2. Click on the green button “Request Late Add.”
  3. Answer the questions and click “Submit Request” at the bottom.
  4. Click “OK” on the confirmation page. Students will also receive a confirmation email.

All requests to add courses must be accompanied by an electronic permission entered by the department. Honors students follow the procedures established by the Honors Office; Residential College students follow RC procedures.

Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor to discuss the request and its impact on the student's program. In some instances, students may need an advisor's approval to drop the course.

Fees are not reduced even if a student drops below 12 credits (six in a half-term).

Week ten through the last day of classes of a term (after the end of week five through the last day of classes for a half-term):

Only the most serious circumstances warrant dropping a course after the ninth week of the term. Fear of failing the course or no longer needing the course in a degree program are not considered valid reasons for granting approval to drop a course in this period.

In order for the Academic Standards Board to grant a drop at this time, some non-academic, extraordinary event (like serious illness or a severe personal disruption) would have occurred after the ninth-week (after the fourth week of a half-term) drop deadline and would make completion of a course or courses very difficult if not impossible; the Board assumes that the student's academic performance up to the point of the disruptive event has been satisfactory.

Students wishing to drop a class must fill out a Petition for an Exception to the Late Drop Deadline Form, with their instructor. This form is available online or at the Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center, 1255 Angell Hall.

The course instructor or GSI must complete the pertinent sections of the form. In addition, the student must meet with an academic advisor to discuss the circumstances and possible consequences surrounding the student's request. The instructor's and advisor's signatures on the form indicate that the student has discussed the request for a drop with them, but does not indicate approval. That decision is made by the Academic Standards Board.

Students who want to add a course after the ninth week of the term (after the fourth week of a half-term) must obtain and complete a Petition for an Exception to the Late Add Deadline Form, which is available online or at the Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center, 1255 Angell Hall. The Academic Standards Board reviews these add and drop requests and will respond to the student via e-mail.

After the last day of classes of a term (or half-term):

Students wanting to request a drop of a class from a previously completed term may do so by petitioning the Academic Standards Board.  While the Board rarely grants retroactive drops of individual courses, students whose situation meets the following criteria should consult with a Board member (734.764.0332) about the possibility of the drop:

  • Something non-academic and unexpected occurred after 9th week drop deadline of the term that impeded completion of course.
  • Student must provide documentation of the event to verify the date of its occurrence and its severity.
  • Student had been passing the class up to the occurrence of the event which had to occur after the late drop deadline.
  • Instructor must describe the student’s performance in the course including the grades and the dates of exams and assignments.
  • Instructor must verify that the student did not take the final/finish the final project.
  • The instructor must verify that the student did not ask for an incomplete.
  • Student must explain why the event affected that course and not the others.

Students must meet with a Board member before they submit the petition.  Students should include a copy of the petition cover sheet with their written statement.  Students may make requests for retroactive drops no later than one year past the end of the term of the course in question.  Because this petition requires documentation and statements from the course instructors, it is best to write the petition sooner rather than later. 

Describing the chronology (with exact dates) of the event(s) which affected a student's completion of the course(s) is crucial to the strength of your petition.  The documentation provided should verify the occurrence and severity of the event(s).  The Board is unlikely to grant a request for a retroactive drop without clear documentation, and will not grant a request that does not meet the above criteria.