There are very important differences between dropping and withdrawing from a course; the option available to you depends when you are attempting to drop or withdraw. Below outlines the academic differences between the two.
For information about fee reversals for dropping or withdrawing, see Fee Deadlines & Refunds.
Dropping a course
Registration in a term/semester normally starts about 8-9 weeks before a semester commences (see Dates & Deadlines for term-specific dates). Throughout this period, and up until the add/drop deadline, you can drop a course. When a course is dropped, the course is completely removed from the student record. Whether or not fee penalties are assessed depends on if the term has started; see Fee Deadlines & Refunds for information related to reversed fees for dropping courses.
The add/drop deadline for a full-semester course is different than an intersession course. See Dates & Deadlines for term-specific dates, as well as any non-standard add/drop and withdrawal deadlines for the current term. The add/drop deadline for the full semester is normally one week.
If you intend not to attend KPU for a term, you must ensure that you drop any courses you are registered in by the established deadlines (see Dates & Deadlines or Fee Deadlines & Refunds). Check your schedule after dropping as, unless you have officially dropped, you are considered fully registered, will be charged for the course, and will be assigned a grade.
Withdrawing from a course
Once the add/drop period is over (for full semester courses, this is after the first week of the term), the withdrawal period commences. Students are eligible to withdraw themselves from a course until the withdrawal deadline. Once you withdraw, the course remains on your student record with a "W" grade. The "W" is not calculated in your term or cumulative GPAs. No fees are reversed for withdrawn courses; see Fees Deadlines & Refunds for more information. After the withdrawal deadline, you cannot withdraw from a course unless you have grounds to request a compassionate withdrawal.
The withdrawal deadline for a full semester course is different than an intersession course. See either Dates & Deadlines or the Academic Schedule for Senate-approved full semester and intersession withdrawal dates, or Dates & Deadlines for any non-standard add/drop and withdrawal deadlines for the current term. Check your schedule after withdrawing as, unless you have officially withdrawn, you are considered fully registered and will be assigned a grade.
Some resources to consider before withdrawing from a course:
- Peer tutoring and academic coaches at The Learning Centre.
- Overwhelmed or need help with personal goal setting? See Counselling Services.
- Academic Advising: How will withdrawing affect your academic goals?
- Student Awards & Financial Assistance: How will withdrawing affect your education funding?
NOTE: Students who experience a serious medical, emotional or other issue requiring a withdrawal prior to the last day to withdraw for the semester do not need to make a request for a compassionate withdrawal. Students may withdraw themselves online.
Should the issue requiring a withdrawal take place after the last day to withdraw deadline, and prior to the completion of the semester, students may request a complete withdrawal from all courses on compassionate grounds. Due to the serious nature of the medical, emotional or other problem which would warrant a compassionate withdrawal, only complete withdrawal from all classes will be considered on compassionate grounds. Only in unusual circumstances that can be substantiated on medical or related grounds will a partial reduction in workload be considered.
Please note that approval of a compassionate withdrawal does not result in a tuition fee adjustment.
It is recommended you discuss your situation with a KPU counsellor prior to proceeding with a request for compassionate withdrawal.
For complete information, please refer to policy ST13.
To initiate a compassionate withdrawal request please complete the Request for Compassionate Withdrawal Form.