Course and University withdrawals

What is a withdrawal?

There are two kinds: Course withdrawal or University withdrawal. A course withdrawal means you have chosen to discontinue one or more courses. A University withdrawal means you have chosen to discontinue your entire term or year of studies. Depending on the date of withdrawal, you may be entitled to a refund.

Why would I want to withdraw?

For a number of personal and/or academic reasons, which may include simply not liking the course, not doing well in the course (see Grading procedure), illness, financial difficulties or personal issues.

To have your Fall or Winter course fees refunded, you must withdraw from the course by the end of the third week of each term. You have the first six weeks of each Fall and Winter term to decide if you want to stay in a course(s), or if you want to remain in the University. In that sixth week of school, mark your agenda with a "D" day ("D"ecision day on withdrawals). See Withdrawal deadlines for more information. For Summer studies, you have until the eighth scheduled day of class to withdraw from a Summer course.

You alone are responsible for your academic record. If you are thinking about withdrawing and don't take action, you will experience potentially serious problems. Be proactive, assess your situation, inform yourself of deadlines and rules, seek advice and help in decision making. There are lots of resources available to help you.

What kind of problems can happen if I don't withdraw?

If you stop attending class and do not write the final exam, you will receive a "J" instead of a "W" for a final grade. A "J" grade is a failure and is equivalent to a zero in your average. "J" grade(s) are a permanent part of your record; you will not be able to erase them. You could go into probationary or unsatisfactory standing as a result of "J" grade(s).

What do I do if the deadline has passed to make a withdrawal?

You must think about your reasons for wanting a withdrawal, and inform yourself of the instances where a late withdrawal might be approved. Remember that withdrawals after the deadlines are not routinely approved, so following the rules above is your best bet for success.


You must always make withdrawals yourself.


Grades of "W" are not "bad" for your record; they have no effect on your GPA and a few over the course of your academic career will not affect future studies or career goals. A W does not mean you were failing the course, and you are free to register in a W'd course at another time if you wish.

Myth #1

You can withdraw from a course by simply not going to lectures
Myth #2

A professor or other university staff can withdraw you from a course
Myth #3

A W looks bad on your record and damages your average
Myth #4

You can withdraw after the deadlines with the professor's permission
Myth #5

Ws on your record prevent you from entering graduate studies, medical school, or finding a job
Myth #6

A W means you were failing the course
Myth #7

A W means you can't take the course again