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Troubleshooting (Withdrawals & Petitions)

There is a chance that during the term you may realize that the schedule you planned for yourself is no longer (or never was) appropriate. You may have inadvertently registered for a course for which you did not have the needed prerequisite. You may have become ill and not been able to complete the term. Perhaps your schedule at work changed and you could no longer attend a class.

In these situations it is important to understand your options and the university deadlines and policies that frame them. You may need to drop a class or withdraw from school entirely, you may want to change your grading option for a course, or, if you did poorly during a term, you may want to repeat a course. It is also important to understand the types of petitions that you can submit when you want to have a requirement, policy or deadline waived.

If you encounter any situations like this, you should speak to your academic advisor as soon as possible.


Students must initiate all drops and/or withdrawals from a course. It is your responsibility to withdraw properly by the deadline dates in the Academic Calendar. However, some departments may drop you for non-attendance on the first day of class.

You may drop a course online with no record of the course on your transcript up to the end of the second week of the term. (As a courtesy, you should notify the instructor that you intend to drop.) From the beginning of the third week up to the end of the seventh week, you may withdraw using a Special Registration form, but a "W" will be recorded on your transcript.

A "W" will have no impact on your GPA. However, if you are receiving financial aid, it might have an impact on your ability to continue receiving aid. If you wish to withdraw after the seventh week you must have extenuating circumstances and petition the Deadline Appeals Committee.


If you wish to request an exception to a University requirement, you normally need to file a petition with the appropriate University committee. The following is a list of the most common exceptions you may want to petition and the appropriate committee that reads these petitions.

  • Academic Dismissal (Disqualification)
    Scholastic Standards Committee
  • Degree Requirements (BA or BS)
    Academic Requirements Committee
  • General Education Requirements (University Studies, Urban Honors)
    Academic Requirements Committee
  • Major Requirements
    Academic Department
  • Published Deadlines (e.g., add/drop courses) for the current term
    Deadline Appeals Committee
  • Published Deadlines (e.g., extend incomplete deadline; add/drop courses) for prior terms
    Scholastic Standards Committee

Generally, these committees require that you submit:

  1. A statement explaining your request for an exception to a University requirement or deadline.
  2. A statement of support from a faculty member, the instructor of the course, or an academic advisor, depending on the situation.
  3. Supporting documentation (e.g., a letter from a physician to document illness, a copy of an obituary to document a death in the family, a letter from an employer to document a change in your work schedule).

Petitions are handled through the Office of the Registrar. Please direct questions to them via email at or see your academic advisor for help.