Friday, October 14, 2011

Dropping with a "W" and Pass/Fail: What You Need to Know

The Mid-Semester point is October 20th. That is also the deadline to drop a class with a "W" or elect to take a course Pass/Fail. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

Dropping with a W is nothing to be afraid of.  It will not count against you should you decide to apply for/declare a major (as long as you have completed all the pre-requisites, predictor courses, and any other requirements). Dropping a course at this point means a W will always remain on your transcript, but you will not receive a grade for that class, so the class will not affect your GPA.  The W just means that you dropped a course beyond the Add/Drop deadline.  HOWEVER, unlike Add/Drop, dropping a course at this point cannot be done on SPIRE.  There is actual paperwork required and you need your instructor's signature.  So, don't wait until the day of the deadline to make your decision--the deadline is THURSDAY OCTOBER 20th!

You should consider dropping a course with a W if you know that you are not doing well in it and there is little chance you can remedy that, especially if your intended major expects a strong cumulative GPA or specific grade in that class.  Be careful though that you are not going below 12 credits (full-time) in doing so.

The mid-semester date is also your last chance to change a class to Pass/Fail grading.  Rather than dropping a course from your schedule you can elect to remain in the class, but instead of getting a letter grade, your transcript will just indicate a P (if you pass) or an F (if you fail).  A P will not affect your GPA, but an F will.  If you're considering the P/F grading option, be careful!  There are many things to consider before making this choice, including the fact that courses taken P/F may not count toward Gen Eds, major reqs, or predictor courses.  Just like dropping with a W, electing to take a class P/F requires paperwork (but not an instructor's signature). 

You should see your advisor soon if you're considering either taking a W or changing a course to P/F.  You can pick up the necessary paperwork in Undergraduate Advising (if you're Undeclared) or the Registrar's Office in 213 Whitmore.

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