Degree-seeking and non-degree undergraduate students are eligible to withdraw from courses without the dean’s approval and at the student’s discretion during two withdrawal periods: unrestricted withdrawal during which students may withdraw from one or more courses (after the last day to drop a course until the end of the 5th week of the semester) and selective withdrawal during which students may withdraw from a maximum of three courses during their entire undergraduate career at Mason (from the 6th week to the end of the 9th week of the semester). For the purpose of selective withdrawal, the three courses may have any number of credits and lecture and laboratory sections in which a student is co-enrolled are not counted as separate courses. For courses that meet for fewer than 15 weeks, the drop and withdrawal periods will be set in proportion to the length of the course.
For undergraduate students, course withdrawal after the selective withdrawal period or after a student has used all three selective withdrawals requires approval by the student's academic dean. This approval is typically given for all courses at once and permitted only for nonacademic reasons that prevent course completion.
Undergraduate students who want to withdraw from all courses for a semester after the end of the withdrawal period may do so only for nonacademic reasons with the approval of the academic dean. Undergraduates taking three or fewer classes may use the selective withdrawal for all courses for a semester without dean approval; see AP 1.5.1 Course Withdrawal for Undergraduates. Undergraduate students who stop attending all classes without the dean's approval and without processing selective withdrawals, if eligible, will receive a grade of F in all courses.
For undergraduate students, all withdrawals result in a notation of W on the student's transcript for the withdrawn course(s). While a W does not affect the GPA, withdrawn courses are counted as "attempted credit hours,". Course withdrawals are not included in the course repeat count (see AP.1.3.4 Repeating a Course). Once processed, a withdrawal cannot be rescinded.
Course withdrawal will result in a recalculation of student time status based only on enrolled courses remaining after withdrawal. A reduction in time status could have a negative effect in such areas as Financial Aid, access to certain campus facilities, health insurance, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, international students' status, on-campus housing, and/or financial responsibility for withdrawn courses paid by a third party.
For graduate students, unrestricted withdrawal is available to all degree-seeking and non-degree graduate students at the student's discretion beginning immediately after the last day to drop a course until the end of the 5th week of the semester. For courses that meet for less than the full semester, the unrestricted withdrawal period will be set in proportion to the length of the course. See the University calendar for specific dates.
For graduate students, retroactive withdrawal begins after the end of the unrestricted withdrawal period. Retroactive course or semester withdrawals are not permitted unless an academic policy exception is obtained through the process provided for by the College/School's Dean's Office. Only nonacademic reasons that prevent course completion will be considered. Please see your College/School's Dean's Office for additional guidance.
All withdrawals result in a grade of W on the student's transcript for the withdrawn course(s). For graduate students, withdrawn courses are part of the "attempted credit hours" but do not affect academic standing. Course drops remove course(s) in a particular semester from a student's academic transcript.
Dropping below full-time status can also have a negative impact in such areas as Financial Aid, access to certain campus facilities, health insurance, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, on-campus housing, and/or financial responsibility for withdrawn courses paid by a third party. There may be adverse implications for international students dropping below full-time status. These students should consult OIPS before withdrawing.
Graduate students who stop or do not attend classes without dropping or withdrawing should receive a grade of F in those courses.