Course Withdrawal

Dropping Classes

The deadlines to drop a course via Patriot Web are set by the university and can be found in the academic calendar. Courses dropped through Patriot Web do not show up on your transcript, nor do they affect your GPA or number of attempted credit hours.

Selective Withdrawal

Undergraduates enrolled in degree programs are eligible to withdraw from a limited number of classes (3 during your entire time at Mason) without the dean’s approval and at the student’s own discretion. The selective withdrawal form can be found on the Registrar’s form site. For selective withdrawal deadlines, see the corresponding semester calendar.

While a selective withdrawal can keep you from having an unsatisfactory grade on your transcript, there are some things to consider before doing this:

  • Do you have minimum credit load requirements for your financial aid, scholarship, or GI Bill? If so, consult with your financial aid counselor or the Office of Military Services before selectively withdrawing from any course.
  • When you use selective withdrawal, your transcript will always bear a record of your attempted hours by including the class along with a grade of "W." Attempted hours are the number of credit hours a student has attempted to complete at Mason, and they factor into a student’s academic standing. For details, visit the Academic Standing section in the University Catalog.

Withdrawal After the Drop Deadline

Graduate, undergraduate, and non-degree students may request a withdrawal after the drop deadline for non-academic reasons. Requests are considered only under exceptional circumstances. All students will need to provide verifiable, third-party documentation with the request in order to ensure equity and fairness.

Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical Circumstances - Requests for withdrawals due to medical circumstances must be supported by relevant, dated medical documentation. If a student is seeking a partial withdrawal, the student must show why the condition has affected that course (or courses) specifically. Otherwise, only a full withdrawal from all courses in a semester can be considered.
  • Employment - Requests for withdrawals due to work-related reasons must be documented by the employer on company letterhead. Only unanticipated and unavoidable changes in employment that occur after the drop date and which result in a direct scheduling conflict with a course (or courses) will be considered. No course may be dropped for work reasons after 12 weeks or 4/5 of the term have passed.

Withdrawal is not allowed for the following reasons:

  • To avoid an unsatisfactory grade due to academic reasons.
  • To correct enrollment errors on the part of the student who is responsible for all courses in which they remain officially enrolled after the drop period has ended. For more information, review Registration Procedures in the University Catalog.
  • Lack of planning in terms of balancing work, school, and personal commitments. Employment must not take priority over academic responsibilities.
  • When the student has graduated. Withdrawals are not allowed for courses that have been applied to a completed degree. Once the degree has been conferred and the student has graduated, the transcript is sealed and not subject to alteration.

Steps for requesting a non-academic withdrawal

  1. Review all policies pertaining to non-academic withdrawals. (See the Withdrawal section of the University Catalog.)
  2. Fill out a CPH Student Academic Request Form, which can be obtained from the CPH Office of Student Affairs explaining the specific request and reasons.
  3. Submit your completed request and supporting documentation to the CPH Office of Student Affairs in a timely manner. Delays in submitting requests increase the academic component of the request and can have an adverse effect on the final decision.
  4. Provide any requested documentation in a timely manner. After 30 days, all undocumented requests are automatically denied.
  5. Continue attending all classes in which you are officially enrolled and complete the required coursework unless you receive written approval from our office for a withdrawal. If permission is granted, you will need to confirm that there are no holds on your record for the withdrawal to be processed.

If you are granted a withdrawal, it will result in a "W" on your permanent record. These non-academic withdrawals do not count towards your allowed selective withdrawals; however, they do count toward your attempted credit hours.