Virginia Tech® home

How Do I...Withdraw from a Course? (W Policy)

For University Studies Majors Only

The policy is intended to assist undergraduate students who find themselves enrolled in undergraduate level courses for which they are insufficiently prepared, or for those who initially enroll in majors that they subsequently change. This policy allows currently enrolled students to designate a grading option of "CW" to a course. Courses with this option are not gradable but remain on the academic transcript with the letter grade of "W". A maximum of three (3) courses (regardless of credit) may be dropped beyond the normal six-week drop deadline date during a student's undergraduate academic career at Virginia Tech subject to the following stipulations:

  • Students must formally request to apply the W Grade option to a course by the last day of classes of each term. The deadline appears in the deadlines listing of the online Time Table of Classes.
  • Courses with the new grade mode of "W" will appear on the transcript with a "W" grade, but will not count in the GPA hours nor in any GPA calculations. The "W" signifies that this policy was invoked and does not reflect the rationale for its use. The reasons for use remains the student's purview.
  • There are no refunds of tuition and fees as a result of application of the policy. However, utilization of this grade option policy may affect Satisfactory Academic Policy (SAP) requirements for continued receipt of federal financial aid. Students are urged to consult with their financial aid advisor. See the Financial Aid website for more information.
  • A student decision to invoke this policy is irrevocable and unappealable.
  • Application of the W grade option may not be employed to reduce or obviate any penalty otherwise accruing to students under the University Honor System. Previously processed W grade options will be voided if the course is penalized per an Honor System action.
  • Students may request a W grade option change for any course, irrespective of the evaluation earned in it up to the point of their request for withdrawal. However, if a registration hold exists at the time of application of this policy, the student must take action to remove the hold within five (5) working days of the application or the request will be voided. Students are responsible for resolving their registration holds with the appropriate university office.
  • Students already enrolled when this policy takes effect who have exercised their option to use the previously existing Freshman Rule shall not be eligible to use this policy.

To withdraw from a course or multiple courses:

  1. Calculate your grade for the course/s you intend to withdraw using the syllabus and grades from the course. Consider speaking with your professor of the course/s to determine if there are any opportunities for makeup work or extra credit. Speak with your academic advisor to discuss the pros and cons of withdrawing. 
  2. University Studies majors only: Complete the University Studies majors withdrawal form (this form is exclusively for University Studies students only) by the deadline described above and you must meet with your academic advisor to process the form. All majors outside of University Studies, please use the form from your college.