College of Arts & Sciences

Withdrawal Policies

There are different times in a semester when a student can withdraw from a course.  Click on each shown below to get more information about the timelines, recommendations, and the consequences of a withdrawal at that time. 

  • Add/Drop Period

    During the regular semesters (fall, spring), a student may drop any or all courses without academic penalty through the end of the first week of the semester.  During the summer, due to the condensed terms, the second day of classes is the deadline.  

  • Withdrawal Passing

    During the second through the seventh week of the regular semesters (fall, spring), a student can withdraw from the university or from individual courses and receive a grade of "W" for each course withdrawal, as long as they have not exceeded the 16 hour limit for withdrawals.  A grade of "W" will not affect the student's GPA.  Students attending summer sessions need to be cognizant that the withdrawal period in summer may be only one or two days. Therefore, summer school students should carefully note the last day to withdraw from classes as found on the Registrar's Calendar of Events for the summer months.   

    A student may withdraw passing from an individual class via SeaNet or by reporting to the Office of the Registrar before or on the last day for withdrawal, as indicated in the university calendar.  Excluding course withdrawals due to extenuating circumstances, students are limited to a maximum of 16 hours of full course withdrawals during their time at the university.  After the 16 hour limit is reached, any other withdrawal will be a withdrawal failing (WF").  Because of the 16 hour limit, it is recommended that students discuss any potential withdrawal with their faculty, academic advisor, and financial aid counselor to consider possible alternatives and resources before deciding to withdrawal.   

  • Withdrawal Failing

    Beginning with the eighth week of the semester, a grade of “WF” will be assigned for each course withdrawal.  Be aware that withdrawing from a course with a failing grade can impact your academic career in many ways. Please talk to your academic advisor regarding this action. A WF grade is a failing grade and does count in your grade point average as well as toward tuition surcharge. A WF grade appears on your transcript. You may replace the WF grade by retaking the course if you still have retakes available. The new grade will replace the old grade in your GPA and hours totals, but the WF will still appear on your transcript.

    Earning a WF may affect you in other ways. We recommend researching any impact this action may have in other parts of your academic career, such as financial aid eligibility, housing, scholarship eligibility, and possibly others.

    A student may withdraw failing from a course until 5 pm on the last day of classes. To withdraw failing, please send an email from your UNCW email account to with the subject "Withdraw Failing." In your email, you must include the following information:

    1. Name
    2. Student ID number
    3. Course subject, number, section, title, and CRN
    4. Semester
    5. Include this statement: "I have researched the possible impacts of a WF on my record and assume responsibility for all outcomes resulting from this request."

    If your request does not include this information or it is not sent from your UNCW email, your email will be returned for completion.

  • Complete Term Withdrawal

    The Complete Term Withdrawal request for undergraduate students is available for the fall and spring terms and opens after the end of the drop/add period. The Complete Term Withdrawal request is located in My Seaport and must be submitted following these instructions by the deadline indicated in the university calendar.  

  • Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances

    If a student feels they need to withdraw from all courses at any time during the semester due to an extenuating circumstance, they can submit a request to the associate dean who oversees the student's major or University College director, as appropriate.  For College of Arts and Sciences majors only, students will submit the CAS Request to Withdraw for Extenuating Circumstances and if appropriate, ask their medical provider to fill out the CAS Medical Provider Documentation.  The written request with supporting documentation must be made as soon as possible after circumstances requiring the withdrawal. At the latest, by the last day of classes in the semester following the one for which the withdrawal is requested.

    Documented extenuating circumstances may include: death of an immediate family member; traumatic and unforeseen circumstances that are considered beyond a student’s control; serious emotional instability, physical injury or illness that has resulted in the student’s inability to complete academic responsibilities in a given term. Students should note that poor standing in a course does not constitute an extenuating circumstance in and of itself. Withdrawals due to extenuation circumstances are still subject to all financial aid and SAP rules and calculations.