Notice: UNCW Academic Policy Adjustments

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Deadlines were updated on March 27, 2020

In these extremely challenging academic circumstances, the Provost and the Deans have been working with Faculty Senate leadership to modify academic policies to promote the resiliency and flexibility needed to meet current challenges while continuing to foster faculty and student success for the future. The following academic policy adjustments are now in place for Spring 2020: 

  1. All undergraduate withdrawals from single courses from March 18 - April 6, 2020 will be automatically treated as withdrawals for extenuating circumstances.
  2. After those dates, withdrawals for extenuating circumstances for individual courses related to coronavirus impacts will continue to be considered by Deans on a case-by-case basis.
  3. As previously announced, summer/fall registration has been delayed to April 7 for graduate students, and April 8 for priority undergraduates and will continue from those dates.  Students should arrange virtual appointments with advisors as soon as appointments are available; specific school and college information is available at the Keep Learning site, here.
  4. For the Spring 2020 semester only, the following modifications to our undergraduate retention and dismissal policies are in place:
         i. Spring 2020 will not count towards the enrolled terms students on probation have to regain academic eligibility.
         ii. Students currently on probation can appeal to be retained after the semester if their spring term GPA is between 1.0 and 2.33.
         iii. Students in good academic standing whose Spring 2020 term GPA falls below 1.0 will NOT be subject to term dismissal.

UNCW continues to consider offering additional flexibility around the use of the pass/fail designation. We ask for your patience as we carefully and thoroughly consider this option and its impacts on student success. The university will share an update on this topic next week.
Questions about these policy adjustments should be directed to students’ academic advisors. We are grateful to all our faculty, staff and students as they work to keep our spring semester alive. No policy adjustments can substitute for the goodwill and flexibility we all will need to come through this situation stronger than ever as a Seahawk family. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to support each other, and to keep teaching and learning.


Graduate School Proposed Policy Changes for Spring 2020

The Graduate Council met on March 26, 2020 to consider a variety of temporary policy options to aid graduate students during the Spring 2020 semester.
  1. Withdrawal from individual courses – Consistent with changes in withdrawal policy at the undergraduate level, the deadline for withdrawing from individual courses will be extended until April 6. Following that deadline, any requests for withdrawal should be routed through program coordinators (
  1. Withdrawal from the university – Requests for complete withdrawal will be considered on a case by case basis using established procedures (
  1. Leave of Absence – Any student who anticipates being absent for more than one term should request a Leave of Absence using established procedures (
  1. Degree Time Limits - Students who are in jeopardy of violating the Graduate Degree Time Limit Policy ( can petition for extensions through their program as described in the policy.  Such petitions will be considered in a manner to provide maximum flexibility for the student and the program.
  1. Incomplete course extension – Any incomplete courses that were expected to be completed in Spring 2020 can be considered for an extension until December 15, 2020. Extensions can be requested by the course instructor by notifying
  1. Application for Graduation – The graduate application for Spring 2020 graduation has been extended until April 3. After that date no further extensions or additions will be considered. 
  1. Deadline for submitting final drafts of theses and dissertations - Graduate students who are graduating in Spring 2020 can turn in final drafts of their thesis or dissertation no later than May 15, 2020. Please note that all defenses and oral exams will need to be completed by April 29, 2020.