Guidelines for the First-Year/Sophomore/Junior Drop

To qualify for the First-Year/Sophomore/Junior Drop, the student must initiate a conversation with their Class Dean prior to the deadline (as of Fall 2018, the deadline was changed to the tenth week of the semester).

The purpose of the Drop is to allow the student to learn from their experience so as to have greater success in the future. For this reason, during their meeting with the Dean the student and their Dean will discuss what is going wrong in the course. They will plan a strategy for success in relation to time management, work habits, and utilization of available resources. In most cases, the intervention empowers the student to turn things around. This converts the experience into a learning opportunity that contributes to the student’s future success, rather than a bailout that leaves them feeling demoralized.

Before a student can qualify for a drop, a student must be failing the course. A drop is not to be used to avoid a low grade such as a D or a C. However, in cases in which a minimum grade is required in the course in order to move forward in the major or to apply the course toward completion of pre-med requirements, a grade below that minimum grade can count as failing.

To qualify to drop a course that the student is failing (see above), the student must demonstrate that are making a sustained and genuine effort to succeed in the course. They also must be doing all of the following:

  • attending the class regularly;
  • attending the professor’s office hours regularly;
  • using the Moss Quantitative Center and/Writing Center resources.
  • Where appropriate, the student must demonstrate that they have made good use of a tutor assigned by their professor or academic department.

If the student is making a genuine and sustained effort to pass the course by using all the above resources, and meeting the above-listed criteria, but is still the failing the course, then their Class Dean may approve them to move forward in their petition to drop the course. The student will receive a tracked form from the Office of Student Affairs to take to their professor and advisor.

The student’s professor elects whether to approve or reject the request to drop the course, based on their experience with the student and their own policies.

If the student gets the professor’s permission, they then seek the permission of their academic advisor who, based on their experience with the student and their own policies elects whether to approve or deny the drop.

The student then must return the form to the Office of Student Affairs to be signed and processed by their Class Dean.

In cases where the student ends up dropping the course, the goal is for the student to do so knowing that they gave it their best shot. More importantly, by having gone through the process described above, the student will have improved their work habits and learned how to better utilize available resources. This will make them better equipped to thrive academically and personally in the future.

Notes and Exclusions:

  • A First-Year/Sophomore/Junior Drop shall not be used in cases when the student should, instead, pursue a medical course withdrawal.
  • A course that the student drops will appear on the transcript with a "W" instead of a grade.
  • A student who uses the First-Year/Sophomore/Junior Drop may graduate with 31 credits instead of 32 credits.
  • A First-Year/Sophomore/Junior Drop cannot be used in cases when a student already has used their drop, or otherwise is on track to graduate with 31 rather than 32 credits. However, if a student who has used a Medical Withdrawal has opted to make up that course by taking an eligible summer course, and therefore already is back on track to graduate with 32 credits, then they will still have access to the Drop option. Note that to use the Drop, the student must currently be on track to complete 32 credits.
  • The student must continue to attend all class meetings and complete all assignments until they return the completed Drop form to their Class Dean. Failure to do so will disqualify the student from eligibility. It is imperative, therefore, that the student return the form quickly. 
  • If a student who uses their First-Year/Sophomore/Junior Drop ends up withdrawing from the entire semester, then they get their First-Year-Sophomore-Junior Drop option returned to them for future use.
  • If a student is under investigation for an act of academic dishonesty, is found guilty of academic dishonesty, or negotiates with the professor a settlement regarding such an infraction prior to making the request, or while the request is being considered, then the student is not eligible to use the Drop for that course. This does not, however, impact their eligibility in a separate course during that same semester or in subsequent semester.
  • Seniors are not eligible for the First-Year/Sophomore/Junior Drop.
  • The First-Year/Sophomore/Junior Drop cannot be applied retroactively.
  • If the student’s Dean determines that the student does not meet the criteria for the Drop, or the professor or advisor reject the request, the decision is final and there is no appeals process.
Tags:  course drop  drop