Reducing the number of enrolled units may affect your eligibility for Campus Housing, Financial Aid, International Student Status, and more. Consult the appropriate offices described at Academic Program Changes.
A financial aid student who reduces the number of units or who completely withdraws (including medical withdrawal) may be subject to REPAYMENT. Reducing units or withdrawing from courses may also impact Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Before adjusting your schedule, review What Affects My Aid?
You should know:
- Enrollments recorded by the end of the Late Registration/Schedule Adjustment Period, defined for each academic term in the Late Change of Schedule Charts, are considered official and unalterable.
- Students are solely responsible for taking the correct actions described in the text, charts and forms on this page to adjust their schedules before, during and after the Late Registration/Schedule Adjustment Period.
- Failure to follow formal withdrawal procedures may result in the assignment of failing grades, an obligation to pay tuition and other fees, and the need to apply for readmission to the University. See also Student Initiated Withdrawals.
Weeks 1-3: In the fall and spring semesters, partial and complete withdrawals (i.e., dropping one, some or all classes) should be completed online in the first three weeks of classes.
Week 4: Schedule adjustments during the fourth week of instruction require formal approval from the instructor of the course, and either the department chair (undergraduate students) or associate dean (graduate students).
Select the appropriate form below and file it with Admissions and Records before the deadline (see form). No “Change of Schedule Petitions” will be accepted before or after the fourth week.
After Week 4: Changes in academic schedules after the end of the Late Registration/Schedule Adjustment Period, or after the 20th day of instruction (i.e., after Week 4) of the fall or spring semesters, are rarely approved and only in cases where the student can provide written proof of extraordinary circumstances that have arisen from events beyond his or her control.
Last 3 Weeks of Instruction: Withdrawals are not permitted during the final three weeks of instruction or thereafter except in cases such as accident or serious illness where the cause of the withdrawal is clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of an Incomplete grade is not practical. Ordinarily, it is expected that withdrawals during this period will be complete withdrawals from the University except in circumstances where sufficient work has been completed in one or more of the courses to permit an evaluation of course work and an assignment of a grade.
For all academic terms, the situations listed in the paragraph below DO NOT meet the criteria of extraordinary circumstances. Furthermore, there must be no viable alternative to the requested change, such as repeating the course or enrolling in the course in the following term.
The following situations ARE NOT considered extraordinary circumstances and WILL NOT be approved to justify a change in schedule after the end of the Late Registration/Schedule Adjustment Period for any term, nor after the fourth week of instruction in the fall and spring semesters:
- failing the class or receiving less-than-desired grade;
- waiting for the instructor to give a permission number;
- failing to take action to add or drop a class, assuming incorrectly that the instructor will do it for the student;
- failing to make payment of registration and/or waiting for financial aid;
- the need to work because of financial considerations or opportunities;
- encountering a situation that should have been anticipated, such as the need to have transportation, the need to pay for ordinary living expenses, the need for child care;
- aspirations of either the student or his/her family in regard to GPA, the dean's list, graduate school, scholarships, etc.;
- dissatisfaction with course material, instructor, instructional method, or class intensity;
- lack of motivation, change in academic interests, or change of major;
- participation in extracurricular activities; or
- academic overload and inability to keep up in all classes.
The following situations are typically the only ones that would meet the standard of extraordinary circumstances for which there is no viable alternative and would justify a change in schedule after the twentieth day of instruction:
- medical documentation that the academic schedule is detrimental to the student's physical or mental health (see section on Complete and Partial Medical Withdrawals below)
- activation for compulsory military duty
- relocation out of the immediate area
Students who think that their situation meets the criteria for extraordinary circumstances for which there is no viable alternative can do the following:
Before dropping classes, review “Precautions for Reducing Units” on this page.
A medical withdrawal usually constitutes complete withdrawal from the University for the academic period in question. Medical withdrawals may be granted solely for established medical purposes and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Medical withdrawals due to illness in the family will be granted only if the attending physician stipulates that the student is needed to care for the family member. To request a medical withdrawal to care for a family member, follow the procedures described below for your student group—undergraduate or graduate—and submit the appropriate forms as required.
In cases where medical evidence and the specific physical demands and environment of the classes overwhelmingly support withdrawal from only a portion of a student's program of study, a partial medical withdrawal may be permitted. Requests solely seeking a reduced course load without specific and focused medical justification do not demonstrate the required link.
Medical withdrawals will not be granted if the student has taken final exams. Petitions requesting retroactive withdrawals beyond one year after the conclusion of the semester for which the withdrawal is requested will not be considered. In cases of severe illness, students are advised to provide written permission for a representative or, if mentally incapacitated, a student’s legal representative to request a withdrawal on their behalf. Petitions requesting retroactive withdrawals beyond one year of the conclusion of the semester for which the withdrawal is requested will not be considered.
Students seeking a complete or partial medical withdrawal for themselves, or to care for a family member, must take the following steps:
Undergraduate & Second Bachelor’s Students
- File the appropriate Late Change in Academic Schedule form:
- Week 4: 4th Week Change of Schedule Petition for Undergraduate Students (.pdf)
- Weeks 5-12: Late Change of Academic Schedule Request for Undergraduate Students (.pdf)
- Weeks 13 and beyond: Last 20% of Semester and Retroactive Change in Academic Schedule for Undergraduate Students (.pdf)
- For medical withdrawals in Weeks 5-12 and Weeks 13 and beyond, also complete the Student Consent and Health Care Provider Guidelines form (.pdf).
- Prepare required supporting documents and obtain all required signatures following instructions on form.
- Your request must describe a direct correlation between the medical condition and the particular course(s) being petitioned.
- Submit the completed, signed withdrawal and consent forms along with attachments to the appropriate University administrator as directed on the withdrawal form.
Graduate: Masters, Doctoral, & Credential Students
Request any type of medical withdrawal by applying directly to the Office of Graduate Studies, University Hall (UN), Room 265, telephone (818) 677-4800.
Before dropping classes, review “Precautions for Reducing Units” on this page.