Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

Withdrawing From a Course

The deadline to request a ‘W’ is always the last day of classes for the semester.  

How do I withdraw from a course? 

Students should log into DUST.  The Course Withdraw Request form is located under the College Policies/Forms/Procedures column.  This form will be available through the last day of classes (NOT the finals period). There are NO exceptions past the deadline. 

PE course deadlines vary and are handled by Physical Education and cannot be dropped in DUST.  The student should contact the PE Department: (607) 255-4286; ggb26 [at] (ggb26[at]cornell[dot]edu)

What will happen if I withdraw from a class and go below 12 academic credits?  

Dropping a course and going below 12 academic credits may be the right decision for the situation, but the student should consult with one of our CALS Inclusive Academic Advisors, as there may be potential implications, especially for financial aid recipients, veterans, international students, and athletes. If the student falls into one of these categories, they should also consult with the appropriate office before withdrawing from a course.  

I am interested in attending med/vet/law school – how will a W impact this?  

Pre-health students may want to consult with a pre-health advisor in the HPAC office (Health Professions Advising Center) if there are academic concerns about a particular course required for a pre-health pathway.  

Can I petition to withdraw without a W?  

No, students can only drop classes without a W before the drop deadline. After that date, the only option is to receive a W. Please reference the Academic Calendar for deadlines.

What is the difference between an F (Failure) and a W (Withdrawal) on my official transcript?  

The W does not impact GPA, whereas an F will. Neither reflects earned credits, but both reflect attempted credits.  

Rather than withdraw, could I change my grading option?   

No, the change of grading option deadline (same day as the drop deadline) is firm, and there is no flexibility to petition. Please reference the Academic Calendar for deadlines.

What if I am unable to pass a course (letter or S/U) but I need these credits to graduate?  

Schedule an appointment with one of our Inclusive Academic Advisors or a member of our Registrar team to discuss a plan to complete your degree.