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Student Policies

For a full list of the University's policies, see the Undergraduate Catalog.

Dropping and Withdrawing from Course Enrollment

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UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT INFORMATION for DROPPING and WITHDRAWING from COURSE ENROLLMENT

For Graduate Students, please see your academic department.

Undergraduate Students are expected to commit themselves to courses as early as possible in order to succeed in their courses. BEFORE DROPPING OR WITHDRAWING FROM ANY COURSES please be sure to evaluate your decision with your instructor and the appropriate advisor or staff the impact your transaction may have on financial aid, scholarships, international student visa status, scholar-athlete status, housing, health insurance plan and other such significant areas that may impact you academically, personally or financially.

DROPPING COURSE(S): drop course(s) while maintaining enrollment at the University of Houston.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ACTION or REQUEST

DEADLINES:

STUDENT
MUST:

PROBLEMS?

DROP with no grade See Academic Calendar Drop course online See Registrar’s Office - UH Welcome Center -
Tel: 713-743-1010
DROP with W
(limit 6Ws in Undergraduate career in the State of Texas)
See Academic Calendar Drop course online See Registrar’s Office - UH Welcome Center -
Tel: 713-743-1010

 

WITHDRAWAL: canceling enrollment for all courses at the University of Houston.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ACTION or REQUEST

DEADLINES:

STUDENT
MUST:

PROBLEMS?

WITHDRAWAL from all courses, no grades assigned See Academic Calendar Download form online See Registrar’s Office - UH Welcome Center - Tel: 713-743-1010
WITHDRAWAL from all courses with a W See Academic Calendar Download form online See Registrar’s Office - UH Welcome Center - Tel: 713-743-1010



Military Withdrawal

 

MEDICAL/PERSONAL EMERGENCY:

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ACTION or REQUEST

DEADLINES:

STUDENT
MUST:

PROBLEMS?

Drop course(s), or withdraw from all courses, past deadline for medical or personal emergencies

Drop: 90 days from posting of grade(s)

Withdraw:
140 calendar days from close of term in which coursework was taken

Contact
Undergraduate Academic Affairs:

See
Undergraduate Academic Affairs:

Resources

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6-Ws Limit

Undergraduate Policy on Dropping Courses: Six 'W'-grades Limit

see also: UH Undergraduate Catalog Policy Statement: Dropping Courses/Six Ws

A Summary of the Policy on Dropping Courses:

Beginning with the Fall semester 2007, the following policy on dropping courses went into effect. This policy established a 6-'W' grades limit for all undergraduate students.

The six 'W' grades may be used at any time during a student's undergraduate career at UH to drop a course up through the last day to drop a course or withdraw from all courses deadline. This deadline falls approximately four weeks before the last class day of the fall and spring semesters.

Undergraduate students who wish to drop a course and receive a grade of W, regardless of whether or not the student is passing the course, must do so online by logging into their myUH account on or before the posted deadline. Once the 6 'W's have been used however, the student must complete all courses he or she is enrolled in regardless of academic performance.

Students who are enrolled for the first time in college starting Fall 2007 need to be aware of the following:

Effective Fall 2007 the Texas Education Code sec. 51.907 and Texas Administrative Code sec. 4.10 provided that, except for several specific instances of good cause, undergraduate students enrolling as first-time freshmen at a public institution of higher education in Fall 2007 or later will be limited to a total of six dropped courses during their entire undergraduate careers. For these students courses dropped at other Texas public institutions will count towards the 6-drop limit.

Deadline for Dropping Courses:

Specific dates can be found on the UH Academic Calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions about the new 6-'W'-grades limit and the policy on dropping courses:

1. When did this policy take effect?

Fall Semester 2007. The 6-'W' grade limit applies to all undergraduate students from that point forward, regardless of how long they have attended UH or any other college.

This policy is permanently posted in the Undergraduate Studies Catalog.

2. To whom does the UH policy apply?

The UH policy on dropping courses applies to ALL undergraduate students - current, transfer, first time in college students (FTIC), and postbaccalaureate - regardless of when they first enrolled at UH. It does not apply to students in graduate programs.

Students who were enrolled for the first time in college starting Fall 2007 should see the reference to the state policy above.

3. How many grades of 'W' are allowed?

Up to six (6) 'W' grades may be used by an undergraduate student in his or her UH career. This includes courses attempted at Texas public universities since Fall 2007 and prior to transferring to UH.

4. Are past 'W's counted?

Only 'W's received beginning in Fall 2007 and after will count towards the limit. This includes courses attempted at Texas public universities since Fall 2007 and prior to transferring to UH.

5. If I drop a lecture and lab together, does that count as two (2) 'W's?

No, it doesn't need to. If a student is dropping a class which requires concurrent enrollment in another class (e.g., lecture/lab or recitation combination), then this may be granted as a single instance, but only if both are dropped within the same term. The academic department offering the course must verify the concurrent enrollment requirement.

6. What happens once I use up my six (6) 'W's?

After the six 'W's are used, students must then complete all courses in which they are enrolled regardless of academic performance in the class. Requests for more than 6 drops with a grade of 'W' will be denied. Appeals to exceed the 6 drops for reasons of medical or personal emergencies may be submitted to the Registrar’s Office at the Welcome Center. A letter of appeal with supporting documentation may be attached to a General Petition form. Appeals that merit consideration will be referred to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs for final review and decision (see also questions #13 and #15).

7. Is a 'Q' grade still an option? Are past 'Q' grades counted against my 'W's?

The 'Q' grade was a grade option offered only in semesters from fall 2004 through to the end of the summer 2007. 'Q' grades do not count against your 6-'W's.

8. Does a 'W' grade lower my GPA?

No. Grades of 'S', 'U', 'I', and 'W' are not assigned grade point values and are not used in the computation of the grade point average.

9. When in the semester am I eligible for a 'W' grade?

You may pursue a grade of 'W' during the period of time just after the "last day to drop or withdraw without receiving a grade" up through the "last day to drop a course or withdraw" from all courses. The "last day to drop or withdraw" from all courses - i.e. with the grade 'W', is typically four weeks prior to the last class day of the fall or spring semester. Please also see the academic calendar for all deadlines during the semester which may impact decisions related to your coursework: UH Academic Calendar.

10. How can I avoid unwanted 'W's?

To avoid unwanted 'W's be sure you are mindful of drop deadlines and stay in communication with your instructors as early as possible in the semester to learn what student options are available for completing or not completing a course. By policy students continue to have the option to drop courses without receiving a grade as long as these drops are completed by the appropriate deadlines. Please see the academic calendar for the exact dates in each semester when students may drop a course without receiving a grade: UH Academic Calendar.

11. How do I request a 'W' grade?

Undergraduate students who wish to drop a course and receive a grade of W regardless of whether or not the student is passing the course must do so online by logging into their myUH account on or before the deadline. Once the 6 'W's have been used however, the student must complete all courses he or she is enrolled in regardless of academic performance.

While within the 6-drop limit, the 'W' is to be granted whether or not a student is passing the course. The student should continue to attend class until s/he has verified that the W has posted.

Note:

  • Students receiving financial aid should see a financial aid advisor.
  • All F-1 and J-1international students must see the International Student and Scholar Services Office before dropping courses. 
  • Business majors must also secure permission from the Office of Undergraduate Business Programs in the Bauer College of Business.  
  • Athletes must see the Assistant Director of Athletics before dropping courses.

12. If I drop all of my courses (withdraw) do those 'W's count against my limit?

Dropping all courses in a term is considered a "term withdrawal", such 'W's are not counted against a student’s 6 'W's.

13. What if I need to drop all of my courses because of a personal emergency?

Dropping all courses in a term is considered a "term withdrawal", such Ws are not counted against a student’s 6Ws. If at any point in the term a student is unable to complete courses because of medical or other emergency circumstances the student may request a medical or administrative withdrawal through the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, room 109 E. Cullen, 713-743-9112. If it is before the deadline to withdraw in the term, the student has the option to immediately withdraw by completing the Student Request for Official Term Withdrawal. The form can be downloaded online. Termination of enrollment does not entitle the student to receive a refund of tuition and fees if the drop date is after the refund date.

It is important to note that that medical and administrative withdrawal procedures require that a student be withdrawn from all courses for the semester unless documentation supports an exception. Approved medical or administrative withdrawals do not guarantee that the student will receive a refund for the semester's tuition and fees.

Students should proceed with caution and first evaluate the impact such a withdrawal may have on their financial aid, international student status, housing, health insurance or scholarships.

Requests for full term administrative or medical withdrawals must be submitted within 140 calendar days of the posting of a student’s course grades.

For more information about medical or administrative withdrawal from the University, please see: Undergraduate Studies Catalog – policy on Medical and Administrative Withdrawal.

14. If I am approved for a medical or administrative withdrawal will those 'W's count against my limit?

No. The 'W's received from a medical or administrative withdrawal will not be counted towards your 6-'W' limit. Full term withdrawals do not count against a student’s 6-'W's. 

15. What if there is a personal emergency and I need to drop with a 'W' after the deadline?

You should first speak with your instructor to see what options you may have to complete the courses under the circumstances. If there is a verified rare, substantiated, urgent, non-academic reason (such as a medical or personal emergency) preventing you from completing a course, you may be eligible for a medical or administrative drop with a W for the course. An approved medical or administrative drop does not entitle the student to receive a refund of tuition and fees if the drop date is after the refund date. The office designated by the Provost to handle such student requests is the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, room 109 E. Cullen, 713-743-9112.

Students should proceed with caution and first evaluate the impact such a drop may have on their financial aid, international student status, housing, health insurance or scholarships.

The deadline for such requests is 90 calendar days of the posting of the grade of the course. If a student files such a request before the course has ended the student should, if possible, attempt to complete the course until s/he has received confirmation of eligibility and/or approval for a W. Until a decision has been made on the request, the instructor may assign whatever grade is appropriate other than an incomplete.

16. May I use one of my six (6) 'W's to drop a class in which I have received a penalty in violation of the academic honesty policy?

No. Students may not receive a 'W' for courses in which they have been found guilty of a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy. If a 'W' is received prior to a guilty finding, the student will become liable for the Academic Honesty penalty, including 'F' grades.

17. What is the difference between a drop and a withdrawal?

University of Houston academic policy definitions:

Drop: Official dropping of one or more of the courses for which students are registered. Usually initiated by students but can be done in certain instances by faculty or other campus personnel.

Withdrawal: The term withdrawal applies to the dropping of all courses for which students are registered at the University of Houston, and it may be initiated by students.

Please note that although the letter 'W' is used, for grading purposes the 'W' indicates an individual dropped a course and not necessarily that they withdrew from enrollment at the University.

18. How can I keep track of how many 'W's I have?

Students can log into their myUH Student Center and view their current W count. If discrepancies are found, then students may wish to contact the Registrar's Office and/or their advisors to review the count and to ensure that both the process and the policy are understood.

Note: It is the students' responsibility to be aware of how many 'W's they are accumulating towards their limit, and to carefully manage their use.

19. How can I find out more about how the policy on dropping courses affects me?

You may consult with an advisor for any questions you may have about how your coursework decisions may affect your specific degree plan and your academic career.

To find an advisor, contact the college of your major. Students who have not yet declared a major, or who may be changing majors, may talk to an advisor at Exploratory Studies  in Cougar Village II North, in room N140, 832-842-2100.

Attempted Hours and the ORD

Any credit hours in which you are enrolled after ORD are identified as attempted hours.

The Official Reporting Day, or "ORD", is the critical date in determining attempted hours. ORD is normally the twelfth class day in the spring and fall semesters, and the fourth class day in the summer semesters.

If you do not want to unnecessarily increase your attempted hours, you should drop or withdraw from courses on or before ORD.

Credit hours attempted in a semester may have significant short term and long term academic and financial impact on you (see areas of impact below.)

This landmark date is indicated on the Academic Calendar. It is important to always check the Academic Calendar for exact dates when making decisions about adding/dropping or withdrawing from courses.

Here are some common examples of how attempted hours could impact you:

Undergraduate Enrollment Cap

Enrollment cap totals are based on attempted hours. Texas resident undergraduate students who enrolled for the first time in a Texas public institution of higher education in Fall 1999 or later may be charged a premium tuition rate - an additional $100 per semester credit hour over the Texas resident rate - after they reach their established enrollment cap.

To learn more, see: Information About the Enrollment Cap for Texas Residents.

Three-peat Rule

With limited exceptions, Texas-resident undergraduate students who attempt a course with the same content for a third or more times will be charged a premium tuition rate - an additional $100 per semester credit hour over the Texas resident rate - for those credit hours.

For additional information, see: Information About the "Three-peat" Rule.

Policy on Dropping Courses: 6 W-grades Limit

As of Fall 2007 undergraduate students are limited to dropping 6 courses in their UH career with a grade of W.

Courses dropped or withdrawn on or before ORD are not considered attempted hours, receive no grade, and are thereby not counted in the student’s 6 Ws.

For more information, please see: Policy on Dropping Courses: Six 'W'-grades Limit FAQs for Students

Texas Tuition Rebate

Students who are Texas residents who graduate within four years and with the minimum number of hours towards their degree requirements for their first baccalaureate degree may be eligible for a $1000 tuition rebate. For example, if a student drops more than one three-credit-hour course past the ORD, the student could become ineligible for the rebate.

In determining eligibility for the rebate, all attempted hours are considered and include:

  • hours attempted at all other institutions,
  • credit-by-examination in excess of nine semester credit hours,
  • courses that are developmental, repeated, and optional for internship/cooperative education.

To learn more, please see the information on undergraduate tuition rebates, including rebate request form.

Financial Aid

Students who rely on financial aid must show satisfactory academic progress each eligibility term. Students who do not complete attempted hours may negatively impact their current and future financial aid totals.

For further information, please see the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid website or speak with a Financial Aid advisor at the Welcome Center.

Refund Eligibility for Dropped Courses

Tuition refund dates coincide with ORD. Students should view the Student Financial Services refund timeline every semester.

How can I learn more about the impact of "Attempted Hours"?

You should consult with an academic advisor for any questions you may have about how your coursework decisions may affect your specific degree plan and your academic career.

To find an advisor, contact the college of your major. Students who have not yet declared a major, or who may be changing majors, may talk to an advisor at Exploratory Studies in Cougar Village II North, room N140, 832-842-2100.

Texas Enrollment Cap

A summary of the Enrollment Cap for Texas Residents

Under current rules, Texas resident undergraduate students who enrolled for the first time in a Texas public institution of higher education in Fall 1999 or later may be charged a premium tuition rate after they reach an established enrollment cap.

Reaching your established enrollment cap does not mean you can't enroll in any more courses. It does mean you will be charged a higher tuition rate for those courses you enroll in after you have met the cap.

Texas residents were previously eligible for the lower residential rate regardless of the number of hours they accumulated. Texas residents who first enrolled Fall of 1999 or later will continue to be eligible for the lower rate as long as they do not exceed their established cap.

All students should remain aware of how the enrollment cap rules will affect their individual financial status.

To allow a transition and adjustment period, a somewhat higher cap was established for students who enrolled during or after the Fall semester of 1999 and prior to the Fall semester of 2006. However, from Fall 2006 onward there is one standard cap for all Texas residents enrolling for the first time in Texas public institutions of higher education.

Individual enrollment caps will be determined according to the following schedule:

Semester You First Enrolled in a Texas Public Institution of Higher EducationYour Enrollment Cap
(hours allowed in excess of your minimum degree hours)
Prior to Fall 1999
no cap
Fall 1999 through Summer 2006
45 hours
Fall 2006 and thereafter
30 hours

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How individual enrollment cap hours are calculated

All degree plans require that students complete a number of credit hours relevant to the discipline. This number of credit hours - which will differ according to each student's degree requirements - is then added to the relevant cap number. The resultant total is the number of hours which represent the enrollment cap for that individual student.

In situations where a student is undertaking multiple majors and/or degrees, the University of Houston will allow an additional 30 hours to be added to that student's enrollment cap. Students should be aware, however, that failure to complete such intended degree programs may result in the additional cap hours being disallowed. Charges for the excess hours would therefore be incurred.

You should always confer with an academic advisor and check with the college of your major to determine your individual degree plan requirements, and/or to determine how degree plan changes may affect your enrollment cap status.

Elective hours and other hours which do not apply to your major will still count towards your cap. And be aware that students who have not selected a major are considered by state law to have degree requirements of 120 hours.

Please also note that the hours which count towards the cap specifically include "attempted" hours in addition to "completed" hours. Attempted hours are defined as all hours for which the student was enrolled at the end of the official reporting day (or "ORD"), regardless of whether or not the student dropped the class after that date.

The ORD is normally the twelfth class day in the spring and fall semesters, and the fourth class day in the summer semesters. This landmark date is indicated on the Academic Calendar.

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Questions you may have about the Enrollment Cap

1. What happened Fall semester 2006?

Students who by then had excess hours began to be charged a premium tuition rate for all hours they attempted during that semester as well as for any subsequent hours.

In addition, students who enrolled for the first time in any Texas public institution of higher education in the Fall of 2006 or thereafter became subject to the 30 hour enrollment cap.    

2. I've attended different Universities and Colleges. How will I know how many hours I have accumulated towards my cap?

Each semester the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will be sending reports to all Texas public institutions of higher learning - i.e. Universities, Colleges, and other such schools and institutions - indicating for each of their currently enrolled students which individuals are nearing or have gone over their cap. These reports will contain only generic information about attempted hours.

Based on the Coordinating Board's information, the University of Houston will contact its affected students.

To give the Coordinating Board permission to release your own individual, detailed record of hours to the University, you will need to provide the UH Registrar's office with a Release Form for Credit Hour Information.

Scroll down for further information about the Release Form.    

3. Are there any hours which do not count towards the cap?

Yes. There are several specific situations:

  • For students who are enrolled through the Texas Fresh Start program (Section 51.931 of the Texas Education Code) credit hours earned 10 or more years before the date the student enrolls under Fresh Start will not be counted toward the cap.  
  • Hours earned by the student before graduating from high school and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.  
  • For students enrolled through post-baccalaureate (PB), hours from the previously awarded baccalaureate degree will not be counted toward the cap for a second baccalaureate degree.  
  • Hours earned as credit-by-exam (or other processes by which credit is earned without the student being charged tuition) will not be counted.  
  • Hours earned in remedial education courses, technical education, or workforce education courses funded according to contact hours, or other courses that do not count toward a degree program at the institution where they were taken will not be counted toward the cap.
    Please be aware, however, that some courses, such as a course repeated due to a student earning a grade which is insufficient to meet program requirements, can count towards the cap. To clarify your specific situation, please contact an academic advisor.  
  • Hours earned by the student at private or out-of-state institutions will not be counted toward the cap.    

4. Do I get an additional 30 cap hours for each major or degree when I have more than one?

No. Students are allowed only 30 additional cap hours regardless of how many majors or degrees they undertake simultaneously.    

5. What happens if I have multiple majors, or I'm in a dual-degree program, but end up dropping part of my degree plan?

If the University has allowed additional cap hours for you based on multiple majors and/or degrees, and you decide not to complete your intended program, your additional cap hours will be disallowed and you will be charged the premium rate for any excess hours.

Again, all students should remain aware of exactly how the enrollment cap rules will affect their individual financial status. Outstanding financial liabilities at the time of graduation can prevent you from receiving your transcripts. Please contact an academic advisor if you have any questions about your enrollment cap status.

6. How do I find an academic advisor to discuss my specific situation?

Contact the college of your major. Students who have not yet declared a major, or who may be changing majors, may talk to an advisor at Exploratory Studies in Cougar Village II North, room N140, 832-842-2100.

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Release Form for Credit Hour Information

Release Form

This release form is intended for students who appeal their inclusion in the undergraduate list of students Approaching/Will Exceed/Exceeding the enrollment cap.

This release form gives the Higher Education Coordinating Board permission to send the University information about scholastic credit hours you have taken at other Texas public institutions of higher learning. This information will allow UH to best advise you about your academic and financial status during your time here, and will help you to graduate in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

In order to answer your questions about the enrollment cap as it pertains to your academic record this form must be signed by you to permit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to release your report of attempted hours to UH.

Steps:

A. Review the information regarding the policy.

B. If you still have questions about your enrollment cap status, contact your academic advisor to review your academic record.

C. If you wish to appeal your inclusion on the undergraduate list of students approaching/will exceed/exceed the enrollment cap:

  1. Review, print out, and sign the release form: Download the Release Form

  2. Submit the release form to the UH Registrar's Office.
    Please either bring the completed form to 128 Welcome Center,
    or mail it to:

    University of Houston
    Office of the University Registrar
    4800 Calhoun
    Houston, Texas 77204-2027

  3. UH will send your request for release of information to the THECB, and the THECB will return a report of your attempted hours to UH.
  4. The report will then be sent to your academic advisor here at UH along with a request to contact you to review the report and your academic records. Reports from the THECB typically are returned to your UH advisor in about one week.

For any further questions, please contact an academic advisor in the college of your major.

*** Please Note! ***

You must drop a course prior to the close of the Official Reporting Day (ORD), or that course will still count towards your enrollment cap. Check the Academic Calendar to find the current ORD.

UH Class Schedule Online: collected links to Enrollment Services Online, Office of the University Registrar (OUR), VIP, more.

Undergraduate Catalog Online: provides information about the enrollment cap, other University policies, course descriptions, degree plans, the Academic Calendar, more.

Review the Texas State Education Code

Review the Texas State Education Code (54.014 and 61.0595)
Policy on Premium Tuition Charges for Excessive Undergraduate Hours (aka: 45/30 Hour Enrollment Cap Rule)

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Three-peat Rule

Based on legislation authorized by the State of Texas, there are regulations concerning tuition charges pertaining to a limit on repeated hours of attempted courses for Texas resident undergraduates at Texas public institutions.

With only limited exceptions, Texas-resident undergraduate students who attempt a course with the same content for a third or more times will be charged a premium tuition rate for those credit hours.

"Attempted" hours are defined as all hours for which the student was enrolled at the end of the Official Reporting Day (or "ORD"), regardless of whether or not the student dropped the class after that date.

The ORD is normally the twelfth class day in the spring and fall semesters, and the fourth class day in the summer semesters. This landmark date is indicated on the Academic Calendar.

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Exceptions to the Rule

Some courses are designed for repeated enrollment, such as:

  • Thesis and dissertation courses.  
  • Courses that may be repeated for credit because they involve different or more advanced course content each time they are taken, including but not limited to, individual music lessons, Workforce Education Course Manual Special Topics courses (when the topic changes), theater practicum, music performance, ensembles, certain physical education and kinesiology courses, and studio art.  
  • Independent study courses.  
  • Special topics and seminar courses.  
  • Developmental Education coursework taken for a third or more times if the coursework is within the 18-hour limit at general academic institutions.

These courses are thereby exempt from the three-peat rule.

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An example

A student might enroll in a course, drop the course after the ORD, and earn a "W" grade. During a subsequent semester this student enrolls again in the same course, but again withdraws after the ORD. The next time the student enrolls in this course, he or she will be charged the premium tuition rate for those hours.

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Questions you may have about the three-peat rule

  1. What if I withdraw from a course before the ORD?
    Courses dropped prior to ORD will not count towards the three-peat cap.    
  2. How will I know when the ORD is?
    The current Official Reporting Day is always indicated in the UH Academic Calendar.
  3. How do I find an academic advisor to discuss my specific situation?
    Contact the college of your major. Students who have not yet declared a major, or who may be changing majors, may talk to an advisor at Exploratory Studies in Cougar Village II North, in room N140, 832-842-2100.

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*** Please Note! ***

You must drop a course prior to the close of the Official Reporting Day (ORD) or that course will still count towards the three-peat rule. Check the Academic Calendar to find the current ORD.

UH Class Schedule Online: collected links to Enrollment Services Online, Office of the University Registrar (OUR), VIP, more.

Undergraduate Catalog Online: provides information about the three-peat policy, other University policies, course descriptions, degree plans, the Academic Calendar, more.

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Review the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules and Regulations

Review the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules and Regulations
(Chapter 13 - Financial Planning; Subchapter F: Formula Funding And Tuition Charges For Repeated And Excess Hours Of Undergraduate Students)

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