UH Student Policy Updates and Information

Revised on October 14, 2013 

Undergraduate Policy on Dropping Courses
Six 'W'-grades Limit
FAQs for Students

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.

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Specific dates for Fall 2013 - Summer 2014 are listed below.
Dates shown are excerpted from the UH Academic Calendar.

Semester of
coursework
Last day to drop course
with no grade
*
Last day to drop course
with grade of 'W' **
Fall 2013 September 11, 2013 November 1, 2013
Spring
2014
January 29, 2014 March 26, 2014
Winter Mini 2013 December 24, 2013 January 3, 2014 
Summer Session 1 - 2014 June 5, 2014 July 23, 2014 
Summer Session 2 - 2014 June 5, 2014 June 27, 2014
Summer Session 3 - 2014 June 5, 2014 July 11, 2014
Summer Session 4 - 2014 July 14, 2014 August 6, 2014 
  * Courses dropped by the above date are not considered in "attempted hours" used of Enrollment Cap or Tuition Rebate ** After the date above students are expected to complete courses with the grade assigned by instructor

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

  1. When did this policy take effect?
  2. To whom does this policy apply?
  3. How many grades of 'W' are allowed?
  4. Are past 'W's counted?
  5. If I drop a lecture and lab together, does that count as two (2) 'W's?
  6. What happens once I use up my six (6) 'W's?
  7. Is a 'Q' grade still an option? Are past 'Q' grades counted against my 'W's?
  8. Does a 'W' grade lower my GPA?
  9. When in the semester am I eligible for a 'W' grade?
  10. How can I avoid unwanted 'W's?
  11. How do I request a 'W' grade?
  12. If I drop all of my courses (withdraw) do those 'W's count against my limit?
  13. What if I need to drop all of my courses because of a personal emergency?
  14. If I am approved for a medical or administrative withdrawal will those 'W's count against my limit?
  15. What if there is a personal emergency and I need to drop with a 'W' after the deadline?
  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?
  17. What is the difference between a drop and a withdrawal?
  18. How can I keep track of how many 'W's I have?
  19. How can I find out more about how the policy on dropping courses affects me?

 

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Scroll down to review Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

    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.

       

 

    1. 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.

 

    1. 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.

 

    1. 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.

 

    1. 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 Academic Program Management for final review and decision (see also questions #13 and #15).

 

    1. 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.

 

    1. 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.

 

    1. 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. See chart above for specific dates for current and upcoming terms.
       
      Please also see the academic calendar for all deadlines during the semester which may impact decisions related to your coursework: UH Academic Calendar.

 

    1. 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.

 

    1. 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 at https://myUH.uh.edu 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-1 international 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.

 

    1. 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.  

 

    1. 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 Academic Program Management, 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 at http://uh.edu/withdraw. 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.

 

    1. 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.  

 

    1. 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 Academic Program Management, 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.  

 

    1. 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. 

 

    1. 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.

 

    1. 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.

 

  1. 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 Undergraduate Scholars at UH in room 56 University Libraries, 832-842-2100. Use the southeast entrance at the back of M.D. Anderson Library, across from the University Center. Please note: there is no public access from inside the main part of the library.

 

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