Add/Drop: Things to Consider

To Drop...

If you drop a course before the Add deadline, it is deleted from your record. Between the Add and the Drop deadline, it is recorded as a withdrawn without academic penalty (WDN). After the Drop deadline, it is recorded as a failed attempt (“F”). Exceptions may be made if there are compelling medical or compassionate grounds that can be documented.

  1. If you have taken on too many commitments or you are having personal or medical problems, reducing your workload could improve your overall results and reduce the stress that you are experiencing.
  2. Be realistic about how much you can do to successfully complete a course at the last minute. It is better to drop a course before the deadline as WDN than to fail the course. A failure remains on your transcript even if you repeat the course.
  3. If you are on probation, you must achieve an average of 60% with no failures.
  4. A failure will prevent admission to an honors program in the following year and will reduce your chances of future admission to a professional school. If you have more than 6.0 failures, you will be required to withdraw for at least one year. You are allowed to repeat a passed course once and a failed course twice.
  5. Consider your progression requirements. Depending on your basis of admission, you need a certain average on the courses you attempt in order to remain in good standing at Western. If you are having major academic problems, you should consult an Academic Counsellor. In some, but not all, cases, dropping a course may provide another opportunity for you to earn the average you need. If you repeat a course, only the second mark counts in your average.

...Or Not to Drop

Sometimes you can make adjustments to avoid dropping a course. For instance, you could cut back on your work or other activities. Consider the following when making your decision:

  1. When will you make up the course you drop? You may be able to take it in a summer session, either at Western or on a Letter of Permission at another university, if it is offered. If you achieve a 70% average, with no failures, on 4.0 or 4.5 credits, you could be given permission to take 6.0 credits the following year.
  2. Is the course an essential prerequisite for the program that you are going to choose for Year 2? If you are not able to take it during the Summer, you may have to take an extra year to complete your program.
  3. Full-time students must take a full course load (ie., 5.0 credits) to qualify for scholarships, gold medals, some awards, and Scholar’s Electives.
  4. Do you have a continuing scholarship? If so most need you to be in 5.0 credits to continue receiving the scholarship the next year.
  5. If you are considering a professional school or graduate school (eg. Law, Business, Medicine), check with the school to see if reducing your course load will affect your competitiveness.
  6. Check to see if your eligibility for OSAP will be affected. For example, if you do not maintain a minimum course load of 60% (3 full credits) per term, there are major implications.
  7. You must be a full-time student (3.5 or more credits) to be eligible to live in a campus residence.
  8. If you play varsity sports, check the course load requirements.
  9. Have you explored all avenues for extra help in the course? i.e., help sessions, individual help from instructor, fellow students, study skills counsellor, a tutor.
  10. Check the online version of the Academic Calendar for the new Dean’s Honour List requirements.
  11. Full-time students taking a regular load should note that there is no refund for dropping 1.0 or 1.5 credits. You are considered a full-time student if you are in 3.5 or more credits.
  12. Students in Medical Sciences 1 or 2 will not be able to continue in Medical Sciences except through the competitive pool. Students in MedSci 1 and 2 must be in a full 5.0 credit load each year.

If you still have questions, our counsellors would be happy to help!