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Adds and Drops

Page history last edited by Casey Bushman 4 years ago

Adding and Dropping Courses During the Semester


You have no responsibility to inform students of add and drop policies or deadlines, but being aware of them may be beneficial to you. Please note the FAQ section below for issues that often arise regarding drops.




In addition to the pre-semester registration periods, students can add themselves to classes online through the fourth class day in fall and spring and through the second class day in summer. After the online period, students must have permission of the department to add. Departments have varying policies on adding after the online period. For example, some departments may require that students have been attending the class since the first day, and many require consent of instructor. Check with your department for its specific policy. Adds must be completed by the 12th class day.




Below is a summary of drop periods; how drops are effected; and how a drop is reflected on the student's record.


Up through 12th class day in fall/spring (4th in summer)


Students drop courses online with no permission required. The courses are removed from students' records.


From 13th class day through midsemester in fall/spring (from 5th-last class day in summer session)


Students fill out drop forms in their dean's offices. Drops may require advisor or other signatures but no longer require instructor signatures. Instructors will receive an email notification when a student drops their class. If instructors have concerns about academic dishonesty, the notification will prompt them to contact Student Judicial Services.


The Dean's Office will determine the type of drop: academic, nonacademic, or delete. Students are required to submit an appeal to have a drop marked as nonacademic.


After the midsemester deadline in fall/spring


One-Time Exception

As of the fall 2011 semester, all students will have the right to use the the One-Time Exception to withdraw or to pursue a drop for a single course. The One-Time Exception allows students one time in their academic careers at UT Austin to drop or withdraw, meaning to be removed from all courses, after the regular deadline up through the last class day for the semester. Instructors will receive an email notification when a student drops their class. If instructors have concerns about academic dishonesty, the notification will prompt them to contact Student Judicial Services. 


Nonacademic Drops

Students who have used their One-Time Exceptions, who wish to drop multiple classes, or feel their circumstances are compelling enough to warrant a nonacademic drop without using the One-Time Exception must appeal to the dean to drop. These drops are only granted for urgent, substantiated, nonacademic circumstances. If approved, a Q is assigned.


Drop FAQs


What’s the significance of the Q?

The Q indicates that the student was enrolled in the course after the official census date for the semester. In fall or spring the census date is the 12th class day and in summer it’s the 4th class day.


What if I feel it's in the student's best interest to drop after the mid semester deadline?

A student can use his/her One-Time Exception (OTE) through the last class day during the fall and spring semesters. You should advise the student to speak with an academic advisor about dropping the course. If the student has already used his/her OTE, then they would need to appeal to their college's dean in order to drop the course. 


What if I feel it's in the student's best interest to "stick it out" rather than drop/attempt a drop?

Handle this situation with caution. Be aware that the student will be held responsible for the decision to remain in the class; your advice will not supersede University policy regarding drops. Take this as an opportunity to have a frank discussion about the student's ability to perform well and make a grade that is acceptable to him/her. Direct the student to his/her advisor to discuss the situation and suggest that s/he refer to the academic calendar for drop deadlines.


Can I drop a student from a class?

No, but you can encourage a student to drop the class.


What constitutes an "urgent, substantiated, nonacademic" drop?

While there should be consistency across colleges, it is up to each college to define these terms. In Liberal Arts, this is done by the associate dean for student affairs. Liberal Arts defines these as follows:

  • Urgent circumstances occur after the deadline or worsen after the deadline such that the student could not have anticipated the need to drop before the deadline. Anxiety problems that develop in September are not considered urgent, for example.
  • Substantiation is most often in the form of doctor notes, police reports, or obituaries. Testimonials from family members do not constitute substantiation.
  • The most common nonacademic circumstances are health-/mental health-related, death in the family (immediate or grandparents). Work-related or financial issues are not considered and illness in the family is rarely considered. Other than death in the family, the nonacademic issue must directly relate to the student, not a family member, friend, or roommate.


What is the difference between a drop and withdrawal?

Drops are for individual classes, whereas a withdrawal constitutes removal from all classes for a given semester.


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