Skip to Content

Dropping a Class: Rules for Undergraduate Students

In general, an undergraduate may drop a class through midsemester in a long-session semester and through the last class day in a summer term. However, the student must meet the conditions described below and must abide by the Quantity of Work Rule. The dates of the deadlines discussed below are given in the Academic Calendar.

In addition to other required approvals, international students must have the written consent of the International Office to drop a class.

On the recommendation of the instructor and with the approval of the student’s academic dean, a student may be required to drop a class at any time because of neglect or lack of preparation. Delete drops (which remove all indications of the course registration from a student's academic record) may be requested only in the cases of University error or in response to rare and extenuating circumstances. The form requesting the delete drop must be signed by the dean of the college or school in which the student is enrolled.

Limitations

In accordance with section 51.907 of the Texas Education Code, a student may drop no more than six classes for academic reasons during his or her undergraduate career. This rule applies to all students who entered a public Texas institution of higher education as first-time undergraduates in the fall semester 2007 or later.

A dropped class is counted toward the six-drop limit if the student dropped it from the thirteenth class day through the deadline to drop a class for academic reasons in a long-session semester or from the fifth through the last class day in a summer term, and if the student did not drop the class for a substantiated, nonacademic reason as defined below.

Any Q-drop assigned will not be considered final until any investigations of scholastic dishonesty for the class in question are resolved.

Nonacademic Reasons for Dropping a Class

A dropped class will not be counted toward the six-drop limit if it occurs for a nonacademic reason such as those listed below. The student’s dean will decide, at the time the student drops a class, whether the reason for the drop is academic or nonacademic.

  1. A severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
  2. The student’s responsibility for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person if the provision of that care affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
  3. The death of a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s death is considered to be a showing of good cause.
  4. The active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States of either the student or a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s active military service is considered to be a showing of good cause.
  5. A change of the student’s work schedule that is beyond the control of the student and that affects the student’s ability to complete the course.

Procedures

Through the twelfth class day. From the first through the twelfth class day in a long-session semester, and from the first through the fourth class day in a summer term, a student may drop a class through the registration system. If the dropped class must be taken in conjunction with another class, the student must drop the second class as well. Each student should meet with his or her adviser before dropping a class.

A class dropped during this period is deleted from the student’s academic record. It does not count toward the six-drop limit described above.

From the thirteenth class day through the deadline to drop a class for academic reasons. From the thirteenth class day through the deadline to drop a class for academic reasons in a long-session semester, and from the fifth through the last class day in a summer term, a student may drop a class only with the approval of his or her dean. In some colleges and schools, the approval of the student’s adviser is also required. If the student is allowed to drop, the class remains on the student’s academic record with the symbol Q, which identifies a drop without academic penalty. In addition, the student’s dean determines whether the student is dropping the class for an academic or a nonacademic reason. If the dean determines that the reason is academic, the drop is counted toward the six-drop limit described above.

After the deadline to drop a class for academic reasons. After the deadline to drop a class for academic reasons has passed, there are only two possible ways for a student to drop a class. One way is in the case of urgent, substantiated, nonacademic reasons, which must be approved by his or her dean. Approved nonacademic drops that occur during this period are not counted toward the six-drop limit described above. The other way is for the student to seek approval to use the One-Time-Exception. Approved One-Time-Exception drops that occur during this period are counted toward the six-drop limit described above. To seek either type of drop within this period a student must request the drop forms from the student's dean's office by the last class day, and the forms must be returned to the student's dean's office before the first day of final exams.

One-Time-Exception

Undergraduate students who may not have urgent, substantiated, nonacademic reasons will be allowed to drop a single class or withdraw from the University after the deadline to drop or withdraw for academic reasons under the provisions of the One-Time-Exception (OTE). The OTE may be invoked only once during the student’s entire undergraduate college career regardless of the college the student was enrolled in at the time the exception was allowed. The provisions of the OTE are as follows.

General Provisions

  1. The OTE does not apply to students in the Graduate School, the College of Pharmacy, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the School of Law, or the School of Information.
  2. A student must request the OTE from the student’s dean’s office by the last class day. Forms must be returned to the student’s dean’s office before the first day of final exams.
  3. Any drop or withdrawal allowed under the OTE will be subject to the same academic and financial aid rules governing other drops or withdrawals taken during the semester.

Provisions for Drops

  1. The student must obtain the signature of the instructor on the form.
  2. A student may not drop a class in which a final grade has been assigned. This will be verified by the student’s dean’s office with the instructor of the course.
  3. A student may not drop a class if there are any pending investigations of scholastic dishonesty for the class in question; this will be verified by the student’s dean’s office with the instructor of the course.
  4. A student who has not completed two long semesters will be allowed to drop a course regardless of his or her current grade in the course.
  5. A student who has completed at least two long semesters at the University of Texas at Austin may only drop a class if he or she has an average grade of D+, D, D-, or F in the course at the time of the request. This will be verified by the student’s dean’s office with the instructor of the course.
  6. Drops allowed under the provisions of the OTE will be considered academic drops and will count toward the six-drop limit. Students who have reached the six-drop limit are not eligible to use the OTE to drop a course.

Provisions for Withdrawals

  1. Students who are requesting to use the OTE for a withdrawal will be allowed to withdraw regardless of current grades in classes.
  2. No instructors’ signatures will be required on the form.
  3. Pending scholastic dishonesty will be verified by the student’s dean’s office with the Dean of Students Office. Withdrawal will not be approved if there is a pending scholastic dishonesty case.

What Starts Here Changes the World