Enrolling in and Withdrawing from Courses

Adding a Course

Students may add a course during the add/drop period via the myWCU portal and after obtaining approval from their program advisor, graduate coordinator, and professor of the course.

Dropping a Course

  1. Students may drop any course from their schedule through the myWCU portal during the drop period. See the academic calendar published on the Registrar's Office website for the official drop deadline dates for each semester.
  2. A grade of W will be entered on the academic record of any student who drops a course between the end of the drop/add period and before the end of the ninth class week or the equivalent in summer sessions. Course withdrawal forms are available on The Graduate School website.

If a student is only scheduled for one course, then withdrawal from the course at any time is considered a withdrawal from the University.

Withdrawal from Courses in Summer Sessions

Students wishing to withdraw from summer sessions should follow the same procedure for withdrawal from a course. Withdrawal deadlines are adjusted appropriately in accordance with the summer calendar.

Withdrawal from the University

Term Withdrawal

Students are able to withdraw from all courses for a semester up until the term withdrawal deadline for the term and receive non-punitive grades of W for all courses. Please consult the academic calendar for term withdrawal deadlines.

To withdraw, students must provide written notification of the withdrawal. The withdrawal date is the date the student submits the withdrawal form to the appropriate university office.

Undergraduate Students: Return a completed and signed term withdrawal form to the Office of the Registrar.

Graduate Students: Return a completed and signed term withdrawal form to The Graduate School.

University Withdrawal

Students who do not intend to continue at West Chester University may withdraw from the university. Students who elect to withdraw from the university would then need to apply for readmission if they wish to re-enroll in courses.  

Students who have not attended West Chester University for three or more consecutive fall/spring semesters are classified as “Inactive” and withdrawn from the institution. Please see the undergraduate or graduate readmission policies under "Other Admission Information" for more information about re-enrollment after an absence.  

Administrative Withdrawal

Under exceptional circumstances the University may administratively withdraw students from a semester. This is done when the student is unavailable to complete the term withdrawal process due to extenuating circumstances (for example, incarceration or hospitalization of the student).

The Registrar’s Office will determine the utilization of the administrative withdrawal process. This will be done after confirming non-attendance with the student’s instructors and taking steps to confirm that the student is unable to complete the withdrawal process.

All courses will be given a grade of “W” for the indicated withdrawn term.

Retroactive Withdrawal Policy

It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to all deadlines published in the University’s academic calendar. However, the University is sensitive to students who find themselves facing urgent matters beyond their control. The retroactive withdrawal policy is designed to help those students when serious or unforeseen circumstances occur after the official withdrawal deadline for the term, making it impossible for them to complete that semester and adhere to published withdrawal deadlines.


A retroactive withdrawal is defined as:

  • A request to withdraw from a single course or multiple courses after the last day of class or
  • A request to withdraw from the entire term after the last day of the term.

Once a degree has been conferred and the student’s cumulative GPA has been sealed, changes to the academic record may only be made in instances where the University has made an error.

Retroactive Withdrawal Deadlines

Completed requests for retroactive withdrawals will be considered if they are submitted to the Registrar within one calendar year of the start of the class. For example, a class that begins in August 2020 will have a retroactive withdrawal request deadline of August 2021. Retroactive withdrawals will not be considered if submitted after the calendar year deadline.

Criteria for Retroactive Withdrawal

West Chester University generally discourages retroactive changes but will consider exceptions to this rule when a student makes a compelling case that withdrawal is appropriate and is able to provide documentation supporting their case. A retroactive withdrawal is an extraordinary remedy that is available only for the extreme circumstances set forth below:

  • The student experienced a mental or physical illness, injury, or other extreme circumstance that significantly limited their capacity to withdraw in a timely manner;
  • The student was forced to leave the University abruptly due to a health or safety emergency within their immediate family; or
  • The student was forced to abruptly relocate due to employment, loss of employment, or a housing emergency.

When determining what the University will consider “extreme circumstances,” keep in mind that the reason for seeking retroactive withdrawal must be:

  • Beyond the student’s control,
  • Unanticipated, and
  • Serious.

Retroactive Withdrawal Requirements

A request for retroactive withdrawal must:

  • Apply to all courses in the term unless a physical or mental health issue (or the issue’s required remedy – hospital visits, counseling sessions, etc.) prevented the student from completing a particular course. 
  • Explain why a course withdrawal or term withdrawal was not submitted prior to the advertised deadline. 
  • Include the following documentation:  
    1. An attendance record or other verification from the instructor indicating the student did not complete the course/term. Non-attendance and/or failure to complete assignments would be expected in instances of “extreme circumstances” as detailed above; 
    2. Documentation provided by the student’s physician or mental health professional when the request is prompted by physical or mental health conditions; 
    3. Documentation of other extenuating circumstances (obituary or other evidence of family 
      emergency, police report, eviction notice, etc.); and 
    4. A statement of support from the student’s academic advisor or student success professional. 

Inadequate Reasons for Seeking Retroactive Withdrawal

The retroactive withdrawal policy is not intended as a way for students to avoid receiving low grades. Faculty members are expected to give one major evaluation prior to the end of the eighth week of the semester so that students have an understanding of how they are doing in the class prior to the course withdrawal deadline. If a student has doubts about their ability to complete a course successfully, they are encouraged to reach out to their instructor or academic advisor before the course withdrawal deadline to discuss their next steps. That may mean seeking additional support through university resources or withdrawing from the course. The student is expected to make the decision by the course withdrawal deadline and not wait until the grades are posted for the semester. Poor grades are not an adequate reason to seek retroactive withdrawal.

Recovering from Low Grades

Students who find themselves with low grades should work with their advisor or student success professional to plan out a method of recovery. This may mean repeating courses or considering a change in their major.

Note on Tuition Adjustments

Students seeking retroactive withdrawal may be entitled to a tuition adjustment. The amount will be dictated by the number of weeks the student completed in the term.

Involuntary Medical Withdrawal Policy

To foster an environment conducive to learning and assure the safety of the community, the University takes appropriate measures to address student conduct that is destructive to self or others or results in serious disruption of the learning environment. In extraordinary circumstances, the University may require a student to involuntarily withdraw from the University when it determines that the student poses a significant risk of harm and this measure is the only way to protect the student and/or others and/or to preserve the integrity of the learning environment.

Please refer to the following website for the entire West Chester University Involuntary Medical Withdrawal Policy: https://www.wcupa.edu/policies/policies.aspx.

Title IV Federal Financial Aid Compliance Policy

See "Withdrawal/Enrollment Change and Aid" for information about the effects of an official or unofficial withdrawal from a term on Title IV financial aid funds awarded to a student.