Dropping courses


You may wish to drop a course/course(s) that you are taking for a variety of reasons. It is important to familiarize yourself with the drop process.

If you are experiencing academic challenges, you may wish to speak with your professor(s) directly. However, if the challenges persists or affects a number of courses, or if they are beyond the scope of what your professor may be able to assist with, please consult with your academic advisor from the Student Services team. An academic advisor can help with academic planning based on your unique circumstances.

Dropping a course by the drop deadline of each term

Each term, there is a drop date by which students are eligible to drop a course on their own through ACORN. Once dropped, the course will disappear from the student’s records (i.e. transcript) as if the course was never taken in the first place. This is commonly known as the term’s course drop deadline without academic penalty. Refer to the Faculty’s Dates & Deadlines to know the drop deadline for each term.

Once successfully dropped, the course will no longer appear on student’s timetable and transcript on ACORN.

Effective May 1, 2013, the Committee on Standing no longer considers requests for late withdrawal based on misunderstanding of how ACORN works.

Dropping a course after the drop deadline of each term

After the official deadline to drop a course without academic penalty has passed, students wishing to drop a course/course(s) must petition to the Committee on Standing for a late withdrawal in the course(s). It is important for students in such a situation to request and arrange an appointment with your academic advisor, from the Student Services team, for academic advising and academic planning.

The Committee on Standing typically convenes at the end of each term:

  • Summer petitions: end of August/beginning of September
  • Fall petitions: end of December/beginning of January
  • Winter petitions: end of April/beginning of May

Required documents for the petition:

  1. Complete an Add/Drop Course form – complete the “drop” section.
  2. Provide a statement on the extenuating circumstance(s) that negatively impacted the student’s ability to complete the course, and what might have prevented the student from dropping the course by the term’s course drop deadline (without academic penalty).
  3. Provide any supporting document(s):
    • For instance, if the student was negatively impacted by a medical situation, the student is required to provide a Verification of Illness
    • If the student is registered with the Accessibility Services, a letter from the student’s accessibility advisor will suffice as supporting document.
  4. Submit the above documents to Student Services through the advisor.

Please note that the Committee may or may not support the request based on the reasons submitted by students and supporting documentation. Generally, the Committee will only consider documented, extraordinary, unexpected circumstances as valid reasons for wanting to drop a course after the official drop deadline. This could be a personal or medical situation, but the situation must be one that was unforeseeable and that was sufficiently serious that it prevented the student from completing the course.

For graduate students, the Committee’s decision will be sent for review by the School of Graduate Studies. Please note that the graduate grading policy does not require assignments be returned prior to the drop deadline. Waiting for mid-term results is not a valid reason for missing the drop deadline, and will not be considered by the Committee on Standing.

For undergraduate students, the Committee’s decision will be making final decisions on all submitted late drop petitions.

Petition results

The Committee on Standing will communicate with students who have requested for a late drop from a course. There are only two possible outcomes: Approved or Denied.

Approved petitions for the late drop from a course carry no academic penalty. The course(s) will still appear on the student’s transcript, but a WDR (withdrawal) will be entered next to the course in lieu of a mark. This designation does not affect a student’s GPA.

Denied petitions will be assigned the marks the student has earned for completed work and zero for incomplete work. You may appeal a denied petition to the Academic Appeals Committee.

Students who drop all courses in which they are enrolled must also withdraw or take a Leave of Absence from their program.