Withdrawal from a Class with a W or NP Grade

After the add/drop/swap deadline, you may formally request to withdraw from a class with a W grade, or withdraw from a class with a No Pass grade (NP) by submitting a “Drop” request in MyUCSC. You can make this request regardless of the grading option you chose at the time of enrollment; however, you must be in good academic standing to request a No Pass grade.  

If a drop is submitted in MyUCSC after the add/drop/swap deadline and by the end of the sixth week of instruction (see the Academic and Administrative Calendar for deadlines), the course appears on your record with a “W” notation. After the sixth week of instruction and until the deadline listed in the Academic and Administrative Calendar, students in good academic standing may use the same process to withdraw from a course by requesting a “NP” (No Pass) notation. "Withdrawing from a class," whether with a W or NP, means you stop participating in the class before the end of the quarter - you may not withdraw from a class if you've completed the final course work or final exam. You will not receive a tuition or fee reversal. You cannot use this form to petition for all W or all NP grades in any regular quarter; if you are not able to complete any courses, use the Petition for Withdrawal/ Leave of Absence to withdraw from the entire quarter.

You may withdraw from a class with a “W” notation after the deadline for documented medical or emergency reasons - contact an advisor at your college if this is the case.

What's a W?

A withdrawal from a class (W) is GPA-neutral: instead of a grade, you receive a W notation on your transcript which does not affect your GPA; you also don’t earn credits for the course. The class and W remain on your schedule and transcript; this allows you to remain in full-time status for financial aid purposes, but not for international students’ F1/J1 purposes. If you are on an F1/J1 visa and have questions about the impact of requesting a W grade, please contact your ISSS Advisor. Once the W petition is filed, you stop attending the class and focus on your other classes.

What's an NP?

A NP (No Pass) is also GPA-neutral; it appears on your transcript and does not affect your GPA; you also don’t earn credits for the course. Once you request an NP, it will appear on your record even before grades are reported at the end of the quarter.

Do I have other options besides requesting a W or NP?

Yes! There are often options that will allow you to complete your courses, and a number of people at UCSC who want to support you to continue making progress. 

If you’re having difficulties in a class, talk with your instructor or TA; you may be able to improve and pass by the end of the term. If you’re experiencing difficulties that affect your ability to continue in or pass a class, make an appointment to talk with your college academic advisor. Depending on your situation, you might choose to change your grading option to P/NP (if you are in good academic standing), talk with the instructor about whether an I (Incomplete) grade is possible, or, if your situation is extreme and you cannot complete any of your courses, take some time off from school and return in a future quarter. If it’s difficult to complete a full-time course load on an ongoing basis because of work, medical, or family responsibility reasons, consider the University Part-time Program - since the part-time program deadline is in the third week of the quarter, it may not be an option for the current quarter, but something to consider for the future.

Pass/No Pass grading is only available as an option to students in good academic standing. Be sure you understand the limits on the number of credits you can complete on a P/NP basis, and whether your major requires your classes be taken for letter grades.

How do I request a W or NP?

You can request a W or NP grade from MyUCSC:

  1. After you log in, click on the Enrollment tile and select Drop. 
  2. Select the class from which you wish to withdraw, and click the Drop Selected Classes Button. 
  3. Confirm your selection and select the Finish Dropping button. This will automatically add the withdrawal (W or NP) to your record.

If I'm enrolled in a class that has a lab or other required co-requisite, can I withdraw or request a NP in just one of them? For example, if I'm enrolled in Physics 5A and the required lab Physics 5L, can I withdraw from just 5A and continue in the lab?

If you request a W or NP in a class with a required lab or other co-requisite, the W or NP will apply to both the class and the lab or other co-requisite. In fall, winter, and spring, at the instructor’s discretion, you may choose to add one of the two back to your schedule through the Add By Petition process. You will be asked to indicate your grading option (graded or P/NP) on the Add By Petition form. The Add By Petition process is not allowed in summer classes.

Does taking a W or NP impact my ability to re-take the course?

A W or NP in a course counts as an attempt and will remain on your record. University policy states that a course taken at UCSC may not be repeated more than once. If this is your first time taking the course and you plan on repeating the course in a future quarter, the next time will be your final attempt. If you are withdrawing or requesting a NP during your second attempt, you will not be able to take the course again at UCSC without approval from your college. This is especially important to note if the course you might not complete is required for your declared or proposed major. Meet with your major advisor for more information on repeating the course and major qualification or graduation requirements.

Does a W or NP affect my financial aid? What about grad school?

In fall, winter, and spring quarters, requesting a W or NP does not affect financial aid for the current quarter, as long as you remain enrolled in and are attending/participating in some of your courses. However, it can affect your future financial aid if you do not maintain satisfactory academic progress. Keep in mind that if you withdraw or NP, you are not earning credits for the class and will likely need to make them up later. Financial Aid requires students to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements to remain eligible for aid.  If you are following a detailed plan for a financial aid appeal, please consult with a financial aid advisor as this may affect your ability to continue receiving aid.

In Summer Session, financial aid eligibility is based on credits, and requesting a W or NP may affect your aid. We recommend checking in with your financial aid advisor in advance of your decision.

We recommend that you take these options seriously, and use them only when absolutely necessary. Students who plan on applying to professional schools should consult those specific schools. For example, law schools will calculate a No Pass (NP) grade as an F for admission purposes. At this time, it is unknown how other professional schools may view: individual courses taken for NP grades; and/or a pattern of W or NP grades.

I’m an international student. Am I eligible for a W or NP?  Will it affect my immigration status?

International degree-seeking (F-1) and international exchange students (J-1) are required to be enrolled in at least 12 credits in fall, winter, and spring quarters to maintain their F1/J1 status.  If you are graduating in summer quarter, you must be enrolled in a minimum number of credits - contact ISSS for specifics about your situation. Students must receive approval for a reduced course load from International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) before a W or NP can be approved. If you are an international student, contact ISSS before requesting a W or NP. The form will be routed to their office for approval before a W/NP is applied to your record.

EAP and exchange students should also reach out to their home university and UCEAP (if a UCEAP Student). Approval for a reduced course load from ISSS is not the same as the University Part-time Program.

Detailed instructions for requesting a W or NP are here. Once processed, W or NP grades cannot be rescinded. If you’re unsure, contact your college academic advisor, who can support you in making this decision.