Dropping A Course - Things to Consider

When should you drop a course?

While we understand that it can be a difficult decision to drop a course, there are situations where it may be a very wise academic decision to do so.

For example, will you be able to successfully complete the course based on your current grades in midterms, quizzes, labs, tests and assignments? If you are unsure where you currently stand, you may find the Mark Calculator on the Library's website to be a helpful tool. The grading scheme for the value of each graded component in the course will be given in your Course Outlines.

When you drop a course it will completely disappear from your Official Transcript (in the same way as if it was never taken). There is no record on the Official Transcript that the course was taken and then dropped.

You may want to ask yourself the following questions when thinking about dropping a course:

  • Are you confident in your ability to pass the course? If the course is failed, you will need to retake it in a future semester if it is a required course for your major. The second attempt in a course does not replace the first, so both grades will appear on your Official Transcript.
  • If you are confident that you will pass the course, are you satisfied with the grade you will likely receive? Once a course has been passed, it cannot be retaken to boost your grade.
  • Are you comfortable repeating all the coursework that you have already completed when you re-take the course?
  • Is this a required course or an elective? If this is a required course, when will you be able to take it again? The expected semester offerings (Fall, Winter, Summer) are given in the Course Descriptions section of the Undergraduate Calendar (scroll down).
  • Is this course affecting your other courses? Will dropping a course where you are struggling allow you to do better in your other courses?
  • Are there future considerations? For example, first year students in the Bio-Medical Science major must meet specific grade and credit requirements to continue beyond first year (2.5 credits per semester - 5.0 credits in Fall/Winter - with a minimum cumulative average of 75.0%). Students not meeting these requirements will be transferred to the Biological Science major, but students are welcome to apply to return to Bio-Medical Science after second year.
  • Please note that admission to OVC and potentially other professional programs may require a full course load (2.5 credits per semester) in some or all semesters as part of their admission requirements (but, of course, low grades may also impair chances of admission and may limit other future opportunities). For OVC, a student's first semester would rarely be needed as part of the application process.

As a general piece of advice, whatever decision you make, is the right decision for you! In the long term, it is rare that a student regrets a decision to drop a course.

How do I drop a course?

Students may drop courses using WebAdvisor, and no approvals are needed to do so. The deadline to drop a course is always the last class day of the semester, by 11:59 PM (ET). The specific date each semester will be widely advertised across campus, and is also indicated in the Schedule of Dates in the Undergraduate Calendar. Please don't wait until the last second to make your decision! Always check your class schedule immediately after dropping to make sure that the course no longer appears on the schedule. It is normal for the course to continue to appear in Courselink, as it will often take at least 24 hours for Courselink to update (usually overnight).If you have a financial sanction against your account, you will need to contact your Program Counsellor for assistance, as WebAdvisor will not allow course drops while on financial sanction.

For students who receive OSAP (student loans) there could be financial consequences if you drop multiple courses (so that you will have fewer than 2.0 credits remaining in the semester, and be considered a part-time student) so it is best to check with Student Financial Services regarding the impact on OSAP.