Course Drop-Add Policy


To assure compliance with federal requirements for reporting changes in enrollment status, UTHSC requires students to report any intended enrollment changes in a timely manner. For those enrolled in programs that provide flexibility in course selection, students must request consideration to either drop or add a course after the official registration period has ended. If approved, a college official will submit the necessary drop/add form for each course to the Registrar. Depending on the timing of the change and college/program policies related to course withdrawals, the resultant change in total enrolled credit hours could affect:

  1. enrollment status (e.g. status may change from full time to part time or to withdrawn),
  2. eligibility for tuition refunds - see
  3. eligibility for financial aid - see
  4. effect on student loan deferrals/requirement for student loan repayments,
  5. grade recorded on the transcript (see below for guidelines).

Note: many of the academic programs at UTHSC have fixed curricula and it may not be possible to withdraw from a single course without withdrawing from the program. Options for adding courses may also be limited. Students are advised to consult with college officials regarding any planned changes in enrollment.


If applicable to the curriculum, courses may be dropped or added during the first three weeks (14 business days) of the term with the permission of the course director/instructor of record. A college official must complete the Drop/Add Form(s), by downloading the form from the Registrar's web site - All forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in a timely manner; any adjustments to tuition related to the change in credit hours will be determined by the date that the form is received by the Registrar (see below).

Effect of Dropping a Course on Tuition Refunds

If a student drops one or more classes but not all classes, the student may be eligible for a partial refund of tuition. The amount of the refund is dependent on two things:

  1. whether the drop occurs prior to or during the term that the course is offered;
  2. whether dropping the(se) course(s) affects student status (e.g. will student be enrolled in a sufficient number of credit hours to qualify as a full time student)

If the student is still considered full-time after the drop, no refund is due. If not, the refund due is calculated as a percentage, based on the applicable semester rate per credit hour and the number of days between the first official day of class and the day the student officially drops hours.
Amount of Refund by calendar days for the fall and spring terms.

  • If drop occurs prior to beginning of academic term, 100% refund for the number of credit hours at the applicable rate
  • Day 1-7             90%
  • Day 8-14           80%
  • Day 15-21         60%
  • Day 22-28         40%
  • Day 29-end of term 0%

Summer school term is shorter than fall and spring. Therefore, refunding percentages will be as follows for summer term:

  •  Prior to beginning of academic term 100%
  • Day 1-5             90%
  • Day 6-10           80%
  • Day 11-15         60%
  • Day 16-20         40%
  • Day 21-end of term 0%

A full (100%) refund of tuition and mandatory fees paid will be provided:

  1. To students called to active military or National Guard service during the period of enrollment.
  2. In the event of a death of a student during the period of enrollment.
  3. For a course canceled by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
  4. To students who are compelled by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to withdraw when it is determined that through the university error they were academically ineligible for enrollment or were not properly admitted to enroll for the course(s) being dropped. An appropriate official must certify in writing that this provision is applicable in each case.

Tuition and fees are not affected by the addition of credit hours if the student is already enrolled in a sufficient number of credit hours to be considered full time. Rules relating to enrollment status are published in the Student handbook, CenterScope In brief, students enrolled in undergraduate programs are considered full time if they are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours. Students in graduate programs are considered full time if they are enrolled in 9 or more hours. Students in professional programs carry many formal credit hours, and addition of credit hours requires approval by the college. Such students are not permitted to selectively drop courses as the professional program curricula are fixed and coordinated completion of all coursework is considered essential for success.

Grades Recorded for Dropped Courses

Colleges may have more specific policies/procedure related to the awarding of grades after a student has withdrawn from (a) course(s). In the absence of any college-specific procedures, the following will apply:

Limits for Dropping Courses

  • If withdrawal occurs before the midpoint of a course, the grade for the dropped course is recorded as a ‘W’ on the official transcript.
  • If withdrawal occurs after the midpoint, but before the course is 70% completed, the grade for the dropped course is recorded as either ‘WP’ (withdrawn passing) or ‘WF’ (withdrawn failing) depending on the student’s grade point average in the course at the time of withdrawal.
  • Once a course is > 70% completed, a withdrawal is not permitted except under extenuating circumstances. Any student who fails to complete the course will receive zero(s) for any uncompleted assignments and tests, and the final course grade will incorporate those zero(s) into the grade calculation.

Incomplete vs. Withdrawal

In those instances in which he/she is unable to complete a course at the scheduled time, the student is advised to consult with his/her dean or designee. If approved by the dean or designee, the student will receive an ‘incomplete’ in the course and the grade for that course would be recorded as ‘I’ on the student transcript. The student must complete all remaining course requirements by the end of the semester following that in which the ‘incomplete’ was received. Otherwise the ‘I’ will be changed to an ‘F’ for the permanent record.


  • Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy
  • Attendance Policy

PDF version

Approval Date

February 12, 2013 (approved)


Committee on Academic and Student Affairs

Next Scheduled Review

February 2016

Office of Responsibility

Student Affairs