The deadlines to drop fall-term and full-year courses without academic penalty are coming up! It’s a good idea to connect with the Academic Dean’s Office before dropping courses. Our academic counsellors and program advisors are here to help you to make informed choices about your academic progression.

Add and drop deadlines

Each term has deadlines for adding and dropping courses. The deadline to add courses is early in each term: 

  • For first-term and full-year courses, the add deadline was September 16 2021
  • For the winter term, the add deadline is January 11 2022

If you drop a course before the add deadline, the course is deleted from your record.

The deadlines to drop courses without academic penalty are quickly approaching:

  • For first-term half courses and first-term full courses, this date is November 12 2021
  • For full-year courses, this date is November 30 2021
  • For second-term courses and second-term full courses, this date is March 7 2022

Why do these dates matter?

The date that you drop a course impacts how that course appears on your academic record:

  • If you drop a course between the add and drop deadline, the course is recorded as a WDN (withdrawn without academic penalty).
  • If you drop a course after the DROP deadline, it is recorded as an F (a failed attempt).

This means that if you drop a full-year course on November 10, your record will show the course as being WDN, but if drop the course on December 1, your record will show a grade of F for that course. Exceptions may be made if there are compelling medical or compassionate grounds that can be documented.

An F is given a value of 40% for calculation purposes, and so it which will affect your progression average. Courses that are WDN do not impact your progression average.

Should I drop a course?

There are several factors that you should consider when you are considering dropping a course.

Sometimes, reducing your workload can make sense. For example, if you have taken on too many commitments or you are having personal or medical problems, reducing your workload could improve your overall results and reduce the stress that you are experiencing.

  • Be realistic about how much you can do to successfully complete a course at the last minute. It is better to drop a course before the deadline and receive a WDN than to fail the course. A failure remains on your transcript even if you repeat the course.
  • If you are on academic probation, you must achieve an average of 60% with no failures.
  • A failure will prevent admission to an honors program in the following year and will reduce your chances of admission to a professional school.
  • If you have more than 6 failures, you will be required to withdraw from the university for at least one year. There are limits restricting how many times students may repeat a course: You are allowed to repeat a passed course once and a failed course twice.
  • Consider your progression requirements. Depending on your basis of admission, you need a certain average on the courses you attempt in order to remain in good standing at Western.
  • If you are having major academic problems, please consult one of our Academic Counsellors.
  • In some, but not all cases, dropping a course may provide another opportunity for you to earn the average you need. If you repeat a course, only the second mark counts in calculating your average.

Maybe I shouldn't drop a course...?

Sometimes you can make adjustments to avoid dropping a course. For example, you could cut back on your work or other activities.

Carefully consider the following when making your decision:

  • Have you explored all avenues for extra help in the course? For example, have you connected with your instructor, teaching assistant, classmates, or attended help sessions?
  • When will you make up the course you drop?
    • You may be able to take it in a summer session, either at Western or on a Letter of Permission at another University, if it is offered. Alternatively, you may need to enroll in additional an term to complete your degree.
    • If you achieve a 70% average (75% if you are in an honours program), with no failures, on 5.0 courses, you may request permission to take 6.0 courses the following year.
  • Is the course a prerequisite for the program that you are going to choose for Year 2? If you are not able to take the course during the Summer, you may have to take an extra year to complete your program. In these cases, it's probably a very good idea to consult an Academic Counsellor to check the implications of dropping the course.
  • Is the course a prerequisite for a course that you had planned to take in term 2? If so, you may need to change some of your courses in the winter term
  • Some scholarships and awards may have course load requirements.
  • If you are considering a professional school (e.g., Law, Business, Medicine), check with those programs to see if reducing your course load will affect your competitiveness.
  • Check with Student Financial Services to see if your eligibility for OSAP will be affected. For example, if you do not maintain a minimum course load of 60% (that is, 3.0 full courses) per term, there are significant implications.
  • Full-time students taking a regular load should note that there is no refund for dropping 1.0 course. You are considered "full-time" if you are in 3.5 or more courses.
  • If you are living in a campus residence, you should check to ensure that you are meeting the minimum course load requirements for living in residence.
  • If you play varsity sports, check the course load requirements.
  • Inclusion on the Dean's Honor List has course-load related requirements.

A note for international students

Regardless of whether you are inside Canada or outside of Canada, international students should note that if you plan to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit upon graduation, you must remain enrolled full-time throughout your degree, unless you are in your last semester of studies and do not require a full course-load to graduate. A full-time course-load at King’s is 3.5 courses per academic year. 

International students currently in Canada must remain enrolled full-time (3.5 courses per academic year) to wish to remain eligible to work either on-campus or off-campus. You must still meet all other eligibility requirements. 

All students are expected to actively pursue studies, or to make reasonable and timely progress towards their degree. Student immigration questions should go to King’s International.

How do I drop a course?

You can drop courses via your student center.

But before you do, I encourage you to connect with our Academic Counselling Team!
Our academic counsellors and program advisors are here to help you to make informed academic choices.

Academic Counselling Helpline Hours:

If you require support you may complete a Student Intake Form or you may contact our Academic Counselling Helpline directly at 519-518-2907 or at 1-800-265-4406 during the following hours and someone will assist you.

Monday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In order to help us serve you better, please have the following ready prior to contacting the Academic Counselling Helpline:

- Your Student Number
- Your Current and Desired Degree/Module (if different) Combination
- A List of Your Specific Questions

- If you are going to have a person contact the Academic Counselling Helpline on your behalf, ensure you have a release of information saved on your Student Center.