Policies Governing Withdrawal from a Course

COVID-19 Update


We strongly advise that you speak to your course instructor or TA before taking this step to be certain that withdrawal is the appropriate action at this time.   You may also want to reach out to your pre-major advisor or your College Contact to discuss your decision.

Once you are certain you want to withdraw, copy and paste THIS FORM into an email. Complete the questionnaire, put "Withdraw from a Course" in the subject line and send the email to college@sas.upenn.edu. Please submit one email per course.

General Content

Students may withdraw from a course through the eleventh week of the semester with the permission of the instructor and should consult the Academic Calendar for the official Withdrawal deadline for each semester. After the eleventh week, students must petition the Committee on Undergraduate Academic Standing to withdraw from a course. Such petitions will not be granted without documentation of extenuating circumstances. Withdrawals are indicated on the student's transcript by a report of W and will not affect the student's grade point average.

To withdraw from a course from the seventh through the eleventh week:

  • Pick up a Withdrawal form in the College Office. The student may need to meet with an advisor to discuss the reasons for and the effects of a Withdrawal from the course, and to obtain a copy of the form.
  • Bring it to the instructor for discussion and (if the instructor grants approval) signature.
  • Return it to the College Office by the Withdrawal deadline (the end of the eleventh week of the semester).

In order to submit a petition to withdraw from a course after the eleventh week, the student should follow the above steps and, in addition:

  • Fill out a petition form, including a petition statement that explains the reasons for the request.
  • Submit the withdrawal form, the petition form, and any accompanying documentation to the College Office as soon as possible.

Students should be aware that their petitions may be denied.

Students considering a withdrawal should speak with an advisor before taking any action and should be aware of the risks of being enrolled in fewer than 4 c.u.