The College of Letters & Science policy is that students must drop semester-long courses by the end of the 12th week of classes. Information about important deadlines can be found at Dates & Deadlines. Courses may not be dropped after the 12th week except in extremely unusual circumstances, and only with the approval of an academic dean. (Please note that the summer term drop deadlines are usually within the first week or two of a particular summer session. See the Summer Key Deadlines for more specific details.)
In order to obtain a drop (or retroactive drop) after the official deadline, a student should have verifiable non-academic circumstances beyond their control which prevented them from dropping the course in a timely manner or from completing the course.
If the class(es) you hope to drop are still in progress, please use the following form:
Late Drop Request Form
A RETROACTIVE drop is one that is requested AFTER the term has ended. It is expected that the retroactive drop request be made within the term immediately following the term in question. If the class or classes you hope to drop were taken in a previous term, please use the following form:
Retroactive Drop Request Form (see below)
To request a late drop or retroactive drop, you must BOTH:
- Submit this completed form (see below)
- Schedule an appointment to meet with an academic dean. (Please call L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans’ Services at 608-262-0617 to schedule an appointment to speak with an academic dean. (During the 2020-2021 academic year, you may also contact our office for an appointment by sending an email to LSDEANS@SAA.LS.WISC.EDU.)
- L&S undergraduate students on F-1 and J-1 visas must obtain permission to drop below full-time status from International Student Services (ISS). Detailed information on getting permission to drop below full-time can be found at reduced course load.
Please call L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans’ Services at (608) 262-0617 or LSDEANS@SAA.LS.WISC.EDU to schedule an appointment to speak with an academic dean.
A student MUST first read through the RETROACTIVE DROP information and THEN fill out the information below. Please note that in order to obtain a drop after the official deadline, it is important that an individual provide strong documentation of their circumstances. (Extenuating circumstances should have occurred and be able to be well documented.) Examples of documentation that should be provided are as follows:
Death of a family member or friend
- Obituary or death certificate
- Letter from counselor
- Documentation should include date and indicate relationship to the deceased
- Letter from therapist or counselor
Medical Issues (serious illness, hospitalization, mental health, change in health status)
- Letter from doctor with advised period of recovery
- Record of doctor visits
- Hospitalization records
- Copies of medical bills documenting illness/injury
- Letter from doctor, therapist, or counselor
Please feel free to provide written feedback from your instructor(s) regarding your class participation and academic performance if you believe this information would be helpful to the academic dean reviewing your situation.
Providing documentation *is not *a guarantee that a student’s request to drop or retroactively drop a class will be granted. Earning a poor grade in a course, not being aware of deadlines, or not receiving feedback on an examination until after the deadline are a few examples that are not considered strong reasons for obtaining a drop after the deadline.
Retroactive Drop Request Form