Dropping a Course

Undergraduate Students

During Schedule Change Period

During the first five days of classes of the fall and spring semesters, a student may drop or add a course or courses to his or her schedule. The student should refer to the university calendar for specific dates. The student should discuss schedule changes with his or her advisor prior to making the changes. See below for instructions on requesting schedule changes after the scheduled change period. Course drops during this drop/add period do not count against a student’s course drop allocation.

During the summer, the schedule change period is limited to the first two days of classes each term. Course drops during this drop/add period do not count against a student’s course drop allocation.

After Schedule Change Period

During the first 50 percent of the regularly scheduled class meetings of a course (including the meeting for the final examination), a student may drop the course. After consultation with his or her advisor, the student secures the signature of the advisor on the schedule change form and takes it to the Office of the Registrar for processing or the request to drop the course may be e-mailed to regis@ecu.edu. Students enrolled in a Distance Education course must e-mail DEDrops@ecu.edu from their ECU e-mail account to request a course drop or withdrawal. The same 50 percent drop-period rule applies to block courses of other lengths as well. Ordinarily, a student may drop up to four courses or a smaller prorated number in pursuit of a university degree.  It is the student’s responsibility to consult official university bulletin boards, documents, and/or the university calendar to determine the appropriate drop period for such block courses. Extenuating circumstances, however, can warrant consideration for drop by exception, as explained below.

Petitions for drops after the deadline for course drops will typically be granted only for unforeseen and uncontrollable medical, psychological, or personal problems directly affecting the course(s) to be dropped. Students may petition the Student Academic Appellate Committee through the Office of the Registrar for drops by exception (drops after the 50 percent drop period, drops beyond student’s allotted number, and drops not counted against the allotted number). Poor performance in course work; missed deadlines; change of major; or a course grade’s adverse effect on the student’s grade point average, probationary standing, or other eligibility is not in itself a sufficient basis for exception. The decision of the Student Academic Appellate Committee is final.

Course drops for medical problems will be heard by Student Health Services and course drops for psychological problems will be heard by the Center for Counseling and Student Development. The written appeal must contain the rationale for the appeal and documentation of personal, family, or medical problems and how these problems affected the course(s) to be dropped. Student Health Services and the Center for Counseling and Student Development will not accept requests after the last regularly scheduled class meeting prior to the final examination for the course(s) in question except where earlier requests could not have been foreseen.

Students whose petitions for drops are denied by Student Health Services or the Center for Counseling and Student Development may appeal the decision to the Student Academic Appellate Committee. The decision of the Student Academic Appellate Committee is final.

Course Drop Allocations

In pursuit of a degree at East Carolina University, a student may drop up to four courses (outside the schedule change period). The number of course drops is prorated on the student's credit hours (both ECU and transferred) at the time of implementation or the student's initial matriculation as follows:

First Undergraduate Degree
0 - 29 semester hours of credit 4 course drops
30 - 59 semester hours of credit 3 course drops
60 - 89 semester hours of credit 2 course drops
90 or more semester hours of credit 1 course drop

Second Undergraduate Degree

A student who needs no more than:

30 semester hours of credit 1 course drops
31 - 59 semester hours of credit 2 course drops
60 or more semester hours of credit 3 course drops

Students may use these drops between the schedule change period and the last day to drop term-length courses without a grade. Drops not used roll forward to the following term.

Graduate Students - Schedule Changes

A graduate student may add a course or courses through the last day to register for the semester (fall/spring semesters this is the sixth class day). The student must secure appropriate approval from the instructor and or departmental chairperson and contact the Office of the Registrar to have the add processed.

A graduate nondoctoral student may drop a course and receive no grade according to the date given in the Graduate School calendar. The student must notify their program adviser of the drop and contact the Office of the Registrar to have the drop processed. An e-mail from the adviser or the adviser’s signature on a drop form indicates awareness of the change. A student who drops a course after the last day for graduate students to drop a class without a grade will receive a final grade of F. Students that experience a medical emergency or other emergency of such a serious nature that it is impossible or extraordinarily difficult to withdraw prior to the last day to drop a course must obtain permission from the Dean of the Graduate School. If it is determined that such an emergency existed, approval will be given for the student to be withdrawn from all courses taken during that semester. As a matter of policy it is not possible to select and retroactively drop individual courses.

Doctoral students may drop courses only with permission of their departmental chairperson or graduate committees.

No course is officially dropped or added until all appropriate approvals are obtained from the adviser and/or the Graduate School and the required procedure is completed with the Office of the Registrar.

Students should pay particular attention to procedural directions printed on the forms. No course is officially dropped or added until the required procedure is completed.