Students not attending a class in which they are enrolled must drop or withdraw from the class; failure to do so will result in a failing grade on the student’s record (F or WU). See Understanding Grades and Grading for more information. Students should not assume the University will remove them from a class for non-payment of fees or that the instructor will remove them for non-attendance.
NOTE: It is YOUR responsibility to adjust your enrollment by by the deadlines to avoid charges or be eligible for a full or pro-rated refund. Failure to track your enrollment and student account balance at MyCSULB may result in charges and holds preventing critical university services. If you had a financial aid fee deferment in place when you registered and are later determined ineligible for aid, or you decline your aid, you must drop your classes. Students who do not plan to attend, should drop all classes before the first day of instruction to get a full refund. After instruction begins, students who drop/withdraw from their classes will be responsible for pro-rated fees based on the date of dropping or withdrawing.
Dropping a Class (Before the 2nd Week of Instruction)
The difference between dropping a class and withdrawing from a class is based on the timing of your decision to stop participating in a class and when you take action on that decision. Dropping occurs when you take appropriate action to remove the class(es) from your academic record BEFORE the end of the second week of instruction. You may drop classes online throughout the self-service registration period without departmental approval. The classes will not be included on your transcript and the units will not count toward the Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit (PDF). Dropping may affect your tuition calculation and Financial Aid.
Withdrawing (After the 2nd Week/Before the Final Three Weeks)
Withdrawing occurs when you remove yourself from class AFTER the second week of instruction. Before withdrawing, you should consider the consequences of such an action and consult with your academic advisor since it will generally impact your progress towards your degree, future course enrollment and financial aid eligibility.
When you decide to stop participating in a class and take action to withdraw after the second week and prior to the final three weeks of instruction, the class will be included on your transcript with a W symbol. The W indicates that you attempted the class but eventually withdrew prior to completing it for a letter grade. Withdrawn classes are included in the tuition calculation.
Withdrawals are subject to CSULB's Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit (PDF) and are permissible only for a serious and compelling reason. Withdrawing requires approval from the instructor and chairperson of the department offering the class on the Petition to Withdraw From a Class(es) After the First Two Weeks and Prior to the Final Three Weeks of Instruction (PDF). If the petition is approved, a W will be assigned and will appear on your transcript.
CSULB’s Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit policy allows you to withdraw from a maximum of 18 units over the course of your entire CSULB undergraduate career including special sessions, CCPE enrollment and re-enrolling after separation from the University. Once the limit is reached, you can no longer withdraw and must remain enrolled. Your instructor(s) will assign appropriate grade(s). You may review your courses and number of units applied to the Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit by accessing your MyCSULB Student Center and selecting Withdrawal/Repeats from the pull-down menu in the Academics section.
Exceptions to CSULB's Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit include:
- Dropping a Class (First Two Weeks of Classes)
- Courses withdrawn prior to Fall 2009
- Courses in which you received a a symbol of WE
- If you have reached the 18-unit withdrawal limit and present a Petition to Withdraw, the Office of Enrollment Services will be unable to process it.You must complete the class or initiate the Incomplete process, when appropriate. If you simply cease attending class, you may be assigned a WU or F (a WU is treated as an F for GPA calculation). Exceptions to the withdrawal limit will be considered only in rare cases of extraordinary need and documented circumstances, and must be requested in a Petition for Exception to Academic Policy (PDF).
Withdrawal due to circumstances beyond your control in which a serious personal life situation, illness or accident prevents you from continuing in your classes and Incompletes or other arrangements with instructors are not possible may qualify as a Catastrophic Withdrawal-Beyond Student’s Control (PDF) or Catastrophic Withdrawal-Medical (PDF). Such requests normally involve withdrawal of all classes in the term, require thorough and credible documentation, and are not intended to be made more than once during your academic career. In addition to the Catastrophic Withdrawal, the Petition to Withdraw From a Class(es) After the First Two Weeks and Prior to the Final Three Weeks of Instruction with required signatures must also be submitted. When approved, a Catastrophic Withdrawal results in a symbol of WE for every course in the withdrawal term on your transcript; the withdrawn units do not apply to your Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit.
If the request to withdraw is approved but does not meet the definition of a Catastrophic Withdrawal, symbols of W will be assigned and the units will count towards the Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit. If the request to withdraw is not approved, you must initiate the Incomplete process, if applicable, or complete the class(es). If you cease attending class, you may be assigned a WU or F (a WU is treated as an F for GPA calculation).
Catastrophic Withdrawal (During Final Three Weeks of Class)
Withdrawal during the final three weeks of instruction is not permitted unless there are circumstances beyond your control in which a serious personal life situation, illness or accident prevents you from continuing in your classes and Incompletes or other arrangements with instructors are not possible. Categorized as a Catastrophic Withdrawal, such requests require thorough and credible documentation, normally involve withdrawal of all courses in the term, and are not intended to be made more than once during your academic career. In order to be considered, requests for Catastrophic Withdrawals require support from the instructor, chairperson of the department offering the class, and the Dean of the college in which the class is taught. Final approval can be granted only by the Office of the Provost.
If seeking a Catastrophic Withdrawal, you should submit the Petition to Withdraw from Classes in Final Three Weeks of Instruction (PDF) and the applicable Catastrophic Withdrawal Request - Medical OR Catastrophic Withdrawal Request - Beyond Student’s Control no later than the last day of instruction in the requested withdrawal term.
- If approved, a symbol of WE will be assigned for every class in the term; the withdrawn units will not apply toward CSULB’s Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit (PDF).
- Your refund will be calculated according to the California Code of Regulations.
- Financial Aid recipients may have to repay all or part of their award and should consult with the Financial Aid Office (BH-101).
- You may be required to obtain clearance from an appropriate medical professional prior to subsequent enrollment.
- Approval may affect an international student’s visa status. International students should contact International Student Services (CIE-Student@csulb.edu).
- Falsification of information may lead to disciplinary action by the University.
If the request to withdraw is approved but does not meet the definition of a Catastrophic Withdrawal, a symbol of W will be assigned for every class and the units will count towards CSULB’s Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit.
If the request to withdraw is not approved, the student must initiate the Incomplete process, if applicable, or complete the class(es). If you cease attending class, you may be assigned a WU or F (a WU is treated as an F for GPA calculation).
For additional information, see the Academic Senate Policy Statement pertaining to Final Course Grades, Grading Procedures, and Final Assessment.
How Withdrawals Affect Refunds and Financial Aid
If you do not plan to attend CSULB for the semester, you should drop all classes before the first day of instruction in order to get a 100% refund on tuition. Dropping/Withdrawing from all classes after instruction begins will result in owing pro-rated fees based on the date of the action. Failure to monitor your enrollment and resolve account balances may result in charges and holds preventing access to critical University services.
Prior to withdrawing from classes, students receiving financial aid should visit the Financial Aid Office (BH-101) or review the Financial Aid website.