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How to Drop or Withdraw from Your Course and Term

You are required to maintain continuous registration by completing coursework with your cohort, based on the doctoral program of study, and registering each term during the dissertation phase until graduation. If you are experiencing an academic or personal challenge that impacts your ability to continue in a term, please reach out to your Program Director. Once you have spoken with your Program Director, you may choose to request a drop or withdrawal by completing and returning a form provided by your Program Director and the Doctoral Academic Advisor. If you choose to drop or withdraw from courses, you will be removed from all the courses in your current term.  At that point, you must also decide if you would like to “stop out” of your program through a Program Hiatus or disenroll from the program completely. With a Program Hiatus, you may re-enter the program in a term based on the last course you completed; however, re-entering will mean joining a new cohort based on the term you are entering. Disenrolling means that you would need to apply for admission again. A Program Hiatus may exist for no greater than an approved two-year period and can only be approved such that you complete the program within the approved timeframe (7 years) for completion of a doctoral degree according to APUS policy. You may have no more than one Program Hiatus per year and may take no more than two total Program Hiatuses that combine for a maximum of two years.

Deciding Whether or not to drop or Withdraw from Your Course and Term

Important Definitions

  • Course Drop: The removal of a course from your schedule prior to the end of the first week of class which will also result in being placed on a Program Hiatus.
  • Course Withdrawal: The removal of a course from your schedule after the end of week one which will also result in being placed on a Program Hiatus.
  • End of Week One: 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time of the first Sunday of the course.
  • Drop or Withdrawal Date:  This is the date you submitted the online “Course Drop/Withdraw” Form, the date you contacted the Office of the Registrar with your official request by email, phone call or voicemail. 
  • SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress): One measure used to determine eligibility for both federal student aid and for graduation. Withdrawals impact SAP, as they count against your maximum cap of 150% of courses attempted vs. courses successfully passed.

Consequences of a Course Drop

  • Grades: You will see a "DP" for the course when viewing grades inside the Records Menu area of the e-campus under My Academic Plan or My Academic Records under Grade Reports.
  • GPA (Grade Point Average): Your GPA is not impacted.
  • Transcript: If you have a transcript sent out, it will NOT show any record of the dropped course.
  • SAP: Classes you drop do not count as “attempted” in calculations used to determine eligibility for Federal Student Aid or for graduation eligibility.
  • Federal Student Aid: If you do not complete a term you were scheduled to attend, your aid will be subject to a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation
  • Course Access: You will no longer have access to a course once you drop it as you will be placed on a Program Hiatus.

Consequences of a Course Withdrawal

  • Grades: You will see a "W" for the course when viewing grades inside the Records Menu area of the e-campus under My Academic Plan or My Academic Records under Grade Reports.
  • GPA: Your GPA is not impacted.
  • Transcript: If you have a transcript sent out, it will show this course with a “W” grade.
  • SAP: Withdrawn courses do count as “attempted” in calculations used to determine eligibility for Federal Student Aid or for graduation eligibility.
  • Federal Student Aid: If you do not complete a term you were scheduled to attend, your aid will be subject to a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation
  • Course Access: You will no longer have access to a course once you withdraw from it as you will be placed on a Program Hiatus.

Returning Your Books/Course Materials

Please refer to Course Materials for more information on returning books/course materials.

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