Students may add and drop courses without penalty during the first two weeks of the semester. If students find themselves in the wrong level of a language, for example, this is the time to make an adjustment. Swarthmore students often shadow courses during this time period, visiting multiple courses before making final decisions. Since reading and writing assignments in Swarthmore courses can build very quickly, however, students are encouraged to make decisions within the first week, to attend the first class of all potential courses, and to use the second week only to complete the necessary paperwork.
After the first two weeks and up to the end of the ninth week of the semester (on the date specified every year in the College Bulletin), a student can withdraw from a course and receive a letter grade of W. A student cannot add a course during this period. After the ninth week of the semester, a student will receive a No Credit if he or she drops a course. If a student is in academic difficulty after this point, dropping a course might still be an appropriate choice. A student's adviser should help the student through a triage process, to see if dropping one course to save the others makes sense.
Students must have their advisers sign the Add/Drop form to, in fact, add or drop a course; the form must be submitted to the Registrar's office before the proper two-week deadline.