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Placement, Credit, and Registration

Dropping and Adding Courses

Students may add and drop courses without penalty during the first two weeks of the semester. Since reading and writing assignments in Swarthmore courses can build very quickly, however, students should be encouraged to make decisions within the first week, if possible. If students find themselves in the wrong level of a language, for example, this is the time to make an adjustment.

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 permanent letter grade of "W". A student cannot add a course during this period. A course dropped after the ninth week of the semester will result in a student receiving a "No Credit". If a student is in academic difficulty after this point, dropping a course might still be an appropriate choice. The advisor should help the student through a triage process, to see if dropping one course to save the others makes sense.

After the Add or Drop period is over, advisors must sign the “Course Withdrawal Form” in order for the student to do so; the form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office immediately. Try to observe your office hours and encourage students to plan ahead so this process works smoothly. In an emergency, students can get a signature from the academic dean and should subsequently notify their advisors.

See the Registrar's Add-Drop Procedure webpage for instructions on adding and dropping courses.