Withdraw

Undergraduate Course Withdrawal Policy

Undergraduate students may request permission from their dean’s office to withdraw from a course or courses after the drop deadline (the end of the 6th week of the term), until 5pm two Fridays (10 days) before exams begin, and before the due date of the final assessment in the class(es) in question. When the Thanksgiving or other university holidays conflict with this deadline, withdrawal petitions must be submitted by the last class/business day of that same week. Check the calendar in the particular term to find the exact deadline. All approved withdrawals will result in a W (withdrawal) grade being posted to the transcript. Students will be asked to attest that the due date for the final assessment (exam, paper, project, etc.) in the particular course(s) has not been reached, as that may fall before the deadline for withdrawal. Students who request withdrawal after the final assessment date has been reached will be in violation of the policy on academic integrity. Complete the Undergraduate Course Withdrawal Request and submit it to the appropriate assistant or associate dean in your school to request a withdrawal.

Term Withdrawal Policy

Term Withdrawal is when a student wishes to leave the university after registering for classes in any quarter, and before the quarter ends.*

Students who withdraw from the term must be sure to read and understand the university's policy with regard to withdrawal, which can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog, in the Undergraduate Education section. Information about financial obligations and deadlines can be found on the Student Financial Services website.

If you receive financial aid, have student loans, or live in university housing it is your responsibility to contact the associated offices on campus to inform them of your change in status.

Term Withdrawal Steps

  1. Obtain a withdrawal form from either the Office of the Registrar or your school and complete the form. Be sure to include a complete address and the school from which you are withdrawing
  2. Sign the completed form and have the dean of your school sign the form as well. The completed and signed form should be delivered either in person or by campus mail to the Office of the Registrar
  3. Once the completed form has been submitted to the Office of the Registrar, the withdrawal will be processed. Student Accounts considers the date on the completed form the "Effective Date" when making financial adjustments. Tuition deposits are not refundable under any circumstances. Refund related questions should be directed to Student Accounts.


Withdrawals in the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters with an "Effective Date" through the end of the 6th week of classes will result in an entry on the transcript documenting the withdrawal date. Withdrawals with an "Effective Date" after the end of the 6th week will result in the withdrawn courses, with grades of "W", being posted on the transcript along with the withdrawal date.

*Undergraduate students may request, in very rare situations, a withdrawal after the withdrawal petition period ends.  Such late changes can have significant impact on how the university complies with federal regulations and other important internal and external commitments, and should only be requested in the most unusual circumstances when the student was unable to withdraw in a timely manner.  Students may only petition for a late withdrawal from all courses in a term. Petitions for late withdrawal will be considered for Fall 2015 and later, and must be submitted within one calendar year of the end of the term in question.  Petitions will not be accepted after a student’s degree has been conferred or if the student has been asked to the leave the university for any reason.  Approved petitions will result in the posting of all W grades for the term in question.  Students who wish to pursue this option should contact their dean’s office and the Office of the Registrar at nu-registrar@northwestern.edu.

Questions about this process? Please contact... Who Does What in the Office of the Registrar.