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UT Knoxville has strengthened its drop policy to improve course availability for students and make more efficient use of faculty time.

The new policy limits students to dropping only four classes during the course of their undergraduate program. This fall, everyone starts with a clean slate; past dropped classes won’t count against the new limit.

Under the new policy, students may drop full-term courses until the tenth calendar day of classes without penalty. From the eleventh day until the eighty-fourth calendar day, students who drop full-term courses will receive the notation of W (Withdrawn).

Following are additional regulations related to dropping classes after the tenth day:

  • Students holding a bachelor’s degree who return to pursue a second bachelor’s degree are allowed four additional drops.
  • Students pursuing more than one major or degree simultaneously are not allowed additional drops beyond the four available drops.
  • Withdrawing from the university (dropping all courses) does not impact a student’s four allotted drops. More information on withdrawals is provided in the undergraduate catalog here.
  • The W grade is not computed in the grade point average.
  • After the eighty-fourth day, no drops are permitted.
  • Courses may be dropped on the web through MyUTK.
  • Failure to attend a course is not an official withdrawal and will result in the assignment of an F grade.

The idea for tweaking the drop policy came out of the Academic Efficiency and Effectiveness Task Force, which determined that our drop policy has been more permissive than most of our peer institutions and may have contributed to a lack of course availability and a waste of faculty time.

Members of the Academic Efficiency and Effectiveness Task Force include Monique Anderson, associate dean and registrar; Tammi Brown, associate director, College of Business Administration; Don Cox, executive associate dean and professor, College of Arts and Sciences; Ruth Darling, assistant provost; Susan Martin, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; Sally McMillan, vice provost for academic affairs; Laura Nishida, past president of the Student Government Association; Dixie Thompson, professor, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; and Drew Webb, provost’s student advisory council.

The new policy was approved by both the Undergraduate Council and the Faculty Senate in April.