Policies + Disclosures

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Adding / Dropping Courses

Students, other than freshmen, may add a course(s) to their program, or drop a course without penalty, until the end of the Add/Drop period. In order to be official, the adding and dropping of courses must be confirmed with the Registrar's Office no later than the end of the Add/Drop period. The add/drop deadline is not extended except upon successful petition to the Academic Standing Committee.

Freshmen may not change their class schedules without special permission from the Dean of Foundation Studies, except during Wintersession.

A few days before classes begin, web registration via WebAdvisor is discontinued. and adding and dropping of classes is stopped until the first day of the semester. Once classes begin, adding must be done on the paper Add/Drop Form. Adding a class requires the written permission of the instructor on the official Add/Drop Form available from the Registrar. During the Add/Drop Period which begins on the first day of classes, students will be able to DROP a class using WebAdvisor instead of filing the paper Add/Drop form. A class should be dropped on WebAdvisor ONLY if you are sure that you no longer want to be in that class In other words, do NOT drop a class until you are sure that you have a replacement for it, if a replacement class is desired. As is the case during registration, WebAdvisor will accept a drop only for courses registered by you, such as liberal arts classes or electives. After dropping a class, you should check "my class schedule" on WebAdvisor to make sure the drop took place.

On rare occasions, an instructor, with the prior approval of his/her department head and division dean, may deny students permission to add a class after its first meeting even when there is an opening.

It is essential to note that unofficial drops, those in which a registered student does not file a drop or withdrawal with the Registrar or on WebAdvisor, will be graded as failures (F grade). Students should be certain that they officially drop classes they are not attending and should not rely on the instructor to officially remove them from a class since the instructor may not choose to exercise that option. In other words, students have the responsibility to manage their course enrollments. Unofficial adds, in which an unregistered student sits in on a class, will not be graded or credited on the academic record.

Withdrawing from a course with a grade of "W"
With the approval of the instructor a student may withdraw from a course with a grade of "W" during the course withdrawal period.

The grade of "W" has no effect upon the grade point average. Courses graded "W" do not count toward the minimum semester total of 12 credits required for good academic standing, but they do count for the computation of maximum yearly allowed credits.

A course withdrawal is completed by filing the Add/Drop/Withdrawal form, approved by the instructor, with the Registrar's Office by the deadline which appears in the Academic Calendar.


Graduates let loose at the close of RISD's colorful outdoor Commencement.