Policies + Disclosures

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Adding / Dropping Courses

Adding and 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. Refer to the Academic Calendar for exact dates. Students should check their class schedules each and every semester prior to the end of the add/drop period to ensure that the schedule is correct and stop by the Registrar’s Office if it is not.

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 Student Planning 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. Dropping may be done on Student Planning for electives and liberal arts, but required classes must be dropped using the Drop Form.

Adding a class requires the written permission of the instructor on the official Add/Drop Form available from the Registrar. 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.

The signature of the instructor is not needed to drop a class. By the drop deadline, the student must either report to the Registrar to file the paperwork needed to record the drop or drop it themselves on WebAdvisor. Unofficial drops, in which a registered student does not file a drop or withdrawal with the Registrar, will be graded as failures (F grade or UW--unofficial withdrawal--depending on instructor preference). 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. Unofficial adds, in which an unregistered student sits in on a class, will not be graded or credited on the academic record.

Note: International Students on the F-1 Visa should always check with the Office of International Student Services prior to making any changes to their RISD program. Any changes in your program must be updated on the Form I-20 immigration document at all times.

Withdrawing from a Course with a Grade of "W"

With the written approval of the instructor on the Course Withdrawal form, a student may withdraw from a course with a grade of "W" during the course withdrawal period. Deadline dates are published in the Academic Calendar

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.

A course withdrawal is completed by filing the Course 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.