Course Changes & the Petition Process

It is imperative that students and faculty adhere to the deadlines set by the college. Students may do the following without petitioning by the deadlines:

  1. Add
  2. Drop
  3. Withdraw
  4. Audit
  5. Change to Pass/No Pass
  6. Elect an Independent Study
  7. Request an Incomplete Grade
  8. Time Overlap

Students wishing to take one of the above actions should fill out the Registrar's Course Change Form, or, for incomplete grade requests, an Incomplete Form. Before submitting either forms, students should obtain appropriate approvals indicated on the form and submit the request to the Registrar's Office by the set deadline.

These deadlines apply to everyone equally, but sometimes situations happen beyond a student’s control and a student needs to petition after the deadline.

A student should first read the complete petition policy before petitioning one of the above actions after the deadline. Then, students should contact their advisor to discuss their request. Advisor support is required for all petitions. The student's advisor shall submit the petition request on the student's behalf after reviewing the student's DegreeWorks by clicking here or using the link in myGoucher. Petitions will be reviewed and may be granted. If approved, they will be submitted to the Registrar's office for processing.

Because all petitions are not granted, students should be sure to do their best to comply with posted deadlines, as petitions are to be used only as a last resort for situations beyond the students’ control.

Here is information on the different options/processes for courses:

Add/Drop Deadlines for Courses

Students may add or drop any full semester course using the online registration system (“myGoucher”) during the open add/drop period, which ends on the fifth business day of the semester. Between the fifth and tenth business days of the semester, students may add or drop courses by submitting a course change form to the Office of the Registrar, but may add a course only with the permission of the instructor. (Permission to add a course during this period is granted at the instructor’s discretion and is not automatic, as joining a class late can put a student at a significant disadvantage.) To add a course, the Course Change form must be signed by both the instructor and the student’s advisor; to drop a course, only the advisor’s signature is needed. Students may not add a full semester course after the tenth business day.

A 7-week course may be added through the first 3 days of the 7-week term without instructor permission. On days 4 and 5 of the 7-week term the instructor must give permission for the student to add the course. To add a course after day 5 of the 7-week term the student will need to petition for a late add with the approval of the instructor and the associate provost for undergraduate studies. A student may drop a 7-week course through the end of the 5th day of the 7-week term.

See the Important Dates for Students calendar for actual dates each term.

Withdrawals from Courses

A student may drop a semester course without a withdrawal appearing on the transcript until the tenth day of the semester. If a student withdraws from a class after this time, the student will receive a grade of W. The last day to withdraw from a semester course with a W is the end of the 10th week.

The last day to drop a 7-week course is the end of the 15th day of the 7-week term.

Withdrawn courses count towards course load and tuition charges. A W will have no effect on a student's grade point average.

Students should consult the Important Dates for Students calendar for exact dates.


A full-time student may audit one or more courses a semester without additional charge. Election of the audit option must be done at the point of registration for the course or within the add/drop deadline for adding a course. Permission to audit must be obtained in writing from the instructor of each course. Successful completion of audits will result in an AU on the transcript. There will be no notation on the transcript in the case of unsuccessful completion or withdrawal from an audited course. Students may withdraw from an audit through the last day of classes. College policy prohibits changing an audit to credit or vice versa after the add/drop deadline. Faculty may request a student's withdrawal from an audit if the audit requirements were not met.

Pass/No Pass

Students may choose to take two courses per academic year on a pass/no pass basis. In the regular semester, the pass/no pass option must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the end of the tenth week of classes; in 7-week courses by the end of the third week. Pass is equivalent to any grade from A through C- as normally interpreted at Goucher College. A grade of P or NP will have no effect on a student's grade point average. Students who wish to switch from pass/no pass to graded status may do so up until week 10 of the semester (week three of 7- week courses.) After that the choice is irrevocable.

BSEP courses and summer courses taken elsewhere are not ordinarily open to pass/no pass election. Center directors may specify that an off-campus experience can be taken only on a pass/no pass basis; such a requirement is not part of the student's pass/no pass quota. Courses elected with a pass/no pass option will not count toward requirements in the major or minor (unless such courses are required to be so graded). If a major requirement is taken pass/no pass the department must require that the course be re-taken for a regular grade or identify an appropriate substitute.