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A Guide To Navigating The Drop/Add Deadline

Deciding to drop or add a particular class can may not mean life or death for you, but for your GPA, it’s a different story. It can also be one of the most stressful decisions you make early in a semester.

For those of you who are considering making a schedule change we gathered some tips on how to navigate the process.

Know when to let go of a class:

It is always fun to have a class with a lot of friends or at a convenient time, but sometimes you need to know when to drop a class. If it is going to affect your work in other classes, or you know you won’t be able to succeed then you should think about dropping it. There are plenty of other opportunities to be with friends or sleep in, but there are only so many times you can fail a class before your GPA is doomed.

Remember to pick professor over the time offered:

It is a no-brainer that time offered majorly affects whether or not you want to add a class. When you have the perfect schedule starting in the afternoon, no one wants to take on an 8 a.m., but it can be a necessary evil. It is known that some professors are better than others, so bite the bullet and add a class even if it means waking up a little earlier. Your older self and your GPA will thank you for making the right choice.

Major related classes and pre-requisites are key:

The classes you schedule each semester usually have at least some relevance to you graduating on time. Pre-requisites and major related courses are especially important when it comes to deciding to continue taking them. If you are someone who is still enduring entrance to major classes, it is crucial to consider your GPA requirement, and if you will have enough time to complete a class by the time you need to declare your major, if you decide to drop it. If you are taking a major-related course you need to think about your major GPA. This will be important to future internships and employers, so if you think you aren’t prepared for a class consider putting it off for a semester. That being said major related classes are incredibly important to your education and your path to graduation, so take extra caution before deciding to dump a class.

Keep graduation in mind:

Before dropping a class, it goes without saying that graduation should be a concern. Even though many of us don’t like to admit it, we will all have to face commencement someday. When deciding to drop a class it is important to consider how it will affect your graduation date. For those of you who came in with high school credit, took summer courses or took more than the usual 15-16 credits a semester this isn’t an issue. However, if you don’t have the luxury of this credit cushion it is crucial to consider how dropping a class will change your graduation plans. You don’t want to stay and extra semester just because you dropped a boring gen-ed.

Remember the difference between full-time and part-time student:

For those of you who are on a scholarship, receive loans, or financial aid, the difference between part-time versus full-time student is incredibly important, as all of these require you to be a full-time student. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes you are forced to endure a class so you don’t dip below the 12 credit requirement. If you are someone who is in a similar situation keep this in mind before making any decisions.

Know yourself and know your deal-breakers:

Everyone is different, which means everyone has specific deal-breakers when it comes to being in classes. If you are someone who needs to understand your professor and have absolutely no idea what he/she is saying, then dropping it may be in your best interest. If you are someone who is physically incapable of waking up before noon and your 8 a.m. has a strict attendance policy, maybe look into taking it online or at a better time. A million different things can personally affect your decision to stay in a class, so know what you can take and what you can’t.

Things can turn around:

It can be easy to be overwhelmed or scared in the first two week of class, but that doesn’t mean it will always be terrible. Before dropping a class ponder whether it will actually be hell for the next 14 weeks. Go with your gut feeling because it usually doesn’t lead you in the wrong direction.


If you are still unsure about whether or not to stay with a class visiting your advisors is always a good idea. They are a great resource on campus and will surely steer you in the right direction.

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About the Author

Caitlin Gailey

Senior from just outside the city of Brotherly Love. Yes, I am one of those Philly sports fans. I bleed blue and white and have since birth. Maybe someday you will see me on ESPN and then again maybe not. If you ever want to inflate my ego email me at [email protected]


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