W Grade Policy

To avoid schedule changes after the official registration period, students are encouraged to plan each semester’s course work in consultation with academic advisers. Any schedule changes should be made as soon as possible after the beginning of classes.

Deadlines for when students may drop courses without receiving a grade of “W” are available on the Registration Calendar. Additional deadlines are listed for when students may add courses . A “W” grade will be entered on a student’s record for any course dropped between the deadline for dropping courses without receiving a grade of “W” and the final date for resigning from the University and/or dropping courses. Students should consult the academic calendar maintained by the University Registrar to determine deadlines each semester.

Within the limits of the following table, “W” grades do not affect a student’s GPA; however, an excessive number reflects negatively on a student’s record and involves substantial cost by way of tuition, books, room and board, and lost opportunities. To graduate in a timely manner, a student should complete at least 15 hours per semester and plan on attending at least one summer term.

Withdrawals cannot exceed the numbers allowed in the following table unless authorized by the dean of the student’s college. Withdrawal allowances cannot be carried forward.

Tier Hours W’s Allowed
0 - 59 3
60 - 119 3
> 119 1


Students may drop all courses by withdrawing from the university according to the guidelines in the section of the LSU General Catalog, “Resignation from the University.” A resignation will not count toward the number of drops permitted. Hours earned does not include advanced standing credit with respect to this policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

All undergraduates, except those not regularly admitted (curriculum codes ADVSP, BRCC, CCUR, CCURM, ELALT, ENGRP, EXT, NMSU, NORAD, PLUS, SCOOP, SEALT and SU), must comply with the policy.

Yes, all hours earned, except credit earned through the following programs, are used to determine what tier you are in.

  • Advanced Standing
  • Advance Placement
  • Credit by Department
  • International Baccalaureate

Your placement is determined by the hours you have earned to date. Please see the W Grade Status Link under the PAWS Registration Services Application.

No, W grades received prior to Fall 2006 are not counted toward the number of W grades you are allowed.

Yes, because W grades received as the result of resigning are not counted in the number of W grades you are allowed.

W grades earned during the summer term and Intersession will not count in the number of W grades you are allowed.

If you drop linked sections, they will be counted as only one W used.

Yes, unless you are making a section change. When you are making a section change using the PAWS Schedule Request Application, do not drop one section and add your new section. To change sections, simply add the new section and the section you previously scheduled will be automatically dropped.