Official Course Drop/Withdrawal Policy

A student’s notification to drop or withdraw may be conveyed to the institution in any manner by contacting the Office of the Registrar. Students requesting to drop or withdraw from a course or program should submit the Course Drop/Withdrawal form located in the Online Forms section of the Student Portal. Details regarding tuition refunds as a result of a drop or withdrawal are described in the Tuition Refund Policy.

Course Drop

Students are allowed to drop a course through the term “drop date” as listed on the academic calendar (normally the first week of the course) without financial penalty. A grade of “DP” will be recorded for the course. Dropped courses will appear on the student’s official transcript but do not count as hours attempted in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculation. The course drop date is determined by the date the request is received.

Course Withdrawal

A course drop/withdrawal request submitted after the term drop date and before or on the original term/course end date will be considered a course withdrawal. A grade of “W” will be issued. The grade of “W” will appear on the student’s transcript but will have no effect on the student’s cumulative GPA. However, the course will count toward hours attempted (completion ratio and maximum timeframe) and may affect Federal Student Aid (FSA) eligibility. Students using military Tuition Assistance (TA) must contact their Education Services Officer (ESO) when withdrawing from courses. Students who demonstrate a pattern of withdrawals are at risk for academic dismissal per the Institutional Academic Progress Policy.

Unofficial Withdrawal Policy

This policy affects any student enrolled in the Term option who does not officially notify the institution that they have ceased or will cease attending the school and does not complete the course(s) by the term end date resulting in an unofficially withdrawn status. Students should submit an official Course Drop/Withdrawal request or contact the Office of the Registrar to notify the school of his or her withdrawal. CSU will determine if a student is unofficially withdrawn by reviewing student records to verify the following:

  • If no assignments are submitted in Units 6, 7 or 8, the student will be withdrawn from the course and a grade of “WF” will be assigned. Grades of “WF” count in the calculation of the student’s GPA as a grade of “F.” The grade of “WF” is counted as attempted hours and will affect SAP . A charge will be posted to the student’s account if the textbook was supplied through the CSU Book Grant. The student will be notified of the course drop/textbook return process.
  • If an assignment has been submitted in Units 6, 7 or 8, the student will not be withdrawn and no action will be taken. All non-submitted assignments will be recorded with a score of “0” and the final grade will be calculated.
  • Students who are on an Incomplete are still expected to submit assignments in Units 6, 7 or 8.
  • When determining last day of attendance for financial aid purposes, the course mid-point or last assignment date, whichever is later, will be used.

Withdrawal for Special Circumstances Policy


The purpose of the Withdrawal for Special Circumstances Policy is to provide students who encounter special circumstances the opportunity to withdraw from a course when such withdrawal would normally not be considered. Eligible students fall under the following categories:

  • The student has a course on Incomplete
  • The student has a course that has ended with a final grade

Withdrawal for Special Circumstances Policy

Columbia Southern University (CSU) recognizes students may encounter life situations that impede successful course completion. Students experiencing an extenuating circumstance, such as a prolonged illness, death in the immediate family, military deployment, or similar incident, have the option to request a Withdrawal for Special Circumstances (WSC). Requests for a WSC are limited to students who have a course(s) on Incomplete or have a course that has ended with a sub-standard, final course grade directly related to the incident.


Students are eligible to request one WSC per calendar year and the request must be within one calendar year from original course end date. Each withdrawal request may include all courses in which the student is enrolled during the period of special circumstance. Requests for a WSC are not automatically granted and are reviewed independently through the Student Appeals process. Students who wish to withdraw under special circumstances must submit documentation which supports the extenuating circumstance. Acceptable documentation should include applicable dates to justify the request and may include:

  • Medical documentation by a licensed practitioner
  • Deployment notice documentation
  • Officially signed letter from a Unit/Battalion Commander or Employer
  • Death certificate
  • Any other documentation deemed acceptable to CSU

Students approved for a WSC will receive a grade of “W” for the course, which will be recorded in the student record. The grade of “W” will have no effect on the cumulative CSU GPA, but will count toward hours attempted when determining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and may affect Federal Student Aid (FSA) eligibility. Students using FSA should contact their academic advisor to discuss SAP standing and the Office of Financial Aid to discuss FSA eligibility. An approved WSC is subject to the Tuition Refund and Withdrawal Policy and Returning Textbooks for Dropped/ Withdrawn Courses Policy.

Note: DBA students enrolled in Dissertation/Research courses are not eligible for the Withdrawal for Special Circumstances and should be working with their dissertation chair regarding any special circumstances that arise during this period of their program.

Students applying for a Withdrawal for Special Circumstances should submit a formal letter to and include necessary documentation to support the request. Students will be notified of a decision within 7 calendar days.

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