FERPA, Changing Course Grading, Course and Term Withdrawals

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FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which gives students certain rights to privacy of their education records and rights of access to their educational records.

Changing a Course to Credit-Only or Audit

A student may have the option to change a course to credit-only (satisfactory/unsatisfactory). Please note that all general education courses (except for Health and Exercise Studies courses) must be taken for a grade. In addition, most major-specific courses must be taken for a grade as well, some even require a specific minimum grade.

In order for a student to earn credit for a course that has been changed to satisfactory/unsatisfactory, the student must earn a grade of C- or better.

When possible, it is important to talk with a student about changing a course to credit-only or audit as it may impact satisfactory academic progress, CODA, financial aid, etc.

A student also has the option to audit a course.  To do so, the student must have the permission of the academic advisor and of the department offering the course.

Dropping a Course

The academic calendar contains important dates for each semester.

If a student drops a course on or before the census date, then the course will not appear on their transcript. They can drop this course on their own via MyPack Portal. The academic calendar contains all important dates for each semester.

If a student drops a course after the census date but before the drop/revision deadline, then the course will appear on their transcript as a W (withdrawal). They can drop this course on their own via MyPack Portal. Students are limited to 16 hours of W’s during their undergraduate careers.

If a student wishes to drop a course after the drop/revision deadline, a schedule revision form is required.  That form is also required if the student is dropping a course that results in the student moving from full-time to part-time status.  The form is available at this website 

To learn more, view the adding and dropping courses regulation.

Term Withdrawal

Sometimes during a semester, a student may choose to withdrawal from all of their courses. After discussing these options with their academic advisor, a student can log into MyPack Portal to submit a term withdrawal. This is an online step-by-step process that walks the student through a series of questions and reminders. In some cases, a student may need to upload documentation.

A student who is granted a Term Withdrawal may then be Progress Deficient, which will require a student to submit an appeal in order to be eligible to continue their enrollment. Note:  W’s from a Term Withdrawal do not count toward the 16 hours of W’s allowed during the student’s undergraduate career.

Access to self-service Term Withdrawals in MyPack Portal was extended to 30 days after the term for the Spring 2018 term and moving forward.

Retroactive Withdrawal

If a student had an extenuating circumstance during a semester that may have impacted their academic performance, they are eligible to apply for a retroactive withdrawal. If approved, all courses for that respective semester will be withdrawals (W’s).  These W grades do not count toward the 16 hours of W grades allowed during a student’s undergraduate career.



For edits, suggestions, or comments regarding this page, please contact Donna Burton (djburton@ncsu.edu).