Knowing When to Drop a Course

The first few weeks of the semester are critical to your college career.  This is true no matter what year you are. If you’re a freshman, maybe you were confused about what courses you need to take and are not sure if a class is required. If you’re a junior, maybe you thought you could handle 18 credit hours, but realize in the first week that it’s harder than you expected.  Hopefully these tips will help organize your thoughts if you are considering dropping a class.

When you should drop:

  • If the class is a Gen Ed (or a simpler class you can take at anytime) and you are also in multiple higher level classes for your major that require a lot of work outside of the classroom.
  • If the class is not required for you to graduate or obtain your degree.
  • If you are involved in athletics or other clubs and you know you have a history of handling stress poorly.
  • If you look at your major checklist and see that the class will fit better in upcoming semesters.

When you should stay:

  • If you drop the class and will be under 12 credit hours for the semester. This one should be obvious to you since you need at least 12 credits to be considered a full-time student.
  • If the only reason you think you should drop the class is because you don’t want to do extra work. Never drop a class because you want to party more. Your main priority at school is always your education (even though having fun is necessary).
  • If your not involved in many sports, clubs, or with work, it’s probably safe to say you will be able to handle a heavy course load of 17-18 credits.
  • If you know future semesters will be heavily loaded and putting off the class until later will add more stress.

Part of being involved in higher education means you must use your judgement skills. 12-14 credit hours can be seen as an easy schedule, but if your taking higher level courses that require more of your time, it might be right for you. You have to be aware of your time and stress management skills and predict how the semester will go based on the first week of class. Sounds scary, but if you trust yourself, I promise you that you will make the right decision.

Happy Fall Semester! 🙂


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