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Courses How bad is it to withdraw from a course?

  1. Nov 7, 2011 #1
    Hi there,
    I'm a Double Honours Astrophysics/Pure Math student and this semester I'm taking Intro Chem, Set Theory & Number Theory, Logic, Classical Mechanics, and Calculus. I'm getting an A+ in all my other courses but I think I may end up with a C in Chem or maybe even a D. I've just been so busy that I put chem aside and now I've done really badly in it. It is a requirement to take it for the astrophysics part of my degree, but would it be okay to drop it and take a "W" on my transcript? I do plan to go to graduate school at hopefully a top 25 school, so would either getting a W or a C/D ruin my chances in both cases at achieving that?

    Any advice would be very helpful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2011 #2


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    I think getting one "W" won't hurt your chances - especially since your other grades are so great! My opinion is, a "W" is better than a C/D - provided you re-take it and do well next time.

    Best of luck to you!
  4. Nov 7, 2011 #3
    Overall it would look better to just go through the course, do your best and then do better next time.
  5. Nov 7, 2011 #4
    Okay, well if I was going to push through it and end up with a C at best, then I can re-take the course again and if I got say an A, then is the final grade an average of the two or how does that work? I'm going to see an academic adviser about this I think...

    Good to hear two totally opposite responses XD
  6. Nov 8, 2011 #5
    It really depends on your school. I know at my school, if you retake it, they just add a "Repeated, No Credit" beside all but your most recent attempt at a course, and only your most recent attempt is used in your cGPA.
  7. Nov 8, 2011 #6
    It's much, much better to withdraw than to have a bad grade, and if you withdraw, you can still attend the lectures so that you do better next time.
  8. Nov 8, 2011 #7
    W is def much better. What looks bad is when you get an excessive amount of W's on your transcript. I think this is because to get a W generally costs $/time--indicating some sort of inefficiency.
  9. Nov 8, 2011 #8
    It really depends on the situation. When I enrolled in university I had no idea what I wanted to do. I initially wanted to go into medicine, however, my first course in physics enticed me to alter my route, and therefore I ended up dropping a lot of courses that were irrelevant to my degree (hence attaining numerous W's on my transcript.)
  10. Nov 8, 2011 #9
    Thank you for the responses! I talked to an academic adviser today who was not particularly helpful, but I think I am going to drop the course sometime soon and attend the lectures for the rest of the year so that when I re-take it I can be sure to get an A... I was mostly just unprepared for how to handle university chemistry labs.

    In any case, it came down to the fact that I would be jeopardizing a $12500 renewable scholarship this year if I didn't drop it, because I need to maintain a 3.7 GPA in order for my scholarship to renew.
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