Withdrawals and WUs

W's (Withdrawal) and WU's (Withdrawal Unauthorized) are two ways to deal with students who leave a class after the drop deadline has passed. Remember that before the drop deadline passes, you should drop students who have never come to class.

Current Semester Withdrawals

  • Withdrawals (W’s) are for when students want to drop a class after the deadline. These must be requested by the student because they need a “serious and compelling” reason as defined by the college; see ARC website for a list of acceptable reasons.
  • Current semester withdrawals are all done completely online now and submitted by instructors for the first 13 weeks of the semester. 
  • W's stay on a student’s record but do not affect their GPA.  
  • No documentation is needed until after week 13 (check the registrar's calendar for details). After that, extra supporting documentation will be required. Send students to Ross (rvanvelsor@sfsu.edu) or ask him if you have questions.

How do I submit a withdrawal? 

Go to gateway.sfsu.edu > Class Services > Grade Exception Processing > Request Withdrawals

Withdrawal Unauthorized (WUs)

  • A Withdrawal Unauthorized (WU) is a forced withdrawal for students who disappear during the semester for an extended amount of time and don't complete enough work to be assigned a grade. 
  • WU's are not only important to remove students from SETE's, but they also give us data about whether the student attended the class and failed or stopped attending. This helps us know how effective we are in retaining and teaching our students. So please assign WU’s when appropriate!
  • You should generally try to contact the student at least a couple of times to see if they have a reason for a normal withdrawal before considering a WU. 
  • The WU is only used for students who stop attending class after the drop deadline and have not been in contact with you (3 weeks or more of no contact--if it is a borderline case and you are not sure what to do, please contact Tyler). 
  • WU's are not available to assign until grade rosters become available late in the semester (around week 12 usually)
  • If a student is taking the class CR/NC, you can assign an NC instead of a WU.
  • WU’s can be assigned until grades are due, but if they are assigned to a student before a certain deadline provided by the registrar, students will be ineligible to fill out a SETE evaluation.
  • If you are thinking of giving a WU to a student in the first semester of a stretch course (such as ENG 104), note that a WU will mean the student will not be eligible to take the next semester or repeat the stretch, and will instead have to enroll in the accelerated course. So make sure you try to communicate this to the student before assigning a WU.

How do I assign a WU? 

​Go to gateway.sfsu.edu > Class Services > Faculty Center > Grade Roster

Login to the Faculty Center and assign the student the grade on your Grade Roster. Click "save" at the bottom of the page. You do NOT need to approve the grades at the top of the page.

Withdraw Deadline Appeal

Appeal of the Deadline to Submit a Request for Withdrawal

Academic Policy requires that all requests to withdraw from a course must be submitted no later than the last day of instruction of that term. If circumstances clearly beyond your control prevented you from meeting this deadline, you may appeal for consideration. Your appeal should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office and include:

  • A brief statement (1-2 pages) outlining the nature of the request, including an explanation of the circumstances that prevented you from meeting the deadline. The statement must include:

    • Student’s first and last name
    • Student’s SF State ID number
    • Current email and phone number
    • Semester and year (e.g. spring 2020) for which you are requesting the withdrawal(s)
    • Department(s) and course number(s) for each course for which you are requesting a withdrawal
  • Documentation of the accident or serious illness that clearly matches the time period for which you are requesting the withdrawal.
  • Approval to withdraw from the instructor(s) and department chair(s) for the course(s). If there is more than one course involved, you must secure approval from the instructor and department chair for each course. Please note, if an instructor is no longer available, you can secure the department chair’s approval. Approval can be secured via SFSU email and those emails must be included in your documentation.

Appeals that are incomplete or which are based on circumstances within your control will be denied. Appeals for a full semester will be reviewed by the Board of Appeals and Review Committee as appropriate. They will make a recommendation to the academic administrator appointed by the president for a final determination to withdraw proposals after the 13th week of the semester.