University College


Academic Difficulties

Steps You Can Take

If you are having academic difficulties, the first thing you should do is meet with your professor during his or her office hours. UNCW is a teaching-oriented university and our professors pride themselves on their excellent rapport with students. They want you to succeed!

Talk with your professor as soon as possible to discuss your questions and concerns. Your professor will probably have some suggestions for you about how to study the material and what to emphasize. If you have recently taken a test or a quiz, you can ask whether he or she would be willing to go over some of the questions you got wrong.

You can also talk to your academic advisor about the many resources on campus that are available to you.

Resources on Campus

Withdrawing from a Course

A student may drop any or all courses without academic penalty through the end of the first week of the semester. Inclusive of the second through the seventh week of the semester, any student who withdraws from the university or from individual courses will receive a grade of "W" for the first 16 credit hours of course withdrawal. A grade of "W" will not affect the student's grade point average. Beginning with the eighth week of the semester, a grade of "WF" will be assigned for each course withdrawal and will count as GPA hours. If a student is suspended after the deadline for withdrawal with a "W," each instructor shall assign a grade of "WF" or "W" based upon the student's academic performance prior to the suspension. Excluding course withdrawals due to extenuating circumstances, which will be denoted on the transcript by a grade of "WE," students are limited to a maximum of 16 hours of full course withdrawals. Partial withdrawals will not be allowed. After the initial 16 credit hour threshold has been met, students will be required to remain in the course and subject to the grade earned at the conclusion of the semester.

A student may withdraw from an individual class or classes through the seventh week of classes, via SeaNet or by reporting to the Office of the Registrar before or on the last day for withdrawal, as indicated in the university calendar. Students attending summer sessions need to be cognizant that the withdrawal period in summer may be only one or two days. Therefore, summer school students should carefully note the last day to withdraw from classes as found in the summer school university calendar at

Before withdrawing, students should consider all of the implications:

  • Will it drop me from full-time student status?
  • Will it negatively impact my financial aid? Scholarships? Insurance?
  • Will it impact my plans for graduation?

Students are urged to discuss this decision with their academic advisor and, if applicable, their financial aid counselor.

After the last day of registration and add/drop, students may withdraw from individual classes through SeaNet. Undergraduates who intend to withdraw from all classes for a term must process an official withdrawal form through the Office of the Dean of Students by the deadline.

Withdrawing after the Deadline

Withdrawing after the deadline results in a "WF" for the course, which counts in your GPA as an "F." The course will also be counted in your attempted hours. A "WF" can be replaced if you repeat the course.

Course Repeat Policy

Students who receive a grade below a "C" (2.00) in a course taken at UNCW may repeat the course at UNCW. For the first three different courses repeated, the previous grade and hours of credit for the repeated course will not be used in calculating the student's grade point average and hours toward graduation. All grades shall remain on the student's transcript.
**Note if you began attending UNCW before Fall 2012, you can repeat up to 5 classes for a grade replacement

In interpreting the policy it is to be understood that:

  • the term "first three times" means
    • that the policy is automatically operative for a student the first time that the student repeats a course, and
    • that the three repeats involve three different courses;
  • a student may go beyond three course repeats, but such repeats will not enjoy the privilege of the policy;
  • all students will be able to enjoy the benefits of this policy irrespective of prior course repeat activity;
  • this policy does not govern the repeating of graduate courses (see the Graduate Catalogue for the appropriate policy).

Students enrolled in a special topics course for a grade replacement must enroll in the same topic for which they originally received an unsatisfactory grade. Grades earned in repeated courses will not be used to replace grades earned as part of a degree once it has been conferred.

Note: A failing grade received owing to admitted or adjudicated academic dishonesty shall not be replaced if the course is repeated. Both the penalty grade and the new grade shall appear on the student's transcript and count in the student's grade point average. A student may not appeal the policy stated in this paragraph to any faculty or administrative level.