Registration Policies

Students are responsible for registering on time and for the correct courses. You may not attend classes without being properly registered for them, you cannot receive credit for courses in which you are not registered, and students may not register or add individual courses retroactively.

How and when to register

There is a "scheduled early registration" period each semester during which current University of Iowa students register for the next semester's courses. Each student is assigned a registration time within this period and may not register before this time. Registration times are assigned on the basis of hours earned (and, when applicable, special circumstances).

The College urges all students to consult an academic advisor before they register or make changes to their registration.

Students who wish to drop a course should carefully note the drop deadlines since the College rigorously enforces these deadlines.

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Taking courses for credit or variable credit

Most courses offer the same number of credit hours to all students. However, some courses offer “variable” or “arranged” credit, allowing students to register for a range of credit hours. If you register for one of these courses and need to increase or decrease the number of hours, you may do so only during the period in which course adds and drops are allowed. To do this, complete the change of hours section on the add form, available from the MyUI log-in page.

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Auditing courses

CLAS students may choose to take courses without earning credit for them. This is called “auditing” and requires the approval of the course instructor and the appropriate academic advisor.  Audited courses do not meet College requirements and carry no credit toward graduation, but students are still charged for auditing. Visit the Registrar's tuition tables for more information.

You may change your registration from “credit” to “audit” (or vice versa), but only during the period when adding courses is allowed. To register as an auditor during the scheduled early registration period, you must obtain special permission from the course instructor. To add a course as an auditor on or after the first day of the semester, fill out a Change of Registration Form, choose Add a Class and Change Hours, enter 0 s.h. for the course, then obtain signatures from both your advisor and the course instructor. You must submit the completed form to the Registrar's Service Center in 17 Calvin Hall by 4:30 pm on the "last day for undergraduates to add or change to P-N or audit status" as listed on the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for semester-length courses, or the "last day to add without dean's approval" listed on the Course Deadlines page for an individual course. No changes will be permitted after the add deadline for the course.

For information about the “grading” and notation of audited courses, see Audit Successful/Audit Unsuccessful (AUS/AUU).

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Registering for the Pass/Nonpass grading option (P/N)

Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have the option of taking elective courses P/N (Pass/Nonpass) with the permission of the course instructor and/or the department offering the course. You may register for the P/N grading option beginning the first day of classes up to the "last day for undergraduates to add or change to P-N or audit status" as listed on the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for semester-length courses, or the "last day to add without dean's approval" listed on the Course Deadlines page for an individual course.

To take a class P/N, first ask the course instructor if the instructor allows P/N grading. Then, print a grading option form and have both your academic advisor and the course instructor sign it. Submit the completed form to the Registrar’s Service Center, 17 Calvin Hall, by 4:30 pm on the published deadline. You may not change your P/N registration after the deadline.

P/N course policies:

  • You may request P/N grading only in courses you are using as electives, so:
  • You may not use the P/N grading option for any course in the department of your major unless the department approves it. In special circumstances, a department or program may authorize a P/N grading option for a student in a departmental course if it will not be applied toward the requirements of his or her major. For this to happen, the major department or program must send written authorization for the exception to Graduation Analysis, 2 Jessup Hall. Courses required for the major in cognate or related areas may be taken as P/N only if the department offering the major has approved the P/N status for the requirement in question.
  • Instructors and/or departments may deny students the option to register P/N for any course.
  • Hours of P/N coursework are not used in computing GPAs. Hours of coursework graded P count toward graduation, but hours of coursework graded N do not.
  • The College accepts a maximum of 15 s.h. of P credit from the University of Iowa toward the bachelor's degree, and a maximum of 30 s.h. of P and S grades from all sources (UI as well as transfer work) toward the bachelor's degree.

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Registering for a Satisfactory/Fail (S/F) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) course

Certain courses use the Satisfactory/Fail (S/F) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading system. (To check, view a course’s detailed information on MyUI, and look for “Special Grading.”) All students registered for these courses receive a grade of S, F, or U. Special forms or permissions are not necessary to register for S/F or S/U courses.

S/F and S/U course policies:

  • Hours of S or U graded coursework are not used in computing grade point averages, but hours of F graded course work are used.
  • Hours of S graded coursework count as hours earned toward graduation, but hours of F or U graded coursework do not.
  • You may use S graded coursework to fulfill General Education Program Requirements and/or the requirements of your major, minor, or a certificate.
  • The College accepts a maximum of 15 s.h. of S credit from the University of Iowa toward the bachelor's degree, and a maximum of 30 s.h. of P and S grades from all sources (UI as well as transfer work) toward the bachelor's degree.

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Cross-enrolling and taking Cross-referenced courses

Sometimes CLAS students take courses that belong to colleges other than CLAS, or they take “cross-referenced” courses (courses that are listed under more than one department). Because registration policies and other academic practices vary among the different colleges at the UI, students who cross-enroll or take cross-referenced  courses need to be aware of which college—the one they are enrolled in, or the one that is listed as on MyUI as “Admin” of the course—governs that course’s policies and procedures.

  • In general, for issues that involve transactions between the professor and the student in the context of the student’s course participation (e.g., grading, academic misconduct, add/drop dates), the rules of the college offering the course will govern.
  • For issues that involve how a course applies (or doesn’t apply) to a student’s academic standing and degree requirements (e.g., whether a course counts toward graduation, regression and duplication issues, second-grade-only options, probation and dismissal), the rules of the college in which the student is enrolled will govern.
  • Read the complete cross-enrollment policy

Note: Graduate students are governed by the policies of the Graduate College no matter what college offers the courses in which they are enrolled.

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Prerequisites

You may not enroll in a course unless you have satisfied its prerequisites as described on MyUI. Prerequisites generally specify a certain course or courses that you must complete before enrolling in the course with the prerequisites. At times, a prerequisite can also be satisfied with a certain placement test result, particularly for some math courses. Some prerequisite courses also have a minimum grade that must be met before the prerequisite is considered completed (such as a C or a B-). Be sure to read a course's MyUI information carefully to learn which prerequisites you must complete before you are allowed to enroll in the course. All departments are responsible for accurately describing their courses’ prerequisites on MyUI.

You will be stopped from enrolling in a course and will not be able to add it if you have not completed the prerequisites for that course. That is, your registration in the course will be automatically blocked if the registration system does not find the prerequisite course on your student record. Questions? See the Prerequisites Q & A page.

Many courses also have requirements that must be fulfilled. If you enroll in a course without having first completed its requirements, the department or instructor may administratively drop you from the course at the start of the semester (during the first eight calendar days of the fall or spring semester, the first two calendar days of the three-week summer session, or the first four days of the six- or eight-week summer session). You will not receive a “W” if you are dropped because of unsatisfied requirements.

Registration terms defined:

  1. Prerequisite - Indicates a UI course or placement test that you must have satisfactorily completed or received an appropriate score in before enrolling in the course. NOTE: Prerequisites are enforced at the time of registration for a course.
  1. Co-requisite - Indicates a UI course that you must have satisfactorily completed or be enrolled in at the same time as the listed course.
  1. Requirement - A mandatory criterion for enrollment in a course. For example, grade of C or higher in a beginning algebra course might be a requirement for a course. NOTE: Requirements are enforced at any time before the semester begins or the start of the semester.
  1. Recommendation - Knowledge, skills, and the completion of courses and other requirements that may assist in a course, but are not required, are recommendations. For example, a particular book in Shakespeare might be a recommended reading before enrolling in an English course.

For more information, please see the Prerequisites Q & A page.

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Adding courses

You may add courses after the semester has begun, but only until the deadline for adding courses. Please see the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for the final day for undergraduates to add courses each semester; this deadline is usually the first Monday of the second week of the semester. Summer and winter sessions have other deadlines.

If a course has not yet begun, you may simply add the course on MyUI.

For the first 5 days of classes for a fall or spring semester, students are able to add or change sections or semester hours for semester-length courses on MyUI.

To add a course after the 5th day of the semester, or to add on or after the start date for an off-cycle, summer, or winter session course, print a Change of Registration Form, and have both your academic advisor and the instructor of the course sign it. See the Academic Advising Center website at https://advisingcenter.uiowa.edu/how-adddrop-classes for more information about obtaining the instructor signature. Then submit the signed form to the Registrar’s Service Center, 17 Calvin Hall before the add deadline.

"Off-cycle" courses that start or end at times other than the beginning and end of the semester have add deadlines different from those of semester-long courses. Deadlines for individual courses, including off-cycle courses, may be found at the Registrar's Course Deadlines look-up.

Adding courses after the deadline

The Academic Programs & Student Development office may grant permission to add a course after the deadline. Students may not register or add individual courses retroactively.

To add a course after the published deadline:

  1. Print a Change of Registration Form.
  2. Have both your academic advisor and the instructor of the course sign it. See the Academic Advising Center website at https://advisingcenter.uiowa.edu/how-adddrop-classes for more information about obtaining the instructor signature.
  3. Visit Academic Programs & Student Development, 120 Schaeffer Hall, to request the Dean's signature.
  4. Return the completed form to the Registrar’s Service Center, 17 Calvin Hall.

Note: These procedures apply only to undergraduate students who are taking courses offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For students taking courses offered by other colleges, different rules may apply, and those students should consult the college in question. Whatever college administers the particular course is the college whose rules govern the procedures for dropping and adding after the published deadline. Read the complete cross-enrollment policy.

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Full-Time/Half-Time Student Status

Full-Time and Half-Time Student Status for undergraduates are defined as:

Full-Time and Half-Time Student Status for undergraduates
Percentage of Time Definition

Full-time student

12 s.h. per semester during the academic year;

12 s.h. during Summer Session.

Half-time student

6 s.h. per semester during the academic year;

6 s.h. during Summer Session.

For more information on Financial Aid enrollment rules, consult the Office of Student Financial Aid.

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Maximum course load

The recommended schedule for students who wish to complete a degree in eight semesters (four years) is 14 to 16 semester hours each semester. However, some students may want or need to take coursework in excess of the recommended hours.

Maximum course loads vary by session and are as follows:

Maximum course loads by semester

Semester

Credit Hours

Spring or Fall semester

The maximum permitted registration is 18 semester hours. Students wishing to register for more than 18 semester hours must have special permission. For guidelines, see Requesting Excess Hours below.

Summer session

12 semester hours

Winter session

3 semester hours

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Requesting Excess Hours

Students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences who are in good academic standing may request permission from Academic Programs & Student Development, 120 Schaeffer Hall, to register for more hours than the maximum allowed. Permission to take excess hours is not guaranteed. Read the guidelines below carefully.

During Early Registration:

You may register for a maximum of 18 semester hours for a spring or fall semester. If you will become eligible to graduate at the close of the following semester or session by adding additional hours, you may meet with an associate director in Academic Programs & Student Development, 120 Schaffer Hall, to request an exception to the 18 semester hour maximum.

After current semester grades post in MyUI:

You may register for a maximum of 18 semester hours for a spring or fall semester. You may meet with an associate director in Academic & Student Development, 120 Schaeffer Hall, or email clasps@uiowa.edu from your UI email account (include your University ID number and number of hours you are requesting), to request an exception to exceed the 18 semester hour maximum.

Beginning the 6th day of the semester:

If you want to register for more than 18 semester hours, you must bring an add form with advisor and instructor signatures to 120 Schaeffer Hall to request to exceed the 18 semester hour maximum.

Criteria for granting excess hours

Professional staff in Academic Programs & Student Development may approve excess semester hours based on the following UI and total cumulative grade point average guidelines, however approval for excess hours is not guaranteed.

Permission for 19 hours (fall or spring) requires:

  • 2.0 minimum GPA (academic good standing)
  • Evidence of previous substantial (15+ graded hours) and successful semesters

Permission for 20 hours (fall or spring) requires:

  • 2.5 minimum GPA
  • Evidence of previous substantial (15+ graded hours) and successful semesters

Permission for 21 hours (fall or spring) requires:

  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • Evidence of previous substantial (15+ graded hours) and successful semesters

Students may petition for permission to take 22 semester hours or more but such permission is granted rarely and only in very special circumstances.

Students held for ESL course work will not be given permission for excess hours until the ESL courses have been completed successfully.

Students on academic probation will not be given permission for excess hours.

Permission for excess hours is a privilege. If you perform poorly or drop any of your courses, then permission for excess hours may not be granted in a future semester.

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Dropping courses

Please note that different deadlines exist for students wishing to drop individual courses or withdraw from an entire semester. Visit the Registrar's Course Deadlines calendar for the exact dates of these deadlines each semester.

For the first 5 days of classes of a fall or spring semester, students (except student athletes and international students) will be able to drop semester-length courses on MyUI. However, students will not be able to drop their only (last) course on MyUI, as that is a Withdrawal of Registration.

To drop a course after the 5th day of the semester, or to drop on or after the start date for an off-cycle, summer, or winter session course, a student may indicate the desire to drop a course from the schedule page on MyUI. The student is then responsible for contacting their academic advisor to obtain authorization to drop the course. The academic advisor will not be notified automatically of the drop request. Instructor permission is not required to drop courses offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Please note, all authorizations must be obtained by 4:30 pm on the course deadline date. After the required authorizations have been obtained, the student is notified and must log in to MyUI to complete the drop process by 11:59 pm on the deadline to drop the course.

  • Alternatively, a student may print a paper Change of Registration Form, have it signed by their academic advisor, then submit the signed form to the Registrar’s Service Center, 17 Calvin Hall, by 4:30 pm on the deadline to drop the course. Paper forms are encouraged for situations in which adding and dropping should be completed simultaneously.

Students who fail to attend a class are NOT, in most cases, dropped from the course automatically. All students wishing to drop a course must obtain the necessary authorizations as described above. Only under special conditions may an instructor drop a student from a course.

Instructor's option to drop for nonattendance. In rare cases, the instructor may drop any student who has not attended the class during the first eight calendar days of the fall or spring semester (or during the first two calendar days of the winter session, or during the first four days of the four-week, six-week, eight-week, or twelve week summer sessions)—unless the student has offered acceptable reasons for beginning the course late. Students dropped for nonattendance do not receive a “W." The Registrar’s Service Center notifies each student dropped from a course, along with the student's advisor. Students should not assume that they have been dropped automatically from a course because they have not attended it.

Dropping a course without a “W”

You may drop courses after the semester has begun; the first drop deadline generally occurs by the first Monday of the second week of classes for semester-length courses. This deadline is labeled as “Last day for undergraduates to add courses or drop courses without a W”, or "Last day to drop without a 'W'". Courses dropped by this deadline will not be visible on your transcript.

Dropping a course with a “W”

The second deadline to drop a course, listed as “Last day to drop without dean’s approval, undergraduate”, or "Last day for undergraduates to drop individual semester-length courses" is usually on the Monday of the tenth week of the semester for semester-length courses. Courses dropped during this period remain on your transcript with a mark of W, indicating that you have dropped the course. (See Mark of “W", below.) This is the final drop deadline.

Dropping an “off-cycle” course

Off-cycle courses, courses that start or end at times other than the beginning and end of the semester, have drop deadlines different from those of semester-length courses. Deadlines for individual courses, including off-cycle courses, may be found at the Registrar's Course Deadlines look-up.

Requesting to drop a course after the deadline

For a CLAS course, you should meet with an associate director in Academic Programs & Student Development, 120 Schaeffer Hall, to discuss your request. Approval to drop CLAS courses after the final drop deadline (listed as the “last day to drop without dean’s approval, undergraduate” or "last day for undergraduates to drop individual semester-length courses") may be granted only with documentation of extenuating circumstances (such as a serious illness or a crisis beyond the student's control).

Note: These procedures apply only to undergraduate students who are taking courses offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For students taking courses offered by other colleges, different rules may apply, and those students should consult the college in question. (Whatever college provides the administrative home for the particular course is the college whose rules govern the procedures for dropping and adding after the published deadline.) Read the complete cross-enrollment policy.

STUDENT LETTER

  1. The student must send a typed, signed letter to the Academic Reviewers, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 120 Schaeffer Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1409. The letter may be sent by postal mail, handed in at 120 Schaeffer Hall, faxed to 319-335-3192, or sent to clasps@uiowa.edu from the student’s UI email account (only).

Be sure to include:

  • Full name
  • University of Iowa ID number
  • Mailing address
  • University of Iowa (only) email address
  • Date
  • The student’s handwritten signature (not required if sent from UI email account)
  1. The very first sentence of the letter:  “I am requesting a late drop of [insert course number(s), name(s), and semester(s) of enrollment].
  2. Next: describe concisely the circumstances that affected your performance in the course or your ability to drop the course(s) by the published deadline.
  3. Next:  indicate what, if any, supporting documentation the Reviewers can expect to receive.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

  1. The student is responsible for requesting any supporting documentation.
  2. The person providing the documentation must send it directly to the Academic Reviewers, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 120 Schaeffer Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City IA  52242-1409. Fax number is 1-319-335-3192.
  3. Any medical documentation must be in the form of a letter, on letterhead stationery, dated, and signed by the person providing it. The Reviewers cannot interpret a medical record or clinical notes.  The following items are not acceptable documentation:  a photocopy of a prescription or a medication container; a billing statement; information taken from the internet.

Note: If you were seen at Student Health & Wellness or University Counseling Service, please contact Academic Programs & Student Development, 120 Schaeffer Hall, 1-319-335-2633, for assistance in obtaining documentation from those offices.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences requests this information for the purpose of documenting requests for exceptions to collegiate rules.  No persons outside the university are provided this information without your permission, except for items of directory information such as name and local address.  All requested information is required.  If you fail to provide the required information, the College will not be able to act on your request.

If you have any questions please call 319-335-2633 or visit Academic Programs & Student Development in 120 Schaeffer Hall.

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Mark of "W"

A mark of “W” will appear on your transcript beside any course you have dropped after the deadline which is noted in the Academic Calendar as the “Last day for undergraduates to add courses or drop courses without a W," or on the Course Deadlines look-up as the "Last day to drop without a 'W'".

Note that "off-cycle" courses that start or end at times other than the beginning and end of the semester have drop deadlines different from those of semester-long courses. Deadlines for individual courses, including off-cycle courses, may be found at the Registrar's Course Deadlines look-up.

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Withdrawal of entire registration

You may withdraw your entire semester registration after the semester or session has begun until deadline listed as the “Last day for undergraduates to withdraw entire registration”. Please see the Registrar’s Academic Calendar.

If you have decided to withdraw from all your courses visit the Registrar's Service Center, 17 Calvin Hall, to obtain a withdrawal form. You may need to collect several signatures on the form, and will need to return the completed form to the Registrar's Service Center by 4:30 pm on the withdrawal deadline. Students on academic probation are encouraged to discuss their decision to withdraw their registration with an associate director in Academic Programs & Student Development, 120 Schaeffer Hall.

Your transcript will show that you have withdrawn from an entire semester or session, and will reflect no courses, credits, or grades. Instead, it will indicate that you withdrew and the date withdrawn (for example: Withdrew April 18, 2016).

Requesting a late withdrawal or a retroactive withdrawal

If you are a CLAS student, you should meet with an associate director in Academic Programs & Student Development, 120 Schaeffer Hall, to discuss your request. Approval to withdraw after the deadline may be granted in the event of extenuating circumstances (such as a serious illness or a crisis beyond the student's control) and only with appropriate documentation indicating the nature of these circumstances.

You may make a request to withdraw an entire registration after the semester or session has concluded, however federal immigration regulations do not permit record adjustments (drops or withdrawal) for a student holding an F-1 or J-1 visa after a semester or session has concluded.

Note: The procedures below apply only to undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during the semester in question. For students enrolled in one of the University of Iowa’s other colleges, different rules may apply, and those students should consult the College in which they are or were enrolled.

STUDENT LETTER

  1. The student must send a typed, signed letter to the Academic Reviewers, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 120 Schaeffer Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1409. The letter may be sent by postal mail, handed in at 120 Schaeffer Hall, faxed to 319-335-3192, or sent to clasps@uiowa.edu from the student’s UI email account (only).

Be sure to include:

  • Full name
  • University of Iowa ID number
  • Mailing address
  • University of Iowa (only) email address
  • Date
  • The student’s handwritten signature (not required if sent from UI email account)
  1. The very first sentence of the letter:  “I am requesting a withdrawal from [insert semester(s) and year(s)].
  2. Next: describe concisely the circumstances for the request.
  3. Next:  indicate what, if any, supporting documentation the Reviewers can expect to receive.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION 

  1. The student is responsible for requesting any supporting documentation.
  2. The person providing the documentation must send it directly to the Academic Reviewers, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 120 Schaeffer Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City IA  52242-1409. Fax number is 1-319-335-3192.
  3. Any medical documentation must be in the form of a letter, on letterhead stationery, dated, and signed by the person providing it. The Reviewers cannot interpret a medical record or clinical notes.  The following items are not acceptable documentation:  a photocopy of a prescription or a medication container; a billing statement; information taken from the internet.

Note: If you were seen at Student Health & Wellness or University Counseling Service, please contact Academic Programs & Student Development, 120 Schaeffer Hall, 1-319-335-2633, for assistance in obtaining documentation from those offices.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences requests this information for the purpose of documenting requests for exceptions to collegiate rules.  No persons outside the university are provided this information without your permission, except for items of directory information such as name and local address.  All requested information is required.  If you fail to provide the required information, the College will not be able to act on your request.

If you have any questions please call 1-319-335-2633 or visit Academic Programs & Student Development in 120 Schaeffer Hall.

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