Texas Tech University


[Date changed–posted 5/26/23 (last revised 10/20/2022)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 34.30: Administrative Course Drop Policy

DATE: May 26, 2023

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish university policy regarding the drop of a course from a student's schedule or record for an administrative purpose or to effect a date of drop prior to the date for which a student originally initiated a drop. This policy applies to students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, excluding students within the School of Law.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in May of each year by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the Academic Council, with substantive revisions submitted through administrative channels to the Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success and the Provost and Senior Vice President.


1.  Policy

a.    An enrolled student may not be administratively dropped from a course when the drop will result in the student exceeding the state drop limit. Exceptions to this rule should follow the stated provisions within 19 Texas Administrative Code § 4.10(a).

b.    Administrative drop requests should be reviewed carefully and comprehensively. Administrative drops have consequences not only for the student but also for the institution and should be granted only after proper vetting and documentation. Proper vetting could include a review of system indicators of attempts to drop a course, medical documentation verified by the Office of the Dean of Students, or financial and grade impacts to the student.

c.    Dropping a student to zero hours constitutes a withdrawal from the term, and OP 34.29, Administrative Withdrawals, should be consulted.

d.    An administrative drop may not be issued solely for the purposes of:

(1)    Removal of a final grade; or

(2)    Effecting a refund for coursework that was partially or fully completed.

e.    An administrative drop requested for a prior, completed term will be subject to additional review to ensure compliance with policy.

f.    An enrolled student may be administratively dropped from a course in the following instances:

(1)    To address cases of institutional error, which may include, but not be limited to, enrolling or advising the student into a course for which the student had prior institutional or transfer credit, the drop should be requested by the student's academic dean's office for the day prior to the beginning of the term in which the student is registered for the course. Drops for this reason require academic dean approval.

(2)    To address situations wherein the student attended and completed a section but was registered for the wrong course or section in error, the course will be dropped and the correct course will be added. Drops for this reason require academic dean approval. A grade must be submitted at the time of the request if it is for a prior term. These situations should not result in a refund to the student but should be only for situations to correct the student's schedule.

(3)    To address cases where the student has not taken action to drop themselves following notification that a course is being canceled due to low enrollment, drops for this reason require academic dean approval.

(4)  In cases where the student has not satisfactorily completed a prerequisite course (e.g., student does not meet minimum grade requirement or earns an Incomplete in MATH 1451, a required prerequisite for MATH 1452), departments may process the drop for the subsequent course during the time period in which drops are fully removed from the record. Drops during the drop-count period should be requested by the student's academic dean's office for the day prior to the beginning of the term in which the student is registered for the subsequent course.

(5)  When the student is found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct through a Hearing Body and/or the Office of Student Conduct, or fails to comply with outcomes of a student conduct process, drops for this reason will be submitted by the Office of Student Conduct or the student's academic dean.

(6)    As a measure to restore equitable access to education, the Office of Student Civil Rights & Title IX will submit drops according to guidelines aligned with Title IX processes and response options. Drops for these cases will be processed as drop-limit exceptions.

(7)    When there exists the documented inability to drop oneself due to personal or medical circumstances that prevent the student from dropping the course by the official last day to drop:

(a)    Undergraduate Students: Following review and confirmation of the Dean of Students, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success, or the student's academic dean, the administrative drop should be granted for no earlier than a documented date of event that rendered the student unable to drop the course themselves, or the last date to drop for the semester relative to the circumstance. Responsibility for the final authorization of the drop rests with the academic dean. 

(b)    Graduate Students: Graduate Students should contact their program director to discuss the request, and a formal review and approval will be conducted by the Associate Dean in the Graduate School. The administrative drop should be granted for no earlier than a documented date of event relative to the circumstance. 

(8)    In the event of a natural or other disaster or circumstance that significantly impacts a student's ability to attend and/or complete the enrolled course, an administrative drop plan may be authorized by the Provost to address the needs of a significant enrolled population relevant to the situation.

g.    Any exceptions to this policy should be reviewed and authorized by the Provost or their designee.

2.  Procedure

A student who is administratively dropped will be subject to any financial obligations and/or penalties as relates to the date of the course drop. Documentation supporting the cause for the administrative drop may be retained within the office submitting the request, with only the request for drop submitted to the Office of the Registrar for appropriate processing. The Office of the Registrar may contact the submitting office for the documentation as needed to comply with auditing or judicial (subpoena) requests.

3.  Documentation Retention

Documentation supporting an authorized drop request is subject to institutional retention policies as outlined in OP 10.10, Records Retention. Certain documentation may be requested for permanent retention purposes by the Office of the Registrar.

4. Right to Change Policy

Texas Tech University reserves the right to interpret, amend, or rescind this policy, in whole or in part, at any time.

Operating Policies & Procedures