Continuous enrollment

Students who withdraw from all courses after the first week of the semester are considered to have been enrolled for the semester. Students who do not attend VCU for three or more successive semesters excluding summer sessions must submit an application for readmission to the Undergraduate Admissions. See the Undergraduate Readmission/Continuous Enrollment Chart for details on readmission and continuous enrollment. Students who have attended another institution and wish to return after the allowable absence period or who have been suspended since their last enrollment at VCU also must apply for readmission. This application must be completed and turned in before the application submission date for the semester in which the student plans to return. For health science programs, breaks in enrollment must be approved by the department.

Student load

Student load is the total number of credits for which a student is enrolled in any one semester. The semester credit is the quantitative unit by which courses are measured and is defined by the number of credit hours as found under general course information.

Full-time and part-time students

A student enrolled in 12 credits or more during any fall or spring semester is classified as full time. A student enrolled in 11 credits or less during any semester is classified as part time. Both full-time and part-time students may seek degrees at VCU. However, some curricula may require full-time status. For more information, see the Categories of student enrollment section of this bulletin.

Academic overload

A degree-seeking undergraduate student may take no more than 19 credits per semester without special permission. This maximum load excludes holiday intersession courses. More than 19 credits per semester constitute an academic overload and will incur course overload fees. Health science curricula requiring more than 19 credits per semester are exempt from this rule. See additional information on a course overload in the Tuition and fees charges section of this chapter.

The student’s adviser and academic dean may permit a student to attempt more than 19 credits in any one semester. An “Overload Approval Form” may be obtained from the Student Services Center in Harris Hall or online at Records and Registration Forms.

Undergraduate nondegree-seeking students may take no more than 11 credits per semester. Overloads for nondegree-seeking students are not permitted. A nondegree-seeking student who wishes to take more than 11 credits must first be accepted as a degree-seeking student.

For information about credits earned concurrently at another institution, see concurrent registration below.

Credits allowable during summer sessions

Each summer course is designed to provide one semester’s work. With careful scheduling, it is possible for students to earn as many as 15 credits during the summer if course work extends over the full summer calendar. Students may not take more than 15 credits without special permission from the Summer Studies Office, which is located at Hibbs Hall, 900 Park Avenue, Room 201; or phone (804) 827-4586.

Summer classes are intensive and demanding. Students experiencing academic difficulty should consider this advisory carefully before registering for summer classes.

Prerequisite enforcement

Qualified course prerequisites take the form of a course subject (HIST) and number (101). Unless otherwise specified, the minimum grade required to satisfy a stated course prerequisite is a D. These prerequisites are enforced at the time of registration and assume successful completion of any prerequisite courses for which a student is currently enrolled. A registration error message is returned if one or more qualifying course prerequisites are not met. Specific prerequisites for an individual course can be viewed via eServices by selecting the View Catalog Entry link. Before seeking override permission to enroll for a specific course, students and advisers are encouraged to view the eServices catalog entry. Students who are preregistered in a course with one or more prerequisites and subsequently fail to satisfy the prerequisite(s) will be removed from the course prior to the end of add/drop.

Audit registration

Class size permitting, a student may register for a course on an audit basis. A student may register for audit only during add/drop and late registration periods. Auditing a course means a student enrolls in a course but does not receive academic credit upon completion of the course. A student who registers on an audit basis is subject to attendance regulations of that class and may be administratively withdrawn by an instructor for a violation of class requirements for audit students, before or after the normal 10-week withdrawal deadline. A student who registers for audit may be subject to other course requirements at the discretion of the instructor. Audit students are charged the regular rate of tuition and fees. An audit course is counted as part of the student’s semester load for the purposes of full- or part-time enrollment status but not for the purpose of financial aid.

Concurrent registration

Students enrolled in degree programs need prior approval to take courses at other institutions to ensure credits earned concurrently at another institution are accepted for transfer at VCU. Before registration at the other institution, the student needs approval by his or her adviser, department chair, program head and academic dean. A “Request to Take Courses at Another Institution” form may be obtained from the Student Services Center in Harris Hall or online at Records and Registration Forms. Credits taken at another institution will not be counted toward enrollment level for financial aid purposes at VCU unless these courses are part of an approved articulation agreement that allows or requires courses to be taken at another institution.

Change in registration

Once a student has registered for classes, changes in registration must be made according to the procedures listed below. Whenever a student makes any change in registration, the student should keep a copy of the new schedule as verification of the change. Changes in registration may affect current and future financial aid. Students are advised to consult with a financial aid staff member before making any changes to their enrollment status. See the Financial aid section of this bulletin for detailed information on financial aid.

Cancellation of registration

Cancellation of registration must be completed before the end of the add/drop period. To cancel registration, a student must drop all classes using one of the following methods: 1) in writing to the Office of Records and Registration, 2) in person at the Student Services Center or 3) via eServices. Refunds are issued in accordance with procedures described under the refunds section in the Tuition, fees and expenses section of this bulletin. For readmission guidelines, consult the Admission to the university section of this bulletin.

During the add/drop period

Exact dates for add/drop periods before and during the first week of classes are listed in the university academic calendar. Changes in registration during the add/drop periods can be made on the Web. Courses dropped during add/drop periods do not show on a student’s permanent record. Changes from audit to credit or credit to audit must be made before the end of the add/drop and late registration periods and can be made at the Student Services Center in Harris Hall.

After the add/drop period

After the add/drop period, students may not attend classes in which they are not registered. Students cannot add a course after the add/drop period. The university academic calendar lists the date when add/drop ends.

Drops are not permitted after the add/drop period has ended. However, students may withdraw from classes in accordance with prescribed procedures. To officially withdraw from a class, a student must obtain and file the appropriate form with the Office of Records and Registration or utilize eServices.

If a student stops attending a class and fails to withdraw, a failing grade is usually given for that course. Withdrawals become a part of the student’s academic record with a mark of W. In classes that do not conform to the normal semester calendar, the final withdrawal date is when half of the course is completed.

For further information see withdrawal from the university below. Students who withdraw from a course may be entitled to a refund. See the university refund policy in the Tuition, fees and expenses section of this bulletin.

Evening studies

VCU day and evening programs are academically integrated, and credit earned in the evening program is identical to credit earned during the day. A student may register for courses in the evening as a degree-seeking or a nondegree-seeking student.

Withdrawal from the university

Students enrolled in health science programs should refer to school guidelines. Withdrawal may affect continuance in health science curricula.

Students who withdraw from all classes during a semester must notify, in writing, the Office of Records and Registration before the end of the first 10 weeks of classes. Monroe Park Campus students may withdraw from all classes using eServices by the end of the first 10 weeks of classes. Failure to notify the Office of Records and Registration of intention to withdraw from all classes or to withdraw from all classes using eServices can result in the assignment of failing grades in all or some of the courses. The final withdrawal date for classes whose meeting dates do not conform to the semester calendar is the day when half of the course has been completed. Forms to withdraw from courses are available at the Student Services Center in Harris Hall or online at Records and Registration Forms.

A mark of W for withdrawn will appear on the student’s academic record for all courses. Charges are assessed and adjusted according to the university refund policy, which is published in the Tuition, fees and expenses section of this bulletin.

When extraordinary circumstances require that a student requests withdrawal after the final withdrawal date, the student must petition the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee for consideration of a waiver of this academic regulation. For further information, see the Appeal to waive an academic regulation, Academic Regulations Appeals Committee section of this bulletin.

Monroe Park Campus students who withdraw from all courses during a semester may attend the following semester without submitting an application for readmission. MCV Campus students should consult their program adviser prior to any withdrawals for academic or health-related reasons.

Also see cancellation of registration above.

Medical withdrawal

A student may experience a medical condition that makes him or her unable to complete their studies once a semester is in progress. If this occurs before the add/drop period is over then the student should drop the class, and if it occurs after add/drop ends but before the last day to withdraw, then the student should withdraw from the class. This should be done using eServices or, if necessary, the dean’s office can assist with a drop or a withdrawal.

After the last day to withdraw but prior to the last day of classes per the academic calendar, the student may petition the dean (or dean’s designee) for a medical withdrawal from all courses. The student must present documentation of his or her medical condition that establishes a significant degree of impairment in continuing his or her studies. This documentation must include a letter, written on a letterhead, from a licensed health care provider that establishes the dates of treatment, the diagnosis and the degree of impairment that the condition has created. This letter should also provide the date when the student became unable to attend classes, or when the impairment was considered significant enough to affect academic performance. The dean (or dean’s designee) may at his or her discretion determine whether a medical withdrawal from all courses is appropriate. A medical withdrawal may only be granted for all courses taken that semester.

The student’s transcript will reflect a grade of W for all courses taken that semester. No special designation for medical withdrawals is made on the transcript, and tuition and fees are levied in the same manner as other withdrawals. (See University refund policy section.) Medical withdrawals may impact future financial aid in relation to Satisfactory Academic Progress.

If the student wishes to be withdrawn from selected courses only, or if the dean (or dean’s designee) denies the petition, or if the request is made after the last day of classes per the academic calendar, then the student may pursue the matter further by filing a petition for a retroactive withdrawal with the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee.