General Question

Glow's avatar

How bad is having dropped classes on your transcript?

Asked by Glow (1352 points ) January 28th, 2009

Well, Ive only had to drop a class once in my life, and that was two years ago. Now here I am, a junior, and im having a rough time and I think im going to have to drop a class in order to retain my sanity. Its sort of a class I need, its just one of a list of classes I can take to fulfill a certain requirement. I may take it again if I feel like it, or might take another one to fulfill that requirement. How bad would it be to have 2 Ws on my transcript? I MIGHT get my masters (im in studio arts BTW) but im unsure. Either way, its 2 dropped classes ): Ive already missed one day of this class and it was important….

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10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is not the end of the world. On the other hand, you should not do it frivolously or make a habit of it. Two seems livable. Just be prepared to explain them.

By the time you get to the working world, no one will be eyeing your transcript that closely.

Bri_L's avatar

I dropped Chemistry in college. It has never once come up ever. But neither has my College grades or transcripts for that matter.

Jeruba's avatar

Check your school’s own policy to see whether retaking the class later means the first attempt is simply erased. Also find out if a W automatically turns into an F or whether there’s a ‘WP’ (withdrawal while passing), which should be no penalty. It’s been a long time—my recollection is weak. But I do think these things can vary from school to school and you should find out how your school handles it.

If it’s right at the beginning of the semester, it might not appear at all if you drop it during the open drop-and-add period.

jessturtle23's avatar

If you are receiving financial aide you can lose it if you have too many w’s.

artificialard's avatar

At Canadian universities if a class is dropped before a certain date into the semester it isn’t recorded into the transcript in anyway. Talk to your records/registration office or check your enrollment policies on your uni’s website.

Either way, even if it does show and provided it’s not a grade then I don’t see how it could matter. A lot of my friends smarter than me routinely re-arrange classes at the beginning of every semester to get the mythical 4-day weekend.

fireside's avatar

I really don’t see it affecting your career.

You may have to prove your commitment to your professor if you decide to take the course again. But then, you should prove your commitment anyways if you dropped the class once. Otherwise, don’t stress it and just be sure to watch your course load in upcoming semesters with your sanity in mind.

onesecondregrets's avatar

Better than having a failed.

Perchik's avatar

I’ve dropped a lot of classes. Within the first week, we’re allowed to drop and add without any penalty (nothing on transcript). Then up until the point where 1/3 of the class has passed, we can drop and receive an N (which shows on your transcript, but doesn’t hurt your gpa or anything)

Currently I’m at the end of my junior year and I think I have 4 Ns. I can explain all of them.

The first one, I dropped a math course because I could not learn from the instructor’s teaching style. I promptly took the course the next semester with a different professor and made an A.

The second one, I dropped “German Film” because I meant to drop it before the drop date, but it only met once a week and I forgot.

The third one, I dropped a general education writing class because the course was below my level. The professor treated everyone like 2 year olds, and there was way too much work for that class. The next semester, I took the honors section and made an A.

The last one was a stupid technicality. I was taking an “intermediate rock climbing” course that started in the middle of the semester. (notice 1/2 way through is after 1/3 of most classes have passed) After the first meeting of the course, I knew that I was more advanced than the people they were targeting, so I dropped it. But since it was after the “free” week at the beginning of the semester, I had to take an N.

I’ve only dropped classes when I feel like I’m having to devote way too much time to some kind of general ed requirement that is detracting from my major courses or when a course in my major needs to be dropped, I retook it the following semester.

If a future employer asks, I’ll gladly explain any/all of them.

Ashpea9288's avatar

It really depends. If you’re looking to go to graduate school, where they definitely put a lot of weight on transcripts, then having a lot of dropped classes doesn’t look so good. It shows you don’t make good decisions when it comes to your educational choices or do not have the drive and discipline to push through a tough class or a class you don’t particularly like. Like someone else said, I think you should draw the line at 2, 3 at the most.
I don’t think too many employers look at transcripts though. They mostly care about experience, and usually don’t even care about your GPA.

GeorgeGee's avatar

A few dropped classes isn’t a problem at all. Many courses have a great description and a lousy professor and you’re right to drop them. But if you had for instance 3 W’s per semester, that would be a big red flag saying that you start things but don’t finish them or just don’t know what you want.

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