Help with Academic Procedures

The Center for Academic Success works alongside your academic advisor to help you with:

  • information about your academic standing and how to improve your academic progress;
  • help preparing academic petitions for late registration, readmission, exceptions to academic regulations, etc.;
  • arranging for extended deadlines or an incomplete due to accident, illness, or family emergency;
  • discussing a possible course withdrawal, term withdrawal, or leave of absence.

Contact the office to schedule an appointment with a dean, or stop by during walk-in hours.

Here is additional help for academic procedures:

  • Change of major or advisor:  Submit a Declaration of Majors, Minors, or IAs and/or a Change of Advisor form at the Registrar's Office.  You can change your major or advisor at any time by submitting a new form.  You must have a major and advisor in that major by the start of the junior year.
  • Language competency GER (in a language other than English):  If you would like to satisfy the language GER with a language not taught at Lawrence, read "Completion of the language competency requirement" under Academic Procedures and Regulations and contact the chair of the Language Coalition to arrange for testing or documentation.  For 2018-19 (fall and winter terms), the chair of the Language Coalition is Dominica Chang (, 920-832-7044).
  • Transfer credit:  To check whether a course at another university would be accepted for transfer credit, submit a Petition for Transfer Credit with a course description and syllabus to the Registrar's Office (, 920-832-6578).  The registrar can ask the proper department chair for approval.  Do this before you take the course to be sure that it will be accepted by Lawrence.

Academic Procedures FAQ

+ How do I drop a course?

In the first two weeks of the term, while registration is still open, you may use Voyager to cancel a class from your schedule.  A cancelled course is removed from your schedule and will not appear on future transcripts of your work.  You may not cancel a course you have attended after the second week.

You may withdraw from a class you have attended after the second week of the term up to the published deadline, which is usually the second Friday after the mid-term reading period.  If you attend the class after the withdrawal deadline, you have committed to completing the course.  Withdrawal forms can be found on the Registrar's web page under Forms.  Your instructor must report your last date of attendance and your academic advisor must also sign the withdrawal form.  The course will appear on your transcript with a grade of "W".  No credit will be earned and the "W" will not affect your grade point averages.   

Withdrawing from a class will reduce your course load for the term as of the date you last attended class.  For some students, a reduced load will affect international student visas, athletic eligibility, V.A. benefits, some scholarships, and possibly insurance.  You should investigate the consequences of withdrawing from a class carefully (International Students Services, Office of Financial Aid, parents) before withdrawing.  

You must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration to withdraw if any of the following apply:

  • you are withdrawing from more than one class in the term, or
  • you have already withdrawn from three classes during your time at Lawrence, or
  • you are on probation, or
  • you find you are unable to complete the class after the withdrawal deadline has passed.

Petition forms can be found on the Registrar's web page under Forms.


+ Can I get an extension?

You may request an extension for an assignment or exam from the instructor. In most cases, the instructor will want information that indicates circumstances beyond your control, such as illness or family emergency. For a missed major assignment or exam, you should have an email sent to your instructor(s) from Health and Counseling Services (for illness) or Student Affairs (for a family emergency). These offices will keep the details of private matters confidential.

For long or multiple extensions, or extensions occurring late in the term, the instructor may request that you speak with the Dean of Academic Success about whether you will be able to meet the course requirements or need to withdraw from the course or ask for an incomplete. If an extension will go beyond the end of term (the scheduled final exam time), you must request an incomplete (see below).

+ How can I take an incomplete?

Requesting an incomplete

Students are expected to complete the work in each course by the deadlines established by the instructor; the final deadline for any work is the scheduled exam time. However, a grade of incomplete may be awarded at the discretion of the Dean of Academic Success, working in partnership with the instructor, if requested by the student, under the following guidelines:

  1. approximately 70% or more of all course requirements have been completed (even if not yet graded); and
  2. unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control (usually restricted to serious and sudden physical or mental illness, family emergency, or unpreventable lab or practicum issues) impede completion of the remaining work for the course by the term deadline.

Please note that poor planning, having a significant amount of work to complete at the end of the term, desiring extra time to do higher quality work, or failing to back up work is not, in fairness to other students, considered circumstances beyond a student's control. Instructors and students with questions about whether the conditions for an incomplete are met should consult with the Dean of Academic Success.

Incompletes are normally granted at or near the end of the term. Students must initiate the process to request an incomplete by meeting with the Dean of Academic Success before the scheduled final exam time. If the course does not have a scheduled exam time, the student must meet with the dean before the last exam time of the term. If the conditions for an incomplete are met, the Dean of Academic Success will send the instructor an Incomplete Information Form to specify the work to be completed.

For fall, winter, spring and summer terms, students have four weeks after the last day of classes to complete an incomplete. For D-term, students have 1 week after the last day of classes to complete an incomplete. Extensions are granted only in rare cases with extraordinary extenuating circumstances, such as significant medical issues or family emergencies. Documentation must be provided to the Dean of Academic Success before a decision is made. Extensions require the approval of both the course instructor and the Dean of Academic Success.
If the student does not submit the remaining work by the incomplete deadline, the student will receive a course grade based on completed work with zero credit for any missing work.

Exceptions to the above guidelines are at the discretion of the Dean of Academic Success.

+ What can I do about changing an exam?

If you wish to change a midterm examination, you should follow the procedure for requesting an extension (see above).

If you wish to change the time for a final examination, you must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration by Tuesday of the tenth week of classes. Petitions are approved for students who have three exams in a row or have exceptional circumstances. Petitions are not approved to space exams for study or to allow early departure from campus. The committee will deny any petition based on travel arrangements, even if the student must forfeit a purchased ticket for international travel. For exceptional circumstances, you should petition first and receive approval before making any nonrefundable travel arrangements.

+ How do I request a leave of absence?

If you want to take a leave of absence, you should make your request at the Center for Academic Success (920) 832-6530 or After completing the leave of absence paperwork and participating in a brief meeting or phone conversation, the dean will review the request, and upon its approval, will notify all appropriate university offices.

If your leave is approved, you may return early or request an extension before the end of the leave; otherwise, you are expected to return when the leave expires. If you do not, you will be withdrawn from the university. If you have not requested a leave of absence and end your enrollment at Lawrence or in a Lawrence-sponsored program, you will likewise be withdrawn.

+ How do I withdraw?

If you want to withdraw from the university, you should make your request at the Center for Academic Success (920) 832-6530. After completing the withdrawal paperwork and participating in a brief meeting or phone conversation, the dean will review the request, and upon its approval, will notify all appropriate university offices.

If you have been withdrawn and wish to return, you must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration for readmission. The petition should include a clear and detailed explanation of why you terminated your enrollment, what academic or other worthwhile activities you engaged in while away, and why you want to be readmitted.  Please contact the Center for Academic Success for details or questions about this process.  Petition deadlines are as follows:

  • July 31 to return fall term
  • November 30 to return winter term
  • February 15 to return spring term

Please be aware that if you do not follow these procedures withdrawal, or if you fail to meet refund deadlines, you will forfeit your continuing-enrollment deposit.

Student Status Change Form-Withdrawal.pdf

+ How can I request readmission after being required to leave the university?

Students who have been required to withdraw for academic reasons must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration for readmission by completing this petition form and the following information:

  1. Please include a personal statement which addresses:
    1. An explanation for past problems and the measures you have taken to address them fully.
    2. A proposal for handling any academic difficulties if they arise upon your return.
  2. Please submit an official transcript from another institution to show that you have been successful elsewhere.
  3. Any additional relevant documentation and support, such as letters of recommendation from an employer, an instructor, a tutor, or a counselor who can address your readiness to return.
  4. Your faculty advisor will be required to submit comments about the request for readmission.

Important information for students:
If you were required to withdraw from Lawrence for academic reasons and are readmitted, you will return to Lawrence with an academic standing of strict probation. Please consult the Academic Actions Guidelines to understand the academic expectations.

A student may only petition for readmission one time. If the student is required to withdraw a second time, petitioning for readmission is no longer an option.

Additional considerations:
If you have been required to leave for medical or psychological reasons, you must request readmission by contacting the Dean of Students, VP for Student Life or the Associate Dean for Health and Wellness who will explain the documentation required for such a request.

If you were required to leave by an action of the Honor Council, you should contact the Honor Council Advisor to discuss your options.

If you have been put on administrative leave for financial reasons, you must contact the Student Accounts office to discuss your options.


JULY 31 for Fall Term
NOVEMBER 30 for Winter Term
FEBRUARY 15 for Spring Term

Your petition for readmission and all of its documents must be received by that date in the Registrar’s office in Brokaw Hall. That said, the sooner you petition for readmission and a decision is made, the better you can prepare for the next steps you will need to take in your life.


Make an appointment by:

Or stop by during walk-in hours during the term:

  • Tues & Wed, 1-3 p.m. (Weeks 1-7)
  • Daily, 1-3 p.m. (Weeks 8-10)

Important Deadlines

Spring 2019

Friday, March 29
Last day to make class changes or select S/U option; deadline for F-repeat forms 

Friday, May 17
Last day to withdraw from a winter term class

Tuesday, May 28
Deadline for petitions to change final exam times

Final Exam Time
Last day to request an 'incomplete' grade extension from the Dean of Academic Success 
The petition and meeting with the Dean of Academic Success must occur before the scheduled final exam time in each course.  If there is no final exam time, it must be completed prior to the last scheduled exam time of the term.