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 2016-17, the chair of the Language Coalition is Peter John Thomas (, 920-832-7250).
  • 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?

A student cannot "take" an incomplete, nor can an instructor grant an incomplete. Faculty legislation allows for incompletes for students who have fallen behind due to circumstances beyond their control (accident, illness or family emergency), not to provide extra time to do higher quality work. A student may request an incomplete from the Dean of Academic Success up to the last day of classes (tenth week, before the start of final exams). The dean will consult with the student and instructor before approving the incomplete. The incomplete will appear as an I on the transcript until the missing work is completed and a grade is submitted or the incomplete lapses to an F.

+ 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 or withdraw from the university, you should make your request at the Center for Academic Success (x6530). 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 and end your enrollment at Lawrence or in a Lawrence-sponsored program, you will likewise be withdrawn.

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 or overstayed your leave of absence, what academic or other worthwhile activities you engaged in while away, and why you want to be readmitted.

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


Make an appointment by:

Or stop by during walk-in hours:

  • Tues & Wed, 2-4pm

Important Deadlines

Winter 2017

Wednesday, January 17
Winter term: Last day to make class changes or select S/U option; deadline for F-repeat forms 

Friday, February 23
Last day to withdraw from a winter term class

Monday, March 5

Deadline for petitions to change final exam times

Friday, March 9
Last day to request an 'incomplete' grade extension from the Dean of Academic Success 

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