Drop-Back Provision

The Drop-Back Provision is a pair of courses such that a student, within certain conditions, can drop from one course after the Week 2 “add” deadline and before the Week 7 “drop” deadline.

The practice has been in place for certain MATH, CHEM and PHYS courses for decades. It was most recently reviewed and reaffirmed by the university Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC) in Fall 2018 for the courses and course pairings listed below.

Course Pairs

There are two categories of course pairs:

  • Subsequent courses in an introductory sequence
  • Courses of similar material – typically “honors” vs. “regular” courses

MATH uses both categories. PHYS and CHEM use only the latter category.

Mathematics (MATH) Courses

  • MATH 101 drop to MATH 111 or MATH 112
  • MATH 102 drop to MATH 101
  • MATH 112 drop to MATH 111
  • MATH 211 drop to MATH 102
  • MATH 212 drop to MATH 102
  • MATH 221 drop to MATH 211 or MATH 212
  • MATH 331 drop to MATH 321
  • MATH 354 drop to MATH 355

Chemistry (CHEM) Courses

  • CHEM 151/153 drop to CHEM 121/123
  • CHEM 152/154 drop to CHEM 122/124
  • CHEM 319 drop to CHEM 211
  • CHEM 320 drop to CHEM 212

Physics (PHYS) Courses

  • PHYS 111 drop to PHYS 101/103
  • PHYS 112 drop to PHYS 102/104

Drop-Back Provision Rationale

The Drop-Back Provision was developed to encourage risk-averse students to take more challenging courses than they are likely to be prepared for. It is best for the student to be in the most appropriate course. It is also best for the courses to have the most appropriate students.

Example: An entering freshman has had high school calculus and received a 4 on the AP Calculus AB exam. The student gets MATH 105 credit from the AP exam, but also needs MATH 102. The student is not confident about his MATH 101 knowledge and doesn’t think her/his high school class was very good. S/he is challenged by the early material in MATH 102. Should s/he continue MATH 102 and risk failing and falling behind in the schedule, or retake MATH 101 for review? The drop-back provision allows her/him to continue in MATH 102 and make a better-informed decision a little later in the semester (past Week 2 but before the end of Week 7).

Drop-Back Provision Practice and Conditions

  1. Both instructors and the student must agree for the student to drop-back into the lower course. This action is meant to be instructor-initiated (the instructors of both paired courses must approve by signing the paper Special Registration Form) and this "drop-back" should be done as early as possible, and absolutely no later than the published (Week 7) drop deadline. (Note: The "drop-back" option applies to all students in the above listed classes, regardless of their year-of-study. While first-year students have extended drop deadlines during their first year (last day of class in 1st semester, Week 10 in the 2nd), this "drop-back" provision is not permitted after the published Week 7 Drop deadline.)
  2. After (both) instructor approvals on the paper Special Registration Form, and submission to the OTR, the OTR special registers the student into the lower course. In these unique drop-back situations, the student added to the new course after the normal “add” deadline, that student is not expected to turn in the missed graded work.

Drop-Back Provision - Other (CTIS: Critical Thinking in Sexuality)

Unrelated to the official Drop-Back Provision (for MATH, CHEM and PHYS) documented above, but similar in practice is the ability students have to switch or “drop-back” from LPAP 195 to UNIV 194 (CTIS Workshop). All Academic Calendar deadlines apply. More info can be found at Switching Between UNIV 194 and LPAP 195.