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.
There are two categories of course pairs:
MATH uses both categories. PHYS and CHEM use only the latter category.
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).
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.