Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Graduate School Policies
Course Enrollment and Changes in Enrollment


Registration (Course Request; for continuing students occurs during an eight-day period in the middle of each semester during which current students may request and be registered electronically for classes for the next semester. Registration for new students begins prior to the start of the new semester. For registration procedures, see

Schedule Adjustment

Students may adjust their schedules on a space available basis using web DROP/ADD (available through HokieSPA, an electronic schedule adjustment program. The Add Period is restricted to a short period at the beginning the semester, the Drop Period lasts for a larger proportion of the semester; deadlines for these electronic transactions that can be done by the student are published in the Timetable of Classes for each semester, see Important Dates and Registration Information at:


Force-Add form permits enrollment in a class, over the set capacity for that class, within the Add period. This transaction is done with the "force-add" form in the department offering the course, and requires the instructor's (or, in some departments, departmental) permission. Force-adds are processed by the department offering the course during the Add Period in the first week of classes of each semester.

Late Adds and Drops

Late Adds and Drops: In unusual circumstances when adjustments to the student's schedule are needed after the last date to add or drop a course, permission is required from the instructor, the student's advisor and a graduate dean (see the current Timetable for deadline dates). The request for the Late Add or Drop and an explanation of the extenuating circumstances necessitating the late change should be submitted to the Dean's office by the student's Advisor or the Graduate Program Director of the department.

Graduate Withdrawal

Course withdrawals late in the semester: If a late withdrawal from a course (after the Drop period for electronic drops) is approved it will be designated as a Graduate Withdrawal (WG on the transcript) and will not carry a grade penalty; this option is only allowed prior to the Friday of the last week of classes for the semester. Use this form:

If a student wants to Withdraw from all courses for the semester or if a student who is enrolled for a single course wants to drop that course, a Resignation/Withdrawal form (see below) must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval and to the Registrar's office by specific deadlines. 


A student may resign/withdraw without academic or tuition penalty by completing an official Virginia Tech Resignation/Withdrawal form on or before the first day of the semester/summer session (for relevant dates, see the Registrar's Office website: The Student Withdrawal/Resignation Form is available at Resignation/withdrawals received at the Registrar's office after 5 pm on the first day of the semester result in partial tuition and fee charges (see Bursar's office refund policy

Resignation/withdrawal after the specified date for withdrawing without grade penalty requires permission of a Graduate Dean and is only permitted because of extenuating circumstances. The student's grade report and transcript will show that he/she was enrolled for the term and that he/she resigned on the specific effective date. Resignation/withdrawals may have consequences for assistantship and scholarship awards as well as visa status, so these considerations should be investigated prior to completing the forms. Resignation/withdrawals do not affect the student's ability to enroll in the subsequent semester. 

The Graduate School (VP/Dean and Associate Deans) reviews and approves the appropriate date of the withdrawal.  For medical withdrawal with official Schiffert review, the date recommended by Schiffert or Cook is accepted. For withdrawal or resignation from the university (all courses in a given semester, consideration is given to the length of time the student was enrolled in the course and utilized university (faculty, staff) time and resources, the date the form was submitted and the percentage of refund allowed by the Registrar’s office, and the reasons for withdrawal.  Decisions by the Graduate School can include a retroactive withdrawal or adjustments to the specified deadlines for refund.

Student responsibility for enrollment

Student responsibility for enrollment. Each student is responsible for verifying his/her enrollment in courses and for making any changes in that enrollment. Students should check their enrollment in specific courses during the first week of classes of a semester (the Add Period) when any corrections can be made electronically. Faculty cannot add or drop students from their rolls and cannot add or drop a student by including or removing his/her name on the final grade sheet.