Undergraduate Withdrawal Policy

Revised 09/17/14

1. Is there a limit on the number of units a student can withdraw from?

Yes. Undergraduate students (including students pursuing a second bachelor's degree) have a maximum of 18 units of ‘W’ (withdrawal) at CSUF.

2. Is the 18-unit ‘W’ limit something new?

The CSU Chancellor’s Office policy that established the 18-unit ‘W’ limit for undergraduate students became effective with the Fall 2009 semester. Prior to Fall 2009, there was not a limit.

3. If a student has ‘W’s on the CSUF record before Fall 2009, will they count toward the withdrawal limit?

No. ‘W’s on the CSUF record prior to the policy change will remain on the student’s record, but will not be counted towards the unit limit. When this policy was implemented in Fall 2009, all undergraduate students began with 18 units of 'W' to use from Fall 2009 forward, regardless of the number of 'W's on record prior to Fall 2009.

4. If a student has ‘W’s on record from courses taken at other colleges, do they count toward the withdrawal limit?

No. The ‘W’s included in the 18-unit limit are only those on the CSUF record, beginning with Fall 2009.

5. While attending CSUF, if a student takes a class at another college, which results in a ‘W’, does that count?


6. Does the 18-unit ‘W’ limit include courses taken through CSUF University Extended Education?


7. Are ‘W’s that result from instructor-initiated drops counted against the ‘W’ limit?


8. Are ‘W’s that result from approved retroactive withdrawal petitions counted against the ‘W’ limit?

This determination will be made as a part of the petition review process.

9. Are ‘WU’s counted against the 18-unit limit?


10. The first semester in which a student receives ‘WU’s (Withdrawal Unauthorized) at CSUF, any and all ‘WU’s in the semester are automatically converted to ‘W’. Do these auto-converted ‘W’s count against the limit?

Yes. (see additional information below)


The automatic “WU” to “W” conversion process occurs only one time per term, which is during the processing of final grades at the end of that term.

After the end-of-term grade processing is complete, if your grade in a course taken during that term becomes a “WU”, for whatever reason, it will never automatically convert to a “W”. You would need to submit a petition to request retroactive withdrawal. The petition form is available in Admissions and Records (LH-114). The petition process involves completing the form, paying the $20 petition fee and submitting the petition to Admissions and Records for review.

11. Are there any exceptions to the 18-unit limit?

The designated exceptions include:

Serious Personal Illness/Injury Late Withdrawal (pertains to a student’s serious accident or personal injury that is so severe it requires withdrawal from all classes in the semester; a special Late Withdrawal form and documentation are required for this process; specific rules and procedures are stated on the form available from Registration in LH-114)

Petition for Emergency Medical Withdrawal (for reasons of a student’s serious accident or personal injury occurring during the last 3 weeks of instruction – the form is available through the Office of the Registrar in LH-101)

Compulsory military deployment in the United States armed forces over which the student had no control (please contact Registration in LH-114)

12. Where does a student view how many ‘W’s he/she has used of the 18-unit limit?

Students can view this information via the Student Portal. Within their Student Center:

  • Click on drop-down box labeled 'other academic...'
  • Select 'withdrawals/repeats' from the drop-down box ; click the double arrows
  • Screen will advance to the ‘Withdrawals’ page to view withdrawal information

13. Where can staff and faculty view how many ‘W’s a student has used of the 18-unit limit?

Within the Faculty Center:

  • Click on the ‘Advisement’ tab
  • Click on ‘New Drop-In Advisees’, then click on ‘Search’
  • Enter student’s CWID, and click ‘Look Up’
  • Screen will return to the prior page; from the drop-down box select ‘withdrawals/repeats’
  • Click on the ‘change’ button – click on the ‘Withdrawals’ tab to view withdrawal information

14. Could the number of ‘W’s used against the 18-unit limit be determined by looking at the CSUF transcript and counting them, starting with Fall 2009 forward?

This may not always provide an accurate count. A student may have ‘W’s recorded on the CSUF transcript which qualified for an exemption from the limit (for reasons explained earlier in these FAQs - see information in Question 11. above). For this reason, some ‘W’s that appear on the transcript may have been excluded from the “count”. The correct “count” of ‘W’s that a student has used towards the 18-unit limit should be viewed by the navigation path on the system described in Questions 12. and 13. above.

15. If a student needs to withdraw from several classes during the Late Withdrawal period, and has signed withdrawal forms, but does not have enough units under the 18-limit to withdraw, who decides which forms will be processed?

The student will be required to decide which course(s) to withdraw from if all Late Withdrawal forms cannot be processed (due to not having a sufficient number of withdrawal units left to accommodate all withdrawals the student is seeking). Registration will not be able to accept Late Withdrawal forms for classes that exceed the unit limit.

For any class that the student cannot withdraw from, the student will remain officially enrolled in the class and will receive the grade assigned by the professor at the end of the semester. (Note: A ‘W’ cannot be assigned by the professor at the end of the semester.)