Graduate Course Registration/Enrollment Policies


During the fall and spring semesters, graduate students carrying 9 or more credit hours may audit, without fee, one additional course with the approval of their adviser and permission of the instructor.

Graduate students carrying up to 6 credit hours and non-matriculated students may audit courses with the necessary approvals and fees. Students must obtain the approval of their adviser and permission of the instructor; non-matriculated students must obtain the permission of the instructor and the chair of the department offering the course. It is understood that auditing is permitted on a non-participatory basis. No auditing is permitted during the summer sessions.

Withdrawal from Courses

To withdraw from a course, students must complete the appropriate form available in the Registrar’s Office, signifying their intention to withdraw. A student may withdraw from a course without grade point average penalty before the end of the eighth week of each semester and will be assigned a grade of W on the transcript. Withdrawal after the eighth week of classes, but before the last four weeks of the semester, requires written approval - from the course instructor, from the student's adviser, and from the Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success—using the Withdrawal Petition for Exception to Academic Policy form. If the approval is granted, the transcript will indicate that the student withdrew with a passing grade (WP) or withdrew with a failing grade (WF).

Refund of tuition is calculated on the basis of the date on which written notification is received in the Registrar’s Office. Please review Arcadia’s refund policy.

Drop/Add Period

The “course changes – drop/add” timeline appears in semester schedules and the Academic Calendar.

  • Spring and Fall Semesters: Graduate students may add or substitute courses before the second class session. They may not enroll in a class after its second session has met without the approval of the instructor or the appropriate department chair.
  • Summer Sessions: During the first two days of each session, students may substitute or add courses. They may not enroll in a class after its second session.
  • Summer Workshops: After the first day, students are not admitted to a workshop.


The refund policy applies only to tuition charges; fees are not refundable. During the fall and spring semesters, students who formally withdraw from one or more courses within the first five weeks of classes are entitled to a refund according to the schedule listed below. Refunds are calculated on the basis of the date on which notification was received by the Registrar’s Office.

Withdrawal within time periods and percent tuition paid by the student

  • 1st week – 10%
  • 2nd week – 20%
  • 3rd week – 40%
  • 4th week – 60%
  • 5th week – 80%
  • After 5th week No Refund

For Summer Session I, a refund of 50 percent is allowed for withdrawal within the first week of class. For Summer II, III and workshops, the refund allowed is 50 percent before the third class meeting.

Students considering withdrawal after the seventh week of a semester are encouraged to contact the Business Office in order to obtain a detailed estimate of the financial implications of their withdrawal. This is extremely relevant when a student loan is involved.

Policies for Non-Traditional Courses

All courses, 12 to 15 weeks, regardless of delivery modality will follow the policies that are currently in place.

7 Week Classes (Regardless of delivery modality)

  • Withdraw/Add – Students may withdraw and add courses during the first week of class. Adding a course requires the permission of the instructor.
  • For Undergraduates, student evaluations will occur during the 3rd week of the course.
  • Students may withdraw during week 4 of the class and receive a (W)
  • Students may withdraw during week 5 of the course and receive either a WP or WF.
  • Students will not have the opportunity to choose a Pass/Fail option for accelerated courses. Additionally, students do not have the option to audit an accelerated course.
  • Students may not withdraw from a course during week 6 or 7; however, students have the right to petition the appropriate Dean.
  • Course Abandonment – Course inactivity, non-attendance, or failure to make or complete payment does not constitute a course drop or withdrawal. Students remain financially responsible for a course registration unless the student notifies the Registrar's Office in writing to drop or withdraw from the course. Fees are assessed according to the current refund policy. Neglecting to drop or withdraw officially will result in a failing grade on the transcript.

1 Week Intensive Classes and Institute Course

  • Withdraw/Add – Students may only drop or add a course prior to the beginning of the course.
  • After the beginning of one-week intensive courses and Institute courses, there will be no refund.
  • Students have the right to petition the appropriate Dean.

Incompletes – Follow the current policy for all courses. (i.e. student in an accelerated course would have three weeks after the end of the semester to complete required work). Incompletes are given only in the case of a medical or personal emergency beyond the control of the student and must be approved by the appropriate dean.

Substitutions for Required Courses

Another graduate course may be substituted for a course required for a degree if, in the judgment of the department offering the degree, the student has sufficient knowledge of the required course content to fulfill degree requirements. Before allowing the substitution, an examination covering the course content may be given in order to determine the student’s level of competence. No course credit is earned by passing the examination.

Course Loads

During the fall and spring semesters, the normal load for full-time, non-cohort, students is 9 to 12 credit hours per semester. For students who are employed full-time, it is recommended that students enroll in no more than 6 credits per semester. The maximum course load for the summer sessions is 6 credit hours for Summer Sessions I and II, and 3 credit hours for Summer Session III. Students participating in a summer workshop may not schedule any other course concurrently.

Course Numbers

Numbers from the 500 to 800 levels designate graduate courses. Certain upper-level undergraduate courses numbered 400 are approved by the Graduate Academic Programs Committee for graduate credit. If a 400-level course not approved for graduate credit would enhance the student’s professional preparation or current or anticipated teaching assignments, the student must present a written request to have the course accepted for the master’s degree. The request must be approved by the student’s adviser and sent to the Division of Student Success.

Procedures for Special Status Students

Non-matriculated students may enroll in courses as Special Status students. Up to 9 graduate credits earned as a Special Status student can be accepted toward a degree, if the courses are appropriate for the program to which the student later applies. It is wise for Special Status students who are interested in pursuing a degree program to apply promptly, before accumulating inappropriate courses. Enrollment as a Special Status student does not ensure admission to a degree program. Special Status application forms are available on the Graduate Forms webpage and the Registrar’s Office. A registration hold will be placed on anyone who has earned 12 graduate credits and has not been accepted into a graduate program.

Special status is not permitted in the following: doctoral programs in Education and Physical Therapy, and master’s programs in Business Administration, Forensic Science, Genetic Counseling, International Peace and Conflict Resolution and Medical Science (Physician Assistant).

Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Arcadia University undergraduate students who are within a few credits of meeting the requirements for the bachelor’s degree may, with the permission of the department chair, faculty adviser and Associate Provost of the Division of Student Success, enroll in a limited number of graduate courses (500-level courses). Credit may be awarded either toward the bachelor’s or the master’s degree, but not both.