Any withdrawal or failure can have financial aid consequences. You should contact the financial aid office well in advance of any decision to W from a class or stop attending and fail. Be sure you understand how the rules for your forms of financial aid might be affected by your actions.

On the other hand, a failing grade in physics (or calculus or chemistry) can limit your chances of being admitted to your major in engineering or a physical science, while there are instances where a withdrawal does not carry the same consequences. Read the Academic Alerts at the bottom of this page! Be sure you understand the admission rules for the schools you plan to transfer to. Talk to Dr. Carr or Dr. Diamond if you have any questions about those transfer policies and/or your grade.

New in 2009
Bright Futures and Withdrawals

Important Change effective FALL 2009:

According to news stories in the Tallahassee Democrat, a law passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Governor Crist has changed the rules for "Bright Futures" scholarships so there is now a financial penalty for withdrawing from a class. If you have a Bright Futures scholarship and withdraw from a class after the first week of class, you will be required to pay back the tuition for the class you drop. (If you remain eligible for the scholarship, you can use those paid-back scholarship funds in the future.) Along with the possible effects mentioned at the bottom of this page, this makes it all the more important that you only attempt classes when you are prepared to pass them on the first attempt.


Natural Science
Lecture/Lab Withdrawal Policies

October 25, 2004 Memo from Dr. Frank Brown,
Dean of the Division of Science and Mathematics:
This is a clarification of a policy concerning administrative withdrawals and student withdrawals from classes that have co-requisite classes.
If a student withraws or is administratively withdrawn from a class that has a co-requisite class, that student will be automatically withdrawn from the co-requisite class unless permission has been given by the dean of the Science and Mathematics Division. This permission will be entered into the mainframe computer.
To receive permission to remain in a co-requisite class, the instructor must send me an email stating that the student has permission to remain in the co-requisite course. Additionally, the student must come to the SM Division office to receive the over-ride.

December 2015 Update from Dr. Anthony Jones,
Dean of the Division of Natural Science:
Students in a physics lab who wish to drop the lecture section but stay in the lab do NOT need permission from their instructor to do so. The student only needs to contact the Dean, normally by visiting the main office in the SM building, and the Dean will issue the withdrawal from lecture and notify the lab instructor that the student has dropped the lecture.


Implications for Physics 2048 and 2049

You cannot withdraw from MAC2311 without withdrawing from PHY2048, and you cannot withdraw from either PHY2048 or PHY2049 without withdrawing from the lab UNLESS you obtain an override from the Associate Dean of Natural Science allowing you to stay in the lab. Similarly, you need special permission to drop the lab and stay in lecture or to drop MAC2311 and stay in both PHY2048 and PHY2048L. Contact your PHY2048 instructor if you think you need to drop MAC2311. See notes below about this very special case.

If you wish to withdraw from the lecture course and stay in the lab, an option that I strongly encourage you to pursue if you have been in lecture until the middle of the semester, you must follow a specific procedure:

If you withdraw from the lecture course without following this procedure, it is likely that you will automatically be withdrawn from the lab.

It is still possible to get a grade in the lab after you have been withdrawn, but only if the lab instructor submits a grade change form and that change is approved by the Dean. Contact your lab instructor immediately if were withdrawn from the lab by accident. I strongly recommend that you follow the procedure above since there is no guarantee that a W or AW grade in the lab will be changed.

If you withdraw from the lab, you may not stay in the lecture course.
Knowledge gained in the lab is considered essential to discussions in lecture in both PHY2048 and PHY2049. Exceptions to this are rare and require special documentation and approval, usually after consulting with the person teaching the lecture.

This policy has been enforced by the staff in Enrollment Services for all courses in our division since Fall 2004.


Impact on PHY2048 students

Calculus I:
You must have passed MAC2311 or be currently enrolled in it to take PHY2048 because we use calculus as the course progresses. If you are taking MAC2311 and drop it, you must drop PHY2048. A withdrawal from MAC2311 should automatically trigger a W from PHY2048 and PHY2048L. See below for what you need to do to stay in the lab if you need to drop both lecture courses. Only vary rare exceptions (ones where the student has an A or high B average in physics) have been approved to stay in PHY2048 after dropping MAC2311, and those students cannot take PHY2049 until they master calculus. (You can, of course, drop PHY2048 and stay in MAC2311.)

I believe that most students who have attended and kept up in the lab course through the halfway point of the semester know enough physics to succeed in the lab after dropping lecture. I strongly recommend that you finish the lab.


Impact on PHY2049 students

I believe that most students who have attended and kept up in the course through the middle of the semester should be able to succeed in the lab. However, it is best if you have seen the material about AC circuits in lecture, which is normally completed just before the W deadline.


Academic Alert on Withdrawals

Special Academic Alert for future engineers:

The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering ignores withdrawals when deciding if you meet their transfer admission policy. However, they have a VERY STRICT limit on failing grades, and will never accept a student who has more than one failing grade (D or F) in their attempts at any of the four core classes that they track for admission. FSU science departments also have a strict limit on failing grades and will usually reject anyone with more than 2 or 3 failing grades in courses required for their major. Students planning to transfer into those programs are strongly advised to withdraw from a class rather than risk failure.

Some Engineering schools will count withdrawals when deciding to reject any student who needs three or more attempts to pass physics or other required core courses (such as calculus). The ones I know about are only concerned with the lecture course, but those are only a handful of the many schools you might choose to attend. Be sure you know the current requirements of all Engineering schools you might attend, and watch for any changes in their policies. Do not take any math or science class lightly and make the most of any attempt.

The same college-level course may only be taken twice at the in-state rate. If you enroll for a third time, Florida Law requires that you pay the out-of-state tuition rate. This took effect in Fall 1997. A student whose name is on the official roll after the date to receive a refund is considered enrolled. This means that a "grade" of W or AW counts as taking the class. Students taking a class for the third time may not withdraw from the course. Fourth attempts are allowed only after a successful academic appeal through the office of the VP for Academic Affairs. See Catalog for details.


My standard policy on Administrative Withdrawals

The following paragraph appears in some form in my course syllabi.

Because of the complexity of the material you are learning, regular attendance and regular preparation are especially important in this class. Every day matters. You are expected to attend all classes. (See the TCC Catalog for details.) I will administratively withdraw any student who is absent for the first two weeks of the semester, as determined by turning in a student information sheet. I will NOT drop anyone else because of poor attendance. If you cannot complete the semester, it is entirely your responsibility to withdraw from the course by [the deadline given in the TCC calendar for the current semester] or you will likely earn an F.
If you withdraw from this course, I strongly suggest that you stay in the lab but you need an override from the Associate Dean of Natural Science to do so.

Details (announced in class, published on the web):
There is no separate attendance grade, but I do take attendance regularly so the college can monitor financial aid eligibility and warning signs that affect students success. I use a "first day" information sheet to verify that a student has attended class during the first two weeks of the semester to implement my policy on the AW (administrative withdrawal) grade. I usually call the names of students who have not completed that form, but there is no guarantee that I will do so after the first few days when students can add the class. It is your responsibility to get a syllabus and turn in the information sheet. If I don't get one within the first two weeks of class (normally the first 7 or 10 days of a daytime class, 4 or 6 sessions of the night class, or the third meeting of the lab), I will ALWAYS submit an AW grade. The only situation where I might reinstate a student would be one where there is clear documentation of extenuating circumstances, such as medical or legal problems, AND clear documentation that the student has kept up with the class by doing the on-line homework and earning at least a "C+" grade on Exam 1. I have never had that happen.


 ?? Contact me if you have any questions.