7.7. Can I drop a class?
It depends. There are deadlines that are enforced from dropping classes, and students may need to maintain a certain number of units for various reasons (scholarships, visa compliance, etc.) so may need to add new course if one is dropped - when possible.
Before the class has started, yes, students may drop a class from their schedule.
Once the class begins, there is a period in which students may drop the class. It will still show up in UAccess records, but not on the transcript (no grade is awarded). The deadline to drop without a grade depends on the session in which the course is offered; for full-semester classes, it is about 2 weeks into the semester.
Students who drop after the deadline to drop without a grade are awarded a grade of W (for "withdraw"). The W grade does not affect the student's GPA, but will appear on the transcript AND students are limited to 18 units of W grades*. Withdrawal is done in UAccess, and again, there is a deadline by which this must be done.
After the W deadline passes, there is a short period in which students may petition their college for a late withdrawal from a class.
For all of the above deadlines in a specific term, see the university Dates & Deadlines page. The Resource Guide linked near the top of the page provides explanation of how to filter and find the dates for the correct session.
*Grades of W earned in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2020 and Spring 2021 ONLY are excluded from the 18-unit limit for Undergraduate students.