Changing a class to or from pass/fail may be done either during the initial registration period or once the semester is in progress. During the first twelve class days (or first four class days in the summer) the status may be changed through the online registration system. After this period, you must visit with a BSW Academic Advisor to complete the change.

The deadline for changing the status of a class to pass/fail or from pass/fail to a letter grade is the mid-semester deadline. Graduating seniors may be required to meet with an advisor before making a pass/fail change.

To be eligible to change a course to pass/fail, you must have completed at least 30 hours. In addition, you must acknowledge the following terms for taking courses pass/fail:

  • Only electives may be taken on a pass/fail basis. No course required for the degree (i.e.: science, foreign language, etc.) may be taken pass/fail.
  • No more than two courses per semester may be taken on a pass/fail basis.
  • A maximum of 5 one-semester courses (16 hours total) may be taken pass/fail for degree credit.
  • If a class is taken pass/fail and a grade of F is assigned, the F will be averaged into the GPA. For grades of D- or higher, credit (CR) will be awarded and will have no impact on the GPA.
  • Some courses must be taken for a letter grade; others must be taken on the pass/fail basis. These requirements are given in the Course Schedule. If registration in a course is not restricted to a specific grading basis, the student may choose to register either for a letter grade or for credit.
  • The basis of registration for a course may be changed only once.

Cancel registration

If you have decided to not attend the university for a future semester in which you have registered, you may cancel your registration before the semester begins. To cancel your registration you must contact

If you have paid tuition (or requested to pay through financial aid), you will receive a full refund (minus a $15 fee). If you discontinue your enrollment for at least one long-semester, you will need to apply for readmission in order to return to the university.

If you are an international student, check with the International Office before cancelling your registration.  Also note that cancelling your registration may affect your standing with respect to financial aid, housing, and veteran’s benefits should you be receiving those services.

Once the semester has begun, you can no longer cancel your registration and must withdraw from the university. Visit the withdrawals page to learn more. To withdraw for the semester, you must contact

Full-time status

To be considered a full-time student, undergraduates must be registered for at least 12 hours. In some circumstances, students may be granted a reduced course load accommodation from the Services for Students with Disabilities.

Students dropping courses must be mindful of their total hours. If dropping below full-time, they could face issues with on-campus housing, financial aid, scholarships, parent’s insurance, or visa status (for international students).

An undergraduate enrolled in at least six hours of coursework in his or her semester of expected graduation may also be considered full-time. The Registrar’s Office will certify the student as full-time below twelve hours when appropriate.

Maximum semester hours

Undergraduate students may not register for more than 17 hours in any long-session semester (or 14 hours in the summer) without the approval from a BSW Academic Advisor. Criteria to raise maximum hours:

  • During the initial registration period, seniors graduating in one or two consecutive semesters may receive permission for courses required to graduate. Students meet with a BSW Academic Advisor during registration to make this request.
  • Students who are not graduating seniors, must wait until the end of the semester and must earn at least 42 grade points in the current semester. This request may be made in person during the add/drop period. January for spring semester and August for fall semester.

Undergraduates taking graduate courses

Students can take graduate-level courses for undergraduate credit, if they meet the following criteria:

  • 3.0 GPA
  • 60 hours of completed coursework
  • Consent of the Instructor
  • Consent of the BSW Academic Advisor

Students interested in taking a graduate course for undergraduate credit must contact the BSW Academic Advisor to initiate the process.

The student will be given access to register for the course and an override is performed to allow the course to count towards the student’s undergraduate degree. If the student would like the course to count towards a particular degree requirement, they should discuss it with BSW Academic Advisor.



From the thirteenth class day through the mid-semester deadline to drop a class for academic reasons in a long-session semester, and from the fifth through the last class day in a summer term, a student must drop a class by contacting a BSW Academic Advisor. You can reach BSW Academic Advising at

In most cases, students will be able to complete the drop process in one visit; however, some students may be required to seek the approval of other campus offices before dropping. Students needing additional approval will be given no more than three business days to complete the process from the date the form is picked up (except if picked up on the last class day in a summer session when there is no extra time given because the drop deadline is the last class day). Instructors will receive an email notifying them the student has dropped their class.

Any drop during this period is considered a Q-Drop; a “Q” identifies the drop on a student’s academic record. All drops during this period will be considered “academic”; however, students may submit a General Appeal to their BSW Academic Advisor to request the drop be counted as “non-academic”. If the Undergraduate Programs Dean determines the reason is academic, the drop is counted toward the six-drop limit.

After the deadline, students may be eligible to drop using the One-Time-Exception (OTE). Students are encouraged to meet the BSW Academic Advisor as soon as possible to review options.

Course load reductions

Course Load Reduction (CLR) is an accommodation offered through the office of Services for Students with Disabilities. The CLR process allows a student to drop a course(s) for non-academic/disability-related reasons. SSD reviews the Course Load Reduction application and supporting documentation and, if supported, makes a recommendation for the College to drop the course. Approved CLR dropped courses will be counted as non-academic Q-drops and will result in a Q on a student’s transcript.

Students interested in pursuing a CLR should meet with the BSW Academic Advisor to initiate the process. The deadline to submit CLRs is always 2 weeks prior to the last class day of the semester.

Course Load Reduction Accommodation: For students registered with SSD, the accommodation of a course load reduction (CLR) is generally defined as maintaining full-time status while being registered for fewer than twelve (12) hours for undergraduate students, and fewer than nine (9) for graduate students in a given semester. CLRs are approved on a semester-by-semester basis, and students are encouraged to arrange this accommodation early in the registration process. Students approved for CLR and registered with SSD will not be penalized by part-time status in policy and program areas under university control; however, auxiliary services (such as federal financial aid, personal insurance, non-university sponsored scholarships, etc.) may be affected.

One-time exception drop

After the mid-semester deadline, students may be eligible to drop using the One-Time-Exception (OTE). The OTE may be invoked only once during the student’s entire undergraduate college career regardless of the college the student was enrolled at the time the exception was allowed.

A student must request the OTE from the BSW Academic Advisor by the last class day. Forms must be returned to BSW Advising Office within three business days or by the last class day (whichever comes first).

Procedures for Drops:

  • A student may not drop a class in which a final grade has been assigned. This will be verified by a BSW Academic Advisor with the instructor of the course.
  • A student may not drop a class if there are any pending investigations of scholastic dishonesty for the class in question; this will be verified by a BSW Academic Advisor with the instructor of the course.
  • A student may drop a course if there is a pending investigation of scholastic dishonesty. However, a drop is not considered final until all investigations are fully resolved and the course may be reinstated to face an academic penalty. A student may receive an academic penalty for a dropped class if found guilty of scholastic dishonesty.
  • Drops allowed under the provisions of the OTE will be considered academic drops and will count toward the six-drop limit. Students who have reached the six-drop limit are not eligible to use the OTE to drop a course.

Students who have already used their OTE will not be allowed to drop unless there are serious, non-academic circumstances that occurred after the deadline. In this instance, students are encouraged to meet with the BSW BSW Academic Advisor as soon as possible to review options.

Students are no longer required to speak with faculty before dropping, but it is still encouraged.

The One-Time-Exception may also be used to withdraw from the University.

Six-drop limit

Per Section 51.907 of the Texas Education Code, students who began full-time college enrollment at a Texas public institution for the first time in the Fall 2007 semester or later will be limited to a total of 6 dropped courses for academic reasons during their undergraduate studies.

Students may drop a course online during the first 12 class days in a fall or spring semester (and during the first 4 class days in a summer session) without penalty. Because courses dropped during this time do not appear on the student’s record, they also will not count towards the six-drop limit.

Courses dropped after the 12th class day in a fall or spring semester (and after the 4th class day in summer terms) will impact this Q-drop limit. Additional Q-drops beyond the six-drop limit must be requested by appeal and will only be considered for urgent, substantiated, nonacademic reasons.

Retroactive withdrawal

The Steve Hicks School of Social Work follows the withdrawal policies of the university as stated in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the General Information Catalog. Since students are expected to withdraw during the semester in which they are experiencing difficulty, and exceptions are only made for students who were unable to withdraw during the semester, retroactive withdrawals are rarely considered.

A request for a retroactive withdrawal must be submitted to the BSW Academic Advisor by the last class day of the next long-semester. An appeal for a retroactive withdrawal for a semester prior to the previous long semester will only be considered if the student was somehow unable to contact the advisor during any of the intervening time.

Probation and Dismissal

Scholastic probation

To remain in good academic standing at the university, students must maintain a minimum 2.00 GPA. If the cumulative GPA drops below 2.00, the student is placed on scholastic probation. If a student fails to maintain a certain GPA in subsequent semesters, they could be subject to dismissal.


Students are subject to scholastic dismissal in the following circumstances:

  • The student fails twelve or more hours in their first long semester (first-year or transfer).
  • The student fails to achieve the requisite cumulative or semester GPA while on probation.
  • The student withdraws from the university after the twentieth class day while on probation.

Dismissal Terms:

  • A first dismissal lasts one long semester (including any intervening summer session).
  • After returning from a first dismissal, students failing to once again achieve the requisite cumulative or semester GPA will be subject to a second dismissal. Second dismissals last three calendar years.
  • After returning from a second dismissal, students failing to once again achieve the requisite cumulative or semester GPA will be subject to a third dismissal. If a student is dismissed for a third time, this dismissal is final, per University policy.

Return from Dismissal:

  • Students returning from dismissal will be on academic probation. Following a first dismissal, students are automatically eligible to return to the university and must submit an application for readmission.
  • Readmission following a second dismissal is not guaranteed and students must appeal for approval.

Note: If the student has taken any coursework while on dismissal, the Office of Admissions requires they maintain at least a 2.50 GPA on all transfer work.


Concurrent enrollment and transfer courses

Concurrent enrollment refers to being simultaneously enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin and another educational institution. The Steve Hicks School of Social Work permits concurrent enrollment.

For graduating seniors, verification of coursework must be provided in order to complete the graduation application.

Transfer Courses: Many students transfer academic credit from other colleges. Students who plan to take courses at another institution should talk to the BSW advisor. Information about how coursework taken in state transfers to the university can be found on the Automate Transfer Equivalency (ATE) System website.

Students who are hoping to transfer courses from out-of-state schools should go to the Office of Admissions in Main Building (MAI), Room 7 to complete the Pre-Evaluation Form. Any courses completed at another educational institution MUST be transferred to the university.


Students who are unable to complete a class because of non-academic reasons should discuss this situation with their professor and contact the BSW Academic Advisor.

Under certain situations, an incomplete grade (or a “X”) may be given at the discretion of the instructor and if it meets the university criteria for an incomplete. Incompletes may be an appropriate option when non-academic issues arise near the end of the semester. For issues that arise earlier in the semester, a Q-drop may be more appropriate.

When an incomplete is assigned, all remaining coursework must be completed and a final grade reported by the instructor by the end of the next long semester or a grade of “F” will be automatically assigned.

An incomplete does not allow a student to repeat an entire course nor should students re-register for the course in a subsequent semester.

Standards for social work education and code of ethics

The Student Standards for Social Work Education (SSSWE) delineates standards for professional education that apply to students enrolled in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Because of the nature of professional social work practice, the Steve Hicks School of Social Work has different expectations of students than do nonprofessional programs. All social work students are expected to abide by the SSSWE and by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics.

All documents below can also be found in the BSW Student Handbook.

Poster Policy

This poster policy and protocol applies to all common area bulletin boards at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work (SHS). Outdoor signage is only permitted on the day of an approved event.

Access Flyer/Poster Application