MITCommittee on Academic Performance

Types of Petitions: Dropping a Subject

If you missed the deadline to drop a subject you may petition the CAP for a Late Drop. Note that first- and second-half-term subjects have Drop Dates that differ from those for full-term subjects.

The Committee's guiding principle is that students should receive appropriate credit for work done, in the term in which the work was done. Late Drop petitions must clearly document when you stopped attending class and submitting work in a subject (was it before Drop Date?). If you clearly stopped participating before Drop Date, your instructor confirms your statement, and your advisor supports the petition, the CAP is likely to approve it.

If you have submitted work in a subject after Drop Date, or even taken the final exam, the CAP is unlikely to approve a Late Drop. However, the Committee reviews each petition individually and takes into account circumstances beyond your control.

Timing of Late Drop Petitions

Submitting a Late Drop petition for a subject in which you are currently registered presents a challenge. The Committee's next meeting after Drop Date usually occurs about two weeks later, so you will not have a decision until close to the end of the term. If you missed Drop Date, were attending class until then, and can realistically earn a passing grade, do not stop attending class and submitting work, in case your petition is not approved. As long as you submit a petition no later than two weeks before the last day of classes, the Committee will decide your request before final exams.

Late Drop petitions for a subject in previous terms are reviewed as soon as they are complete.

Late Drop and Light Load

Except in special circumstances, the Institute expects students to register for 45-54 units per term. International students and varsity athletes must maintain a registration of at least 36 units at all times. Carrying a registration load of less than full-time (below 36 units) may affect financial aid, loan deferments, compliance with immigration regulations, eligibility for varsity athletics, and external health insurance requirements.

Students petitioning the CAP for a Late Drop that would reduce their registration below 32 units must consult a dean in Student Support Services to document the circumstances before submitting the petition.

Students need CAP's permission to register a light load for more than two consecutive semesters. See the Light Load section for details.

Late Drop of an Incomplete

The Committee rarely approves petitions to Late Drop a subject with a grade of Incomplete. You have an obligation to complete your work and receive a grade for each subject. See Resolving Incompletes for full information on this topic.