Massachusetts Institute of Technology: For Advisors
UAAP
The First Year at MIT

Advising Right Now: To Drop a Subject or Not? Making the Decision

MIT classes build on material right from the start of the term. Unlike in high school, when a hard push at the end of the term might have made a big difference in the outcome of a subject, students who don't keep up with the material from the start are unlikely to be able to "pull it off" at the end. In fact, trying to do this in more than one subject may mean that the freshman winds up failing both subjects.

When to Make the Decision to Drop

Drop Date is Wednesday, November 19, ten weeks into the term.

It is important to encourage any student who is thinking about dropping a class to do so well before this tenth week deadline. Waiting until the semester is nearly over may mean that the student winds up failing not only the class in question but possibly also bringing down his/her performance in other subjects.

What Is the "Big Picture"?

How Many Subjects Is the Student Struggling in?

Assessing the Pros and Cons of Keeping or Dropping a Subject

Some issues to consider:

You and your advisee should also view more detailed information about whether or not to drop a class on the Class of 2018.

If you or your advisee needs help with thinking through this decision, some helpful resources include your associate advisor, the Instructor or TA teaching the subject in question, and especially staff in UAAP, room 7-103, firstyear-www@mit.edu