Policies and Deadlines

Fall 2023

From: Interim Dean Andreana Clay and Associate Dean John Elia

Welcome to the College of Health & Social Sciences,

This section is to inform you of the College and University policies that may affect you. Knowledge of these deadlines and policies (viewed in the SF State Academic Bulletin) will help you navigate the bureaucracy of the University while helping you succeed and graduate in a timely manner. Policies can be intimidating sometimes, but they ensure an equitable, consistent and reliable process for each student.

Please review this information for more detail on these policies. Approval of a petition from the instructor and/or Department Chair does not constitute automatic approval from the Associate Dean. If you have any questions about how these policies specifically apply to your situation, please contact the Associate Dean’s Office at assocdean@sfsu.edu or (415) 405-3533.

This information is subject to change.

You can find instructions on how to add, drop, swap, change grading option and withdraw on the Registrar's Office website.

University & College Policies & Procedures

The last day to drop a class without a ‘W’ grade is Monday, September 11 by 11:59 p.m.

Note: Prorated refund may apply even when dropping by the drop deadline. Visit the Bursar’s Office website for more information or contact the Bursar’s Office at (415) 338-1281.

In compliance with Academic Senate policy #S20-196, students have the right to initiate a course(s) withdrawal during one of the deadlines outlined below. A maximum of 18 units can be withdrawn, and a course can only be repeated once after receiving a failing grade.

Although instructors are encouraged (not required) to drop students by the September 10 faculty drop deadline (either for not attending the first class meeting, not participating in the course during the first three weeks, and/or not meeting course criteria), dropping a course is ultimately the student’s responsibility at SF State (SF State Bulletin and #S20-196).However, if extenuating circumstances caused you to miss a deadline, please consult with your instructor or the Department Chair.

Per Academic Senate policy #S20-196, faculty are strongly encouraged to define course participation required during the drop period in the course syllabus and to instructor-drop all students who do not participate as required before the end of the faculty drop period, which is Sunday, September 10.

Courses that are primarily or exclusively taught using an asynchronous online learning mode during the drop period are required to have at least one activity that captures participation due during the drop period. Students who do not complete these initial activities may be instructor-dropped for non-attendance.

Important note: Withdrawing from a course does not release students from any financial obligation owed for fees, tuition or financial aid. Before submitting a request for withdrawal, please contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@sfsu.edu or (415) 338-7000 or the Bursar’s Office at (415) 338-1281 to fully understand any potential financial implications before withdrawing.


Deadline 1: Withdrawal from Classes or University for Serious and Compelling Reasons

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 –  Monday, November 13, 2023

During the first withdrawal period from the fourth week through the twelfth week of instruction, “withdrawal from a course will be permissible, for serious and compelling reasons, as defined and specified by the student” (#S20-196) and will require the approval of the instructor and department chair/program director. Documentation is not required at this time. The student will receive a ‘W’ grade if the withdrawal is approved.

To withdraw from a course, students may initiate a withdrawal request on their Student Center/Gateway. Instructions and more information can be found on the Registrar's Office website (Request to Withdraw and Dropping and Withdrawing).

Students wishing to withdraw from all their courses for the current semester during the first withdrawal period should complete the process outlined in the link above for all courses enrolled and then submit an appeal to exclude the “W” grades from the 18 unit withdrawal limit. To submit the appeal, email a brief statement (include full name, SID, contact info, and justification for the request) to the Registrar’s and attach supporting documentation to records@sfsu.edu


Deadline 2: Withdrawal from Classes or University by Exception for Documented Serious and Compelling Reasons

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 –  Friday, December 8, 2023

During the second withdrawal period from the thirteenth week through the last day of instruction, “withdrawals shall not be permitted except in cases, such as accident or serious illness, where the cause of withdrawal is due to circumstances clearly beyond the student’s control and the assignment of an Incomplete is not practicable. Withdrawals of this sort may involve total withdrawal from the university or may involve only withdrawal from one or more courses, except that course grade and credit or an Incomplete may be assigned for courses in which sufficient work has been completed to permit an evaluation to be made.” (#S20-196).

Requests to withdraw during this time must also be approved by the Dean of Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning and student must attach supporting documentation. The student will receive a ‘WM’ grade if the withdrawal is approved and this will not count towards the 18 unit maximum for withdrawals (shows as ‘W’ on transcript).

The student may appeal withdrawal decisions by the last day of finals. Contact the Registrar’s at records@sfsu.edu or (415) 338-2350 for more information.

For a complete reading of the Senate policy, please refer to Senate Policy on Withdrawal from Courses, #S20-196.

Students who wish to request for a withdrawal from a course taken in a previous semester must follow the instructions outlined on the Registrar’s website under “Appeals” to appeal of the deadline to submit a request for withdrawal. The request must include a brief statement, supporting documentation, and approval from instructor and department chair/program director (email is fine). Students should submit all materials to the Registrar’s at records@sfsu.edu or by fax at (415) 338-0588.

Please first check the course description in the Bulletin and consult with your major advisor to determine if the class can be taken for CR/NC as some major requirements require letter grade only. If CR/NC is permitted, then you may change your grading option via your SF State Gateway until Friday, December 1. Please visit the Registrar’s Office website for the most accurate dates/deadlines). Senate policy S23-305 states that letter grades are not convertible to CR/NC and CR/NC grades are not convertible to letter grades after the deadline so the Associate Dean will not approve requests for changes if you miss this date. Please be mindful of this and consult with your instructor or major advisor if you are considering changing the grading option.

To late add a class, please obtain a permission number from your instructor and add the class via your SF State Gateway starting Monday, August 28 through Monday, September 11 until 11:59 p.m.Faculty can give you access to Canvas, but faculty cannot add you into a class, so you need to properly enroll via Gateway.

Important note: Students do not need to officially add a class in which they currently have an “I” or Incomplete in (unless they want to retake this class with a different instructor). Please consult with your original instructor or an advisor if you have questions.

If the period to late add passes, a Waiver of College Regulations Petition must be submitted. This petition must be signed by the student, instructor, and department chair/program director. The completed petition should be emailed to assocdean@sfsu.edu.

Always check your registration on your SF State Gateway after making any changes and before deadlines to ensure you are registered properly for your classes. It is always your responsibility to ensure your schedule is correct, even if the instructor indicates they will drop you. All deadlines will be strictly adhered to by the instructor, the Department Chair and the CHSS Associate Dean.

According to Academic Senate policy S19-242, the fall and spring semesters are 17 weeks and include 15 weeks of direct instruction, one week of recess, and an optional final exam week. It is at the discretion of the instructor to determine whether there will be a class meeting during finals week so please check with your instructor. See the final examination schedule.

Please review your class schedule for final examination conflicts and contact your instructor for exam options.

For matters to be handled in a timely manner, it is important to follow the proper channels by first connecting with the instructor or department involved. If you are uncertain of what steps to take, you can also contact the Associate Dean’s Office for a consultation prior to taking action as we are here to support your success. If the issue has not been resolved at the department level, please contact the Associate Dean’s Office by emailing assocdean@sfsu.edu or calling (415) 405-3533.

For some tips on how to communicate to faculty and staff, please visit the Office of Student Conduct’s webpage. More information can also be found on the Student Affairs & Enrollment Management website.

Disability access

Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor.  The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC is located in the Student Service Building and can be reached by telephone (voice/415-338-2472, video phone/415-335-7210) or by email (dprc@sfsu.edu).

Student disclosures of sexual violence

SF State fosters a campus free of sexual violence including sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and/or any form of sex or gender discrimination. If you disclose a personal experience as an SF State student, the course instructor is required to notify the Title IX Coordinator by completing the report form available at the Title IX website, emailing equityprograms@sfsu.edu or calling (415) 338-2032.

Counseling and Mental Health Services

Counseling provides an opportunity for students to explore personal problems or concerns in a brief treatment model. Students come to CAPS for reasons as varied as the people themselves; personal problems involving relations with parents or peers, emotional or social difficulties, relationship conflicts, anxiety or depression, sexuality and orientation, concerns about academic progress or direction and other issues. Appointments can be made in person at the Student Services Building Rm 205 and/or calling (415) 338-2208. Counseling & Psychological Services website

To disclose any such violence confidentially, contact:

CHSS Advising

For more information on department advising, visit the CHSS Advising page to learn more about how to contact a major advisor in your department.

Undergraduate Advising Center (ADM 211)

Provides academic advising and support to ALL undergraduate students. For more information, see the Undergraduate Advising Center website.

For other resources to support student success, visit the Student Success page on the SF State website to learn more.

Contact the Associate Dean’s Office

Inquiries related to petitions, University and College policies and procedures, registration issues, grades, grade appeals and grievances should be directed to:

CHSS Associate Dean's Office
Office: HSS 239
Email: assocdean@sfsu.edu
Phone: (415) 405-3533


In person Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Available remotely Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.