How to Write an Email About Dropping a Class

Dropping a class can be a difficult and scary decision for any student.

Sometimes, dropping a class is needed to ensure academic success, maintain satisfactory academic progress, or to alleviate financial or personal hardships.

Whatever the reason may be, it is important to know how to write an email about dropping a class in a professional and respectful manner.

In this article, we will discuss what to do before writing the email, what to include in the email, and provide an email template to help guide you through the process.

What to Do Before Writing an Email About Dropping a Class

Before you write the email, there are a few things that you should do or check.

As a student, you need to be aware of the academic calendar and the drop deadline.

For instance, you need to check the deadline for dropping a course and ensure that you are within the acceptable period.

The academic calendar typically shows the last day to drop classes without penalty or with a partial refund. Also, you must be aware of the withdrawal policy, which will determine if you are going to get a W grade or not.

If you are a college student, it is important to consider the potential consequences of dropping a course.

This is especially true if you are receiving financial aid or scholarship. Dropping a course may affect your academic standing or financial aid status.

It is important to consult with your academic advisor or financial aid advisor to understand the impact of dropping the course. International students should also be aware of how dropping a course might affect their student visa status.

For some students, dropping a course may be due to personal reasons such as medical, mental, or emotional issues.

In such cases, you may need to gather supporting documentation to provide evidence for your hardship. In the US, the documentation could be in the form of a letter from a doctor or a therapist. For students with disabilities, you may need to consult with disability services to understand what documentation may be necessary.

What to Include in The Email About Dropping a Class

When writing the email, be sure to include the following:

Greeting: Begin the email with a polite greeting, addressing the instructor or academic advisor by their proper title and name.

Reason for dropping the course: Provide a brief explanation of why you need to drop the course. Be honest and straightforward, but avoid providing too many details. You could mention that you have some other commitments or priorities that need your attention, or that you have a medical or personal issue that you need to take care of.

Request for approval: Clearly state that you are requesting approval to drop the course and if instructor approval is necessary, provide a reason why. It’s important to understand that not all instructors would approve a request to drop a course, especially if you have not attended enough classes or submitted enough assignments. If instructor approval is not necessary, you should still inform them that you are dropping the course.

Consequences: If dropping the course will affect your academic standing or financial aid, mention this in the email. It is important to be honest about the potential consequences and to explain why you are making the decision to drop the course.

Appreciation: Thank the instructor or academic advisor for their understanding and assistance. It is important to show gratitude and respect for the person you are writing to. They are likely to be more helpful and understanding if you approach them in a polite and respectful manner.

Email Template for Dropping a Class

Here’s an email template you can customize to get started.

Dear [Instructor or Academic Advisor],

I am writing to request approval to drop [course name and number] from my schedule. Unfortunately, [provide a brief explanation of why you need to drop the course]. I have consulted the academic calendar and the drop deadline, and I am aware of the consequences of dropping the course, particularly with regard to [academic standing or financial aid status].

If instructor approval is necessary, please let me know what steps I need to take. I understand that not all instructors would approve a request to drop a course, and I respect their decision. If approval is not necessary, I still wanted to inform you that I will be dropping the course.

I appreciate your understanding and assistance in making this process as smooth as possible. I value the education I have received in this course and will make sure to seek other ways to stay on track with my academic progress.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your name]

What are Good Reasons to Drop a Class?

There are several reasons why a student might consider dropping a class. While it’s essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making such a decision, here are some good reasons to consider dropping a class:

  1. Overwhelming Course Load: Sometimes, students may find themselves enrolled in too many courses or courses that are too challenging for them to manage simultaneously. If you’re struggling to keep up with the workload and it’s affecting your overall academic performance, dropping a class may be a viable option.
  2. Poor Fit with Learning Style: Not all classes or teaching styles work for every student. If you find that a particular class is not catering to your learning style or you’re not connecting with the material, it might be better to drop the class and find one that aligns better with your strengths.
  3. Lack of Interest or Relevance: It’s essential to be genuinely interested in a course and see its relevance to your academic or career goals. If you find that a class doesn’t align with your interests or long-term plans, it might be worth considering dropping it in favor of one that better suits your needs.
  4. Health Issues: Physical, mental, or emotional health issues can sometimes make it difficult to manage your academic responsibilities. If you’re experiencing health challenges that are affecting your ability to perform in a specific class, it might be best to drop the class and focus on your well-being.
  5. Conflicting Commitments: Sometimes, students may have conflicting commitments like work, family, or extracurricular activities that make it challenging to keep up with a particular class. In such cases, dropping a class might be necessary to maintain a balance between your academic and personal life.
  6. Low Performance: If you’re struggling to grasp the material in a specific class, and it’s affecting your grades or GPA, it may be a valid reason to drop the class. However, before making this decision, it’s important to consider tutoring or extra help from the instructor.
  7. Change in Major or Academic Goals: If you’ve decided to change your major or academic focus, you might find that certain classes are no longer relevant to your new goals. In these cases, dropping the class in favor of one that aligns with your updated objectives might be the best course of action.

Before making the decision to drop a class, it’s important to consult with your academic advisor, who can help you explore other options and ensure that you’re making the best decision for your academic success.

Dropping a class should be carefully considered, as it can impact your academic standing, financial aid status, and future opportunities. Ultimately, the decision to drop a class should be based on your individual circumstances and the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with the decision.

Tips for Writing an Email to Drop a Class

Dropping a course is not an easy decision, but it is important to know how to write an email about it in a professional and respectful manner.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your email is clear and concise, while also demonstrating your appreciation for the assistance provided by your instructor or academic advisor.

Remember to check the academic calendar, consider the potential consequences, and gather supporting documentation before writing the email. With these tips and the provided email template, you will be well-equipped to navigate the process of dropping a course.

It is also important to note that these guidelines may differ for different academic institutions or programs.

Graduate students or continuing education students, for instance, may have different guidelines for dropping courses. Students should consult with their academic advisor, student services, or university registrar to understand their specific guidelines and policies.

In addition, students should be aware of the academic standing and financial aid requirements for their program or scholarship. Overall, students should be responsible for their academic progress and success, and should seek help when needed from academic advisors or financial aid advisors.