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Drops, Withdrawals & Refunds

The information below pertains to UWPCE certificate programs and courses. For drop and refund information for fee-based degree courses, see the Registration for Fee-Based Degree Students website.

Dropping a Course

All requests to drop a course must be submitted in writing to Registration Services. Send your request by email at You can't drop a course by phone. Requests should include your name, student ID number and course name.

If you fail to attend class, or only tell the instructor that you want to drop, or don't pay your invoice, you have not officially dropped your course. Unless you officially withdraw, an unsuccessful completion (USC) will be entered on your UWPCE official record (for a noncredit course) or a 0.0 on your UW transcript (for a credit course). You will also be responsible for any outstanding fees. 

If you're thinking about dropping a course, our Enrollment Services team is available to discuss your options with you. Email us at

Withdrawing from a Certificate or specialization

To completely withdraw from a certificate or specialization, send your request by email to Dropping a class does not withdraw you from a certificate or specialization.

If you’re considering withdrawing from a certificate program or specialization, we encourage you to email the Enrollment Services team at to discuss your options. You may be able to defer to the following program offering and complete the program provided you meet an approved set of deferral criteria. Learn about our deferral policy

If you withdraw from a program and return to it later, you don't need to repeat courses you've successfully completed, provided you return within two years of your initial certificate start date, and the curriculum of the program hasn't been substantially revised.

Refund Policies & Deadlines

Refund policies and deadlines vary depending on the course type.

certificate  program, specialization & Single Courses (except self-paced)

To receive a full refund, minus the nonrefundable registration fee, you must drop a certificate, specialization or single course no later than one calendar day before the first class. To receive a 75% refund, minus the registration fee, you must drop the course within eight calendar days of the first class. There are no refunds after this date.

Self-Paced certificate Program courses

Self-paced certificate programs have their own refund policy. To receive a full refund, minus the nonrefundable registration fee, you must drop a self-paced course no later than eight calendar days after you've registered. 

self-paced (Quarterly Start) Courses

Self-paced (quarterly start) courses are online credit courses that must be started and completed within the same academic quarter. To receive a full refund, minus the nonrefundable registration fee, you must drop the course within the first seven calendar days of the quarter. To receive a 50% refund, minus the registration fee, you must drop the course within the first 30 calendar days of the quarter. 

Petitions for Hardship withdrawals, hardship extensions & Former quarter drop


If you can’t complete a noncredit course because of extenuating circumstances beyond your control, and the drop deadline has passed, you may petition for hardship withdrawal. If hardship withdrawal is approved, you’ll get a W for the course on your UWPCE official record. To inquire about hardship withdrawal, contact Registration Services at See criteria and required documentation below.


1. Make sure you review the criteria for different types of petition requests in the table below.

Some examples of reasons or scenarios that don’t qualify for a petition request and won’t be approved include: 

  • Misunderstanding refund deadlines or not reading transaction summary or welcome email, unsubstantiated phone conversations with UW personnel
  • Request for proportional refund based on the number of days attended (regardless of reason or documentation)
  • Dissatisfaction with course content, instructor or cohort-mates

2. Prepare a petition request that specifies what kind of hardship withdrawal or extension you're requesting (drop/withdrawal only, drop/withdrawal and refund, extension for self-paced course or program) and explains why you believe an exception should be made.

3. Include required documentation for your type of request from the table below.

4. Submit your petition request, along with supporting documentation, by email to or by fax to 206-685-9359.

You should initiate your petition request within four weeks of the onset of hardship or explain in your request why you couldn’t do so.


Below are documentation requirements for different types of hardship petition requests.

All documentation must be in English. Documents not originally written in English must be translated by an accredited translator or a third-party professional, and you must include the translator’s contact information ,

For documentation from a health care provider or employer, documentation may be verified directly with the provider by the petition committee.

Type Criteria Required Documentation
Disability/illness Severe or long illness of the student or immediate dependent Letter from the health care provider on their letterhead that includes the date of the medical appointment, the description and duration of the condition, the impact of the condition on the student’s ability to complete the course, and the provider’s contact information. If the student is caring for a dependent, the documentation must clearly identify the student as the primary caretaker.
Job Layoff or employer-initiated change in workload, travel or schedule Email or letter from the student’s employer on company letterhead that includes the description of the job change, the date the student was notified of it, the impact of the change to the student’s ability to complete their course, and the manager's or HR department's contact information. 
Death Death of the student or member of the immediate family (parent, spouse, domestic partner, child, sibling, grandparent) Documentation of the death and the petitioner’s relationship to the deceased, such as a death certificate, a remembrance from a memorial service or a funeral notice.
University error University error such as student being incorrectly advised by UW representative, instructor change mid-quarter or prolonged technology failure Statement explaining how the UW was in error and any documentation that supports the case, such as timely communication with a UW representative and/or instructor about the concern.
Military duty The student’s call to active military duty after the course began Military orders showing when the student was notified and the effective date of deployment.
Other Any other extenuating circumstances where the student has a well-documented and reasonable justification for submitting the petition Any documentation that supports the student’s reasonable justification.



If you were unable to complete a credit course in a previous quarter because of extenuating circumstances beyond your control, you can submit a petition for a Former Quarter Drop (formerly known as a Hardship Withdrawal Petition). 

If the petition is approved, you’ll get a grade of RD (Registrar Drop) on your UW transcript for that course — or HW (Hardship Withdrawal) for courses taken winter quarter 2020 or earlier.

To apply for Former Quarter Drop, fill out a petition here (UW NetID required). Make sure to choose “Continuum College” as your campus. Learn more about UW’s Former Quarter Drop process.  

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