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Institutional Policies

Policy STUA-REG-012

logo of The University of Southern Mississippi  
Responsible University Administrator: Vice President for Student Affairs
Responsible Officer: Registrar
Origination Date: N/A
Current Revision Date: 02/18/19
Next Review Date: 05/14/22
End of Policy Date: N/A
Policy Number: STUA-REG-012
Status: Effective




Policy Statement


Students must follow procedures set in place for registration for classes. 

Reason for Policy/Purpose

This policy is required for the effective communication of university policy regarding registration.

Who Needs to Know This Policy

All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community.


Website Address for this Policy





Students should preregister each semester at the designated time using their SOAR account. Specific directions are published on the Registrar's website at Students who preregister must pay a minimum payment (if applicable) by the due date, or there will be an additional preregistration fee of $100 added to their accounts. Classes will be dropped at a later date for nonpayment.

A late registration fee of $50 will be charged to all students registering after the scheduled registration period.


A student is permitted to drop a course without academic penalty up to and including approved dates published on the Registrar's website at After the deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with permission of the instructor and department chair at which time the student will receive a grade of W. The withdraw grade ("W") will not lower the GPA but may impact financial aid and an excessive record of withdrawals may reflect poorly on student's application for employment or graduate school. Students may withdraw from a course through SOAR (with instructor and department chair permission) and may add courses with instructor and department chair permission using SOAR. Students who drop after the last day to add/drop without academic/financial penalty are financially responsible for all enrolled courses. Adding classes after the 100% refund period could result in additional tuition charges. Students bear all financial responsibility for a drop or withdrawal performed after the 100% refund date, as published in the Academic Calendar at

In some cases, and only with instructor and department chair approval, students may swap classes within a department. This rare procedure might be used if a student in an advanced course wishes to take a remedial class and the department feels the student's coursework will not suffer by swapping classes.

After the withdrawal deadline (up to and including the approved date published on the Registrar's website at, students can no longer withdraw themselves from a class and must complete the course for a grade. Only students with exceptional hardship beyond their control may petition for an exception. Such students must complete the Academic Withdrawal after the Deadline form from the Registrar's website and submit evidence of their hardships. Petitions will be evaluated by the Academic Dean and Provost.

A student completely withdrawing from the University prior to the deadline for dropping classes without academic penalty will not receive any grades. His or her record will reflect the date of the withdrawal. A student withdrawing after the deadline for dropping courses without academic penalty will receive a grade of W. Any courses completed before the withdrawal is processed will be awarded grades on the official transcript (including, but not limited to, intersession, half-term, and other non-traditional course formats).

Students who have violated the Academic Integrity Policy and who have been informed that they will receive an XF grade for the semester are not eligible to withdraw from a class.  Instructors will deny any request for withdrawal.  (See Academic Integrity below.)

Procedures to Withdraw from the University

Students finding it necessary to withdraw from the University prior to the deadline to withdraw may begin the process via their SOAR student center with the "Drop ALL Courses" link. Within SOAR, they will view a series of panels that will explain the academic and financial impact in withdrawing from the university at that point in time. Students who withdraw during the early period in which they do not need instructor permission period are entitled to a refund as outlined in the Business Services Refund Policy. After making the requests to withdraw, appropriate University personnel including advisors, chairs and deans will review the requests and potentially discuss alternatives with the students. Upon approval of the withdrawal and final processing, students will receive an e-mail giving instructions on how to return to The University of Southern Mississippi. If students need further assistance withdrawing, they should contact the Registrar's office. Withdraw request must be submitted by the last day to withdraw found on the Academic Calendars. After this date, students will receive final grades as submitted by the instructor(s).

Administrative Withdrawal

A University transcript is a legal document that provides an accurate account of academic performance. Therefore, transcripts should only be altered if there is a compelling rationale for doing so.

On rare occasions, academic performance is severely affected by an adverse emotional or personal tragedy beyond the control of the student. If a timely withdrawal was impossible or overlooked, a procedure known as administrative withdrawal (AW) may be an option. This policy does not apply to situations where students stopped going to classes or simply performed poorly. Administrative withdrawal is specifically intended for students who were negatively affected by some extenuating, documentable circumstances that were beyond their control (e.g. the death of an immediate family member, a severe illness or incapacitation, a debilitating accident). This policy does not apply to other situations when a student simply took on more work than he or she could handle or performed below expectations.

A student who wishes to petition for an administrative withdrawal (AW) should be aware of the following criteria:

a.            The problem encountered by the student in a particular semester was debilitating and beyond his or her control. The student must provide documentation of the nature and extent of the problem.

b.            The student must have been in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or better) the semesters before and after the semester under review (with a minimum of nine credit hours if fall or spring or a minimum of six credit hours if summer). Final grades from the subsequent semester must be posted before an administrative withdrawal can be approved.

c.            The student must be enrolled at the time of the petition. Petitions for administrative withdrawal must be filed prior to graduation.

d.            Administrative withdrawal can be used only once during a student's academic career.

e.            The designation of "AW" is assigned to all courses taken during the semester in question.

In order for a petition for administrative withdrawal to be considered, the following process must be followed:

a.            The student requesting an administrative withdrawal should consult with the director of his or her current school prior to initiating a petition.

b.            The student prepares the petition and submits it to the director of his or her current school.

c.            The director reviews the application and forwards it to the Dean with a recommendation for approval or denial. If the student had a different major during the semester for which administrative withdrawal is requested, the director of that school must also make a recommendation. In that case, the current director will forward the petition and recommendation to the director of the student's previous unit for review and that director will send it to the Dean of that college accompanied by the recommendations of both directors. The Dean of the college in which the student was a major during the semester for which academic withdrawal is requested must approve the petition for administrative withdrawal. If the student is currently a major in a different college, then the previous Dean will forward it to the Dean of that college who must also approve the request.

d.            A petition approved by the Dean(s) will be forwarded to the Provost for a final determination.

e.            The Provost will communicate the decision to the student, the director of the student's current major and, if applicable, the director of the student's former major, the appropriate Dean(s), and the Registrar.

f.            The petition for administrative withdrawal will be acted upon within 10 working days from receipt by each of the following: the director(s), the Dean(s), and the Provost.

The petition for administrative withdrawal must contain the following documents:

a.            A concise, but thorough, statement written by the student that details the circumstances responsible for the poor academic performance in that particular semester;

b.            Evidence (e.g., a physician's statement) supporting the claims made in the petition;

c.            A written statement from the campus Office Student Ombudsman Services verifying that the information in the student's statement is accurate; and

d.            A current degree progress report.


In the event you are placed on academic suspension after you have pre-registered for the subsequent term, your subsequent semester courses will be dropped if you are not reinstated prior to the start of the next term.  To be reinstated, you will be required to petition the appeals committee or dean of your major.  If reinstated, you will need to take the suspension clearance form to the Office of the University Registrar. 


Admissions Dismissal: If you were admitted on probation and do not meet clear admission criteria during your first semester, you could be placed on admissions dismissal.  If placed on admissions dismissal, you must enroll at another institution and improve your grade point average and return meeting full admissions transfer criteria. 


Missing Prerequisite: You will be registering for a future semester prior to receiving grades for the current semester.  If you do not complete the prerequisite course(s) that is required for a subsequent course, you should change your class schedule.  You have the responsibility to evaluate your registration class selections in light of your grades at the end of the semester and make any necessary changes during the add/drop periods.  Consult with your academic adviser prior to making any adjustments in your class schedule.


Mandatory Attendance of First Class: Some classes that are in high demand require that you attend the first day or you will be dropped from the class roster.




Members of Southern Miss’ faculty and staff should follow the procedures listed below for success in registration:

1. If currently enrolled, see your academic adviser and pick up your Advisement and Registration Appointment form in the departmental office of your major.  If you are a new or former student, apply or reapply for admission in the Office of Admissions or the Graduate School if a graduate student.  Once admitted or readmitted, you will receive your Advisement and Registration Appointment form.

2. Pick up your Faculty-Staff Permit to Register for Free Courses form from the Office of Human Resources. Have it signed by your immediate supervisor.

3. Return your approved Faculty-Staff Permit to Register for Free Courses form to the Office of Human Resources.  Allow enough time for Human Resources to update your file before you try to register.

4. Register for your class(es) by SOAR during your appointment window (see your Advisement and Registration Appointment form for appointment window date and time) or in person at open registration. 

Students must pay minimum payment by due date or an additional pre-registration fee of $100 will be added to their account.  Classes are still subject to be dropped at a later date for non-payment. 




The Registrar is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review). 







Related Information




Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes

11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies page.

02/26/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.

02/18/19: Formatted for template.  Updated policy per Academic Council changes including: removal of sections previously entitled "Add a Class"; Dropping a Class; "Dropping All Courses or Withdrawing", which were replaced with sections entitled Registration, Add/Drop/Withdrawal;





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