Can A Professor Drop You From A Class

Can A Professor Drop You From A Class

For some reason, you’re enrolled in a class but wondering whether the professor can drop you. Maybe you’ve missed a few classes already and you are feeling alarmed, or you know the professor dislikes you, or you’re simply new to college and wondering whether this is possible.

The truth is that while students can choose to drop a class, professors can’t drop students without justifiable cause. This could include excessive absence, violation of class policies, lack of prerequisites, incomplete coursework, and more.

So long as you give them a good enough reason, the professor can easily drop you from their class. Keep in mind that some classes have students on the waitlist, who are willing to take your place.

Reasons For Dropping A Student From Class

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why a professor may decide to drop a student from their class. Keep in mind that the professor can’t drop students if the college only mandates that such students receive failing grades instead.

Excessive Absence

Each individual professor has their own policies governing class attendance. While the majority of professors do not mandate class attendance, some do.

Don’t make the mistake of generalizing class attendance policies at the college level. Students in college have a lot of freedom but there’re limits to that freedom.

Depending on the professor’s attendance policy, missing a set number of classes is tantamount to withdrawal from the class.

Additionally, students who don’t show up for the first few classes could be dropped to make room for students on the waitlist. Depending on the school and professor’s class policies, missing the first few classes could result in the student getting dropped.


This is related to the excessive absence policy. Students who continually arrive late for class could face disciplinary actions including getting dropped from the class.

Some professors outline in their policies that students who enter class some minutes after the lesson has started would be marked absent. These professors usually take attendance at the beginning of their respective classes.

Students who are late to class are marked as absent and habitual lateness can result in the student getting dropped from the professor’s class due to breaching class policies.

Disruptive Behavior

If a student’s behavior in the classroom disrupts class activities and other students, the professor may decide to drop them to maintain order.

Engaging in disrespectful behavior, and physical or verbal altercations with classmates or the professor are all justifiable groups for the professor to drop you from their class.

Violation Of Class Policies

It’s always advisable to check your professor’s class policies to avoid any issues in class. These policies are designed to promote a positive learning environment by outlining what’s expected of enrolled students.

Some common policies include:

  • Attendance – This specifies whether attendance is mandatory and the required number of class attendance students must meet
  • Electronic Devices – This policy prohibits the use of electronic devices during class unless otherwise stated by the professor
  • Late Work – This specifies the deadline for submitting any academic deliverables as well as any resulting punishment
  • Academic Honesty – This specifies the school’s stand on academic dishonesty and the consequences for students caught in the practice

Prerequisite Deficit

Enrolling in a course without passing the prerequisites can also result in a professor dropping a student. Prerequisites are designed to ensure that students have the foundational skills to take classes that build on those foundations.

Students who enroll for courses without passing the necessary prerequisites would need to go back and complete them before they can take the advanced course.

Additionally, students who do not achieve the minimum required grade to take the advanced course could be dropped by the professor.


Students who are unable to pay their tuition on time could be dropped from the class.

Additionally, students who are on financial aid are expected to keep up their GPA. Failure to do so can result in a reduction in their financial aid or withdrawal.

Schools aren’t cheap and such students could end up getting dropped from their classes.

Consequences Of Being Dropped From A Class

While it may seem harmless, dropping a class comes with some consequences. So, it’s advisable to try your best to avoid getting dropped. Let’s look at some of the consequences that come with it.


Dropping a class after the refund period is never good for your wallet if you’re paying for your fees yourself, since the money will not be reimbursed to you. On the hand, you may need to give back some of the money you received, if financial aid paid for the course.


Graduation will most likely be impacted if you get dropped from your class especially if you’re somewhere in your last semesters. Additionally, your GPA could also suffer the impact.

Depending on when you were dropped from the class, you may lose credit for the class and may need to repeat it. It’s therefore advisable to drop a class before the deadline to avoid a poor grade impacting your GPA or transcript.

Requisite Deficit

Getting dropped from a class means you won’t meet the requirement for advanced courses. This means you cannot enroll in any courses that mandate the completion of the requisite course.

Check out these other related posts:

What To Do When A Professor Drops You From A Class

You just got dropped from a professor’s class and you aren’t sure what to do.

Understand Why You Were Dropped

Your professor didn’t simply wake up one day and decide to try and ruin your life. They must have a reason for the action. So, you need to figure out why the professor dropped you from the class.

Keep in mind that professors need justifiable reasons to drop students. So, find out what their policies say and identify where you’re guilty. In all honesty, you probably should’ve done that before joining the class but we all know there’s no point crying over spilt milk.

You should focus on how to rectify the problem. Have you been a total nuisance in class, or maybe you missed every class or test? Identify the reason behind the professor’s actions.

Approach The Professor

The professor is not out to get you for personal reasons. They could lose their license for making such personal decisions. You can send the professor an email to arrange a meeting with them.

Try not to sound angry and emotional, let them know and request a meeting at their earliest convenience to discuss with them. The professor dropped you so they’re the best person to tell you where the problem lies.

Maybe you simply didn’t take a required course before registering for their course. They want to make your life easier in their class as they know how essential the prerequisite course may be to your success in their class.

Maybe you were mistakenly registered in a class that’s already full. Reaching out to them would definitely score you some points over another student they may be considering.

Contact The Academic Advisor

If you’re unable to settle things with the professor, you can consult the academic advisor. The academic advisor would be able to provide some details on your college’s policies and the best way forward to help rectify the problem.

If there’s an option to appeal the decision, the academic advisor can also show you how to file an appeal.

Financial Assistance

College education is expensive and some students sometimes have to work and pay for their own fees. But if you’re dropped because you couldn’t pay the full tuition on time, you can seek financial aid or reach out to student services for direction.

Can You Get Back Into A Dropped Class

Getting back into a dropped class is unlikely but not impossible. It would depend on various factors including:


You definitely can’t get back into the professor’s class without their approval. Check your school and the professor’s policies to determine whether this is possible in the first place.

But most importantly, reach out to your professor to determine whether this is possible and make your case (make it compelling). Maybe they’ve had enough of you for the semester or the class is too far ahead for you to rejoin.

But if they agree to let you back into the class, you would need approval from the department chair. Make your case with them as well and let them know the professor has already agreed to let you into the class.

Keep in mind that the university may also have policies that dictate whether students can get back into dropped classes. If you aren’t sure, you can reach out to the academic advisor to determine the school’s policy on the issue.

Point In Semester/Space

Depending on the particular point of the semester it may be impossible for you to get back into the class. For instance, if it’s at the beginning of the semester, the class may not already be full.

Reasons For The Drop

If you were dropped from the class for violating the professor’s class policies, getting back into the class would be difficult. The professor would rather avoid giving you another opportunity to disrupt their semester.

Akshay Vikhe

I am an aspiring Data Scientist with a huge interest in technology. I like to review courses that are genuine and add real value to student’s careers. Read my story

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