Students are responsible for registering on time and for the courses approved by their advisor.  Students may not attend classes without being properly registered, nor will they receive credit for courses in which they are not registered.  Furthermore, students may not register or add individual courses retroactively.

Degree audit
Adding and dropping courses
Withdrawal of entire registration
Pre-requisites / co-requisites
Course substitutions
Maximum course load / excess hours
Auditing courses
Pass/Nonpass grading option (P/N)
Satisfactory/fail, satisfactory/unsatisfactory
Second-grade-only option

Degree audit

The degree audit is an academic planning tool that allows students to review programs of study (POS) and progress toward completion of degree requirements, including:

  • General education courses
  • Declared majors, minors, and certificates 
  • University residence requirements
  • GPA requirements
  • Hours earned and needed for graduation

Request a degree audit

To request a degree audit, students should complete the following steps:

  1. Log into MyUI.
  2. Under the Student Information section, choose Degree Audit.
  3. Request an audit for the chosen program of study, and refresh the page to obtain the most recent version.
  4. Review the degree audit frequently and take an updated copy to all advising appointments. 

To learn how to request an audit, click how_to_request_a_degree_audit.pdf.

To review a degree audit tutorial, click here.

Adding and dropping courses

Students may add or drop courses any time prior to the deadline published in the University’s Academic Calendar  (with one exception,  College of Law courses).  Deadlines differ for regular and off-cycle courses.  See Course Deadlines for specific course deadlines.  Students must obtain approval from the college that offers the course in order to request permission to add or drop a course after the stated deadlines have passed.  

This form is to be submitted to request that an engineering course be dropped after the stated deadline. 

Poor academic performance in a course is NOT an acceptable reason to drop a course following the deadline. The Second-Grade-Only Option should be considered as a means to resolve this situation.  Under no circumstance are students permitted to drop after the beginning of the scheduled final examination period.  

Adding courses

Students may add courses after the semester has begun, but only until the deadline for adding courses.   Please see the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for the final day for undergraduates to add courses each semester (denoted ‘Last Day of MyUI Registration’). 

If a course has not yet begun, simply add the course on MyUI.

For the first 5 days of classes for a fall or spring semester, students are able to add or change sections or semester hours for semester-length courses on MyUI.

To add a course after the 5th day of the semester (or to add on or after the start date for an off-cycle, summer, or winter session course) students must print a Change of Registration Form, and have both their academic advisor and the instructor of the course sign it. Then submit the signed form to the UI Service Center, 2700 UCC before the add deadline. Unless the student has been attending the course and simply not registered, it is rarely recommended that an engineering course be added beyond the posted deadline. 

"Off-cycle" courses that start or end at times other than the beginning and end of the semester have add deadlines different from those of semester-long courses. Deadlines for individual courses, including off-cycle courses, may be found on the Registrar's Course Deadlines webpage.

Adding courses after the deadline

Students may be granted permission to add a course after the deadline. Students may not register or add individual courses retroactively.

To add a course after the published deadline:

  1. Print a Change of Registration Form.
  2. Have both your academic advisor and the instructor of the course sign it.
  3. Request the Dean's signature, 2045 SC
  4. Return the completed form to the UI Service Center, 2700 UCC.

Dropping courses

Please note that different deadlines exist for students wishing to drop individual courses or withdraw from an entire semester.  A mark of “W” will appear on the student’s transcript beside any course that has been dropped after the deadline which is noted in the Academic Calendar as the “Last day for undergraduates to add courses or drop courses without a W," or on the Course Deadlines look-up as the "Last day to drop without a 'W'".

For the first 5 days of classes of a fall or spring semester, students (except student athletes and international students) are able to drop semester-length courses on MyUI.  However, students will not be able to drop their only (last) course on MyUI, as that is a Withdrawal of Registration.

To drop a course after the 5th day of the semester (or to drop on or after the start date for an off-cycle, summer, or winter session course) a student may initiate the process for dropping a course from the “Courses/Registration” page on MyUI.  The student is then responsible for contacting their academic advisor to obtain authorization to drop the course.  The academic advisor will not be notified automatically of the drop request.

Please note, all authorizations must be obtained by 4:30 pm on the course deadline date.  After the required authorizations have been obtained, the student is notified and must log in to MyUI to complete the drop process by 11:59 pm on the deadline to drop the course.

  • Alternatively, a student may print a paper Change of Registration Form, have it signed by their academic advisor, then submit the signed form to the UI Service Center, 2700 UCC, by 4:30 pm on the deadline to drop the course.  Paper forms are encouraged for situations in which adding and dropping should be completed simultaneously.

Requesting to drop a course after the deadline

Approval to drop courses after the final drop deadline (listed on the Academic Calendar as the “last day to drop without dean’s approval, undergraduate” or "last day for undergraduates to drop individual semester-length courses") may be granted only with documentation of extenuating circumstances (such as a serious illness or a crisis beyond the student's control).

Note:  The college that provides the administrative home for the particular course is the college whose rules govern the procedures for dropping and adding after the published deadlines.

A request to drop an engineering course after the deadline must be submitted via the petition for late drop form

To drop a course in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) after the deadline, you will need to follow their protocols for dropping a course late. See “Requesting to drop a course after the deadline” on the CLAS website.

Withdrawal of entire registration

You may withdraw your entire course registration after the semester or session has begun until the withdrawal deadline, listed on the Academic Calendar as the “Last day for undergraduates to withdraw entire registration without Dean's permission.”

You may initiate a withdrawal from all courses in the current session on MyUI, see Withdrawal Information on the Registrar's website for more information. However, you will need authorization from one or more campus offices, then you will need to finalize the request in MyUI for the withdrawal to be completed.

Requesting a late withdrawal or a retroactive withdrawal

To request a late withdrawal of all courses or a retroactive withdrawal of a term, or terms, submit a petition for late withdrawal of all courses

Pre-requisites / co-requisites

A pre-requisite is a specific course or subject that a student must complete before they can take a more advanced course; while a co-requisite can be taken simultaneously with the course. 

Undergraduate students must complete a course's prerequisites; the registration system reads a student's record, and if there is no evidence that the prerequisite has been completed or is in progress, the system automatically blocks enrollment in that particular course.  See Undergraduate Prerequisite Q&A on the College of Engineering website for more information about prerequisite policies and procedures.

Moreover, undergraduate students with a primary Program of Study in the College of Engineering must complete a course's co-requisites.  The co-requisite check happens a month prior to start of the Fall/Spring session.  Students who have not completed the co-requisite course requirement(s) are notified via e-mail, along with their faculty advisor and the course instructor(s).  The student has until Wednesday before the Fall/Spring semester to provide documentation or approval of a co-requisite waiver form to remain enrolled in the course.

Course substitutions

Students in the College of Engineering who have earned credit for a course at the UI or another institution and believe the course could meet a major, minor or general education requirement, may request a course substitution.   Students should complete the following process for a course substitution request:

  1. Obtain a course syllabus and/or course description from the institution where the course was completed
  2. Consult with their academic advisor
  3. Submit a course petition/substitution form

For students in the College of Engineering, the substitution of an alternate course for a required course requires approval.  The course petition/substitution form will be routed to the appropriate individuals in the College to acquire approval. 

Substitutions for required engineering core courses should be made infrequently and only under compelling circumstances.  Substitutions of courses that are required by a student's program are governed by the faculty of that program; approval of these course substitutions is needed only from the faculty advisor, department undergraduate chair and the department chair.  All petitions are forwarded to the Engineering Registrar for inclusion in a student's permanent file.

Petition for course substitution

Maximum course load / excess hours

The recommended schedule for students who wish to complete a degree in eight semesters (four years) is 16 to 18 semester hours each semester.  However, some students may want or need to take coursework in excess of the recommended hours.

Maximum course loads vary by session and are as follows:


Credit hours

Spring or Fall semester

The maximum permitted registration is 19 semester hours.  Students wishing to register for more than 19 semester hours must have special permission.  For guidelines, see Requesting Excess Hours below.

Summer session

12 semester hours

Winter session

3 semester hours

Requesting excess hours

Students enrolled in the College of Engineering who are in good academic standing may request permission to register for more hours than the maximum allowed.  Permission to take excess hours is not guaranteed.

During early registration, College of Engineering students may register for the stated maximum for a given session (i.e., 19 sh for a fall or spring semester).  Course schedules that exceed the stated semester hour maximum require approval.  Students may petition to take excess hours by requesting permission to register for additional hours via the online form.  

Students on academic probation will not be given permission for excess hours.

Auditing courses

Students in the College of Engineering may register for a course for zero credit (audit) with the permission of the course instructor and the advisor.  The mark of AUS (audit successful) is assigned to students registered for zero credit if attendance and performance in the course are satisfactory; if unsatisfactory, the mark of AUU (audit unsuccessful) is assigned.  Courses completed with a mark of AUS do not meet any requirements nor do they carry any credit toward graduation.  Auditing may not be used as a second-grade-only option.

To register for a course on an audit basis, students must obtain the instructor's authorizing signature and their advisor's signature and must register for 0 sh.  To change registration from audit to credit or from credit to audit, a Change of Registration Form is used.  These changes must be made during the first three weeks of a semester or the first one-and-one-half weeks of a summer session.

Pass/nonpass grading option (P/N)

Students in the College of Engineering have the option of taking up to 6 sh of course work required for the general education requirement Pass/Nonpass (P/N) with permission from the course instructor and academic advisor.  Students may register for the P/N grading option beginning the first day of classes up to the "last day for undergraduates to add or change to P-N or audit status" as listed on the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for semester-length courses, or the "last day to add without dean's approval" listed on the Course Deadlines page for an individual course.

To take a class P/N, first ask the course instructor if the instructor allows P/N grading.  Then, print a grading option form and have both your academic advisor and the course instructor sign it.  Submit the completed form to the UI Service Center, 2700 UCC, by 4:30 pm on the published deadline. You may not change your P/N registration after the deadline.

Students enrolled in courses taught in the College of Engineering may choose to be graded P/N, but such course work may not be used to satisfy requirements for an engineering degree.

Satisfactory/fail, satisfactory/unsatisfactory

The first-year seminar, Engineering Success for First-Year Students, and the noncredit professional seminars required in each of the engineering programs are offered satisfactory/fail (S/F).  All students registered for these courses receive one of these marks.  No other engineering courses are offered on this basis.  A grade of F (fail) earned for such a class does not satisfy any portion of the seminar requirement.

Second-grade-only option

Engineering students may repeat up to three courses taken at the University of Iowa using the second-grade-only option, regardless of the grade originally earned in the course.  If a student opts to repeat a course and officially requests the second-grade-only (SGO) option, both grades will be visible on the permanent record, with the first grade denoted by a pound symbol (#), indicating that it has been replaced by the second grade in the GPA calculations, and that only the hours from the second registration have been counted as hours earned.  Unless and until the second-grade-only option is requested, both grades will continue to be counted in the grade point averages.  

The second-grade-only option may be used only once per course and to no more than three courses.  Once placed on the record, the option may not be retracted.  Moreover, once an advanced course has been successfully completed, courses that served as a pre-requisite for that course no longer qualify for the second-grade-only option.  The second-grade-only option cannot be used to remove a grade of incomplete.  A student who holds a degree from the University of Iowa may not apply the second-grade-only option to a course taken before the degree was conferred.

The second-grade-only option form is completed by students and submitted to the College of Engineering Registrar.  Forms are processed monthly prior to the end of the Fall/Spring semester.