Course Drops, Swaps, Refunds, and Our Audit Policy

Need to make a change to your school schedule?

We're happy to help. Please note that international and workforce development students, as well as students in our partner programs, may have different deadlines and fees.

Note: Instructors do not have the authority to drop a student.

Completing Program Requirements is the Student's Responsibility

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the requirements for completion of a certificate or specialization are met. Both the course selection and successful completion of the requirements rest with the student.

Refund Policy

Refunds for dropping a course

You may drop a course and receive a full refund minus a $40 drop processing fee—if you do this before the drop deadline for your course. Here is the timeframe for dropping:

    Classroom • Live-Online • Flexible • Hybrid—Courses with 5 or more sessions
    If your course meets five times or more, you must drop the course prior to the start of the second session for a full refund minus the drop processing fee. If you register for a course on or after the second session, no refunds will be available.

    Classroom • Live-Online • Flexible • Hybrid—Courses with 4 or fewer sessions
    If your course meets four or fewer times, you must drop the course three business days before the start of the course for a full refund minus the drop processing fee.

    Self-paced online courses
    In self-paced online courses, you have six business days after the course start date to work with the first module in the series and still receive a full refund minus the drop processing fee. After six days or the start of module two, you are no longer eligible for a refund.

    Custom online curriculum partner programs
    You may be eligible for a refund, minus a $40 processing fee if your drop request is received three business days before the course start date of programs taught by our outside vendors. (Business days are Monday through Friday, not including holidays.) However, some programs have different policies. See below for more information on our custom courses.

  • To submit a drop request, please complete the drop request form before the course deadline.

Swapping sections and courses

If you want to stay in a course but switch to another section, or switch from one course to another course, you can now do this without paying a $40 drop processing fee. Just request a switch by completing a drop request form within the deadline for your course—either prior to the second meeting for a five-session or longer course, three business days before the start of a course meeting four or fewer times, or within six business days of the start of an online course.

Course Substitutions

Students may apply the units of one pre-approved course that is outside the designated curriculum to their certificate qualification. Please apply for pre-approval from Academic Services Department by filling out the Course Substitution Form.

Note: Students will need to submit a Course Substitution Request for the following articulation needs:

  • Pre-approval on a prospective course they plan to enroll in.
  • Approval for a course taken in the past five years
  • Requirements for a Course Substitution

    • Students must demonstrate a grade of C or better.
    • The substituted course must be equivalent in units and content, and be from an accredited academic institution.
    • Educational units from a foreign school must be converted into U.S. equivalents before we can consider a substitution.
    • The course must be completed within the maximum time frame for UCSC Extension certificate completion.
    • When submitting the form, you must attach the course syllabus and any other important documentation (including grades or transcripts) upon submission or the request will be denied.

Non-Refundable Fees

Registration fees, certificate and award application fees, and special requests are non-refundable. All refunds are put on the student account toward future enrollment, unless otherwise requested.

Exceptions to policy

If the refund deadline for a course has passed, a petition for exception may be submitted. It must be supported by special circumstances such as a personal or family illness, injury, or hospitalization. Proper documentation of the special circumstance is required. UCSC Extension reserves the right to approve or deny any such request.

Dropping a course to avoid a final grade

If you enroll in a section, you have the option to withdraw prior to the final class meeting to avoid a negative impact on your official academic record. If you need to drop a course past the drop deadlines stated above, you will be given a withdrawal (W) grade on your transcript with no refund. To receive a withdrawal grade on your transcript with no refund, you’ll need to submit  a drop request.

Note: International and Workforce students need to seek prior approval before a W grade will be issued.

Course cancellations

UCSC Extension may have to cancel, postpone or combine courses, programs, and/or change instructors without notice. Refunds prompted by cancellation or discontinuation will be made in full to your student account. Refunds to the original form of payment will be processed on request.

Special programs

If you have enrolled in courses through other programs, such as a workforce development agency, an international agent, or the Open Campus process, you may have paid a deposit. It is your responsibility to comply with all financial obligations, deadlines, and refund policies established by these programs. If you are an international student, you can learn more about fees on our website.

Refund policy for custom online courses

In addition to our regular offerings, we work with outside vendors on several custom courses to provide specialized online training. Refund availability varies by curriculum partner.

For these offerings, you may be eligible for a refund, minus a $40 processing fee, if your drop request is received three business days before the course start date. Business days are Monday through Friday, not including holidays. Courses dropped after the first day of class will be given a withdrawal (W) grade, which will have no academic penalty.

See refund policy for students in the Legal and Paralegal Studies courses.

Auditing policy

UCSC Extension currently does not allow auditing or sitting-in of any courses.

Why we have this policy

UCSC Extension is a self-supporting organization and we take your enrollment into account when deciding whether to run a course. We do not receive state funds to support our professional development programs. This policy is necessary for us to maintain the lowest possible fees for all students.

COVID health and safety issues at UCSC Extension

Student safety is our top priority.

All county, state, and campus laws relating to coronavirus safety must be followed while in the UCSC Silicon Valley Campus building at 3175 Bowers Ave., Santa Clara, CA.

Contact us

We're here to help you have a great student experience. If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at Student Services.

  • extension@ucsc.edu or (408) 861-3860