Managing Life at UMUC—What to Do When Life Happens
As you progress through your academic program at UMUC, uncertainties may arise. Life will happen and plans may shift. We want you to know that it is okay to ask for help and to reach out to your peers, instructors, advisors, and other members of the UMUC community when you need guidance.
"Don't give up, but know your limits."
Undergraduate Global Business Public Policy
Class of 2010
Following are some common reasons to ask for help and things to consider when making decisions about your studies at UMUC.
- I registered for class but missed the first week and decided not to attend at all.
- I am not doing well in class and think I need to withdraw.
- I am considering changing my academic program, but I am not sure if I will lose any credits.
I registered for class but missed the first week and decided not to attend at all.
Many UMUC students are busy adults juggling the demands of work or family and sometimes need reassurance that they can be successful after an uncertain start to each semester. If you miss the first few days of class:
- Alert your instructor right away. Doing so is an extremely important step and could mean the difference between successfully completing your course or not.
- In addition to acknowledging that you missed the first few days, explain your intent to continue with the course, and ask for advice on how to quickly come up to speed in your course.
- Create a strategy for managing your coursework, and use your student planner to create a daily schedule for completing class assignments. Instructors are aware that students have conflicting priorities and are willing to work with you as long as you are willing to complete course requirements and demonstrate that you are committed to your academic success.
- Be accountable to yourself by maintaining contact with your instructor, advising team, and peers. Being as proactive as you can in initiating contact with your instructor is an extremely important step.
- If you are unsure how to reach out to your instructor, contact your Advising team to ask for guidance. Advisors can be reached by phone at 800-888-UMUC (8682) or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are active-duty military or a veteran, please send e-mails to email@example.com. If you are enrolled at UMUC Asia or UMUC Europe, please visit
"Don't stop. The low points will also pass."
Class of 2010
I am not doing well in class and think I need to withdraw.
Withdrawing from class is defined as officially canceling registration for a course on or after the first day of class. This decision can potentially impact your academic and financial aid standing and should only be done if it is your only option.
Sometimes students decide to withdraw from class after struggling to balance personal, professional, or academic demands that directly affect one's ability to be successful in class.
There are many options to consider before deciding to withdraw:
- Identify the reason(s) you are considering withdrawal.
- Check your Portfolio to view your graded assignments and conference participation. Try to determine what you need to do for the remainder of the class to earn a satisfactory grade. Are you unsure about how to determine your progress through the course? If so, contact your instructor to ask for help with determining your progress.
Steps to take before withdrawing from a class
- Contact your instructor to inform him or her that you are considering withdrawing from the course, and inquire about what steps you can take to avoid withdrawing. Depending on how much of the course you have completed and the grades earned to date, your instructor may help you find an alternative to withdrawing.
- If you need help with specific subjects or assignments, use student resources such as mentoring and tutoring services, offered through the Department of Student Success, or the Effective Writing Center.
- If you are using financial aid, learn how a withdrawal may affect your ability to take courses in a future session or semester.
- If you are using another form of payment such as the Monthly Payment Plan, employer or military tuition assistance, please be sure to reference the withdrawal policies associated with these or other forms of payment. Review UMUC's refund policy.
For more information about withdrawals, please see Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course.
I am considering changing my academic program, but I am not sure if I will lose any credits.
There are many reasons students change their programs, such as shifting career or personal interests, industry demands or changes, ability to increase value in the workplace, and many other reasons.
Before requesting a change in your program, here are some things to consider:
- Identify the reason(s) you are considering changing your program.
- Check out Career Planning and Getting Started to assess your academic and career interests.
- Research industries that require or benefit from the program you are interested in. Then contact UMUC's Career Services team to get advice for further assessing your interests in the program as it relates to a potential career.
- Determine if you are still interested in changing your program. If so, print a Curriculum Planning Worksheet for the new program, and cross reference your Degree Progress Report and Curriculum Planning Worksheet to get an idea about how your earned credits will be placed in the new program.
- If you decide to change your program or need assistance understanding how the change will impact your earned credits, contact Undergraduate Academic Advising at 800-888-UMUC (8682) or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are active-duty military or a veteran, please send e-mails to email@example.com. If you are enrolled at UMUC Asia or UMUC Europe, please visit