Student News: Change to ADD-DROP deadline

February 09, 2005
TO: CNR Students and Faculty
FROM: Lynn Huntsinger, Assoc. Dean of Instruction and Student Affairs
SUBJECT: Change to ADD-DROP deadline, effective Fall 2005.

The College of Natural Resources is joining the other Colleges of the University of California, Berkeley, and moving the drop deadline and the add deadline for most courses to the end of the fifth week of the semester. For courses that are impacted and that are currently not managed by departments, the drop deadline only will be the end of the second week of the semester. The grading change option from a letter grade to a P/NP grade (and that direction only) will be moved from the end of the eighth week to the end of the tenth week of classes. These changes will begin in the fall semester of 2005.

Please keep in mind that our College had a fifth week add-drop deadline until 2003, but changed to match the other Colleges on campus to avoid confusion, and to eliminate the perception of an unfair situation when students taking the same classes have different deadlines for adding and dropping classes. These same reasons are a part of what leads us to return to the fifth week deadline in concert with the other Colleges on campus.

There are two other main goals behind the change: (1) to maximize the opportunity for students to take the courses on campus that are essential for their education and that have the highest demand; and (2) to increase the efficacy of education for all undergraduates by having courses settle down earlier in the term.

We have received a lot of helpful student input on this new policy. Dean Ludden and I have met with ASUC leaders. The policy has been altered on several occasions in response to student concerns. We believe that the new deadlines will result in better access for students to courses they need, and to a better educational environment.

I hope students will take advantage of the advisors in our College to help make decisions about classes within the five-week period. I know that our student affairs staff are ready to help any student with advising needs. We have increased the number of faculty advisors for our undeclared students, and in addition have developed times for walk-in advising and are starting a peer advising leadership program next year. Faculty advisors and graduate student mentors will be crucial to helping students meet these new deadlines. Further suggestions for how we can improve our services are always welcome -- write us at:

It is anticipated that the list of courses with a two-week drop deadline will be small. We do not expect to have any CNR courses in this category, but we can guess that some heavily impacted lower division gateway courses may make the list. Students will need to be very conscientious about checking their study lists before each deadline.

Finally, we would like to encourage all instructors to assist students with decisions about their courses by providing some sort of evaluative exercise early in the term. The faculty can contribute enormously to the success of the new add-drop policy by being sensitive to the needs of students when they are working on their study lists.