Physics Procedures


This section is intended to help students complete the necessary paperwork as they go through their studies.  The following information certainly won't cover all circumstances, so feel free to contact one of the physics advisors with any questions.

Course Scheduling

Adding Courses

Below are the deadlines for enrolling in classes during autumn and spring semesters.

1st week of classes - Students can enroll in a course on their own through their Student Center up through 5pm of the first Friday of the term.

2nd week of classes - Students can only enroll in a new course during the second week of classes (up through 5pm of the 2nd Friday) only if they have instructor permission.  Instructors can sign a course enrollment form which the student can take to their academic advisor who will then enroll the student in the class.

3rd week of classes - Students can only enroll in a new class during the third week of classes (up through 5pm of the 3rd Friday) if:

  • Both the instructor of the course and the department chair have signed a course enrollment form
  • A late-add petition is approved by the college office.  Students can pick up a late-add petition from their academic advisor.
  • The student pays the $100 late-add fee

Problems enrolling in a physics course?  Physics majors should contact their physics advisor for assistance.  Non-Physics majors with problems enrolling in a 1000 level physics course can contact Brad Hefner at

Dropping Courses

Students can drop classes from their schedule via their buckeyelink account up through the 4th Friday of each term.  After the 4th Friday, only an advisor can make changes to a student's schedule.  The deadline to drop a class is the 10th  Friday of each term, so if you need to drop a class between the 4th and 10th week, you will need to contact one of the physics advisors.  Classes can be dropped after the 10th Friday only if a petition is submitted and approved through the College of Arts and Sciences advising office.

Using Grade Forgiveness

Undergraduate students can use grade forgiveness on up to three classes during their time at OSU. Grade forgiveness allows students to repeat a course for a higher grade. When grade forgiveness is applied to a student's record, the grade earned during the first attempt of the course is no longer factored in to the student's GPA but will still appear on the student's transcript. In other words, the new grade replaces the old grade in the calculation of the student's GPA. Grade forgiveness can only be applied to second attempts of the course and it can only work if the student takes both attempts at OSU. To request grade forgiveness, complete the online request form by the 10th Friday of the term you are taking the course for the second time.  Additional information and answers to frequently asked questions can be found in the Grade Forgiveness Guide.

Withdraws and Incompletes

Withdraws - a student can drop or withdraw from a course up through 5pm of the 10th Friday of the semester.  After the 4th Friday of the semester, a student can only withdraw from a course by contacting an academic advisor because courses cannot be dropped via buckeyelink by a student after the 4th Friday.  If a student wants to withdraw from a course after the 10th Friday of the semester, he or she should talk to their academic advisor about submitting a retroactive withdraw petition. These petitions go to the college office for review and are usually only approved for extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control that arose after the drop deadline.

Incompletes - if a student cannot complete coursework due to circumstances beyond their control, they can contact their instructor(s) to request an incomplete.  If the incomplete is approved, the student has until the 6th Friday of the following semester to submit missing material but keep in mind that an instructor can request an earlier deadline. If the student does not submit the missing material, the incomplete will be replaced by the grade the student had earned in the course.