Dropping, Failing and Repeating Rhet Courses


AUC’s timely completion policies say that a student should complete RHET 1010, CORE 1010, and RHET 1020 during their freshman year. That is the preferred and best process for incoming Freshman students, however, disruptions do happen, and students, at times, drop or fail RHET courses. There are a number of important policies that affect these situations. Importantly, there are restrictions on students being allowed to drop, limits to the number of times a student can fail, and limits on when and how courses can be repeated.



Can RHET 1010, CORE 1010, or RHET 1020 be dropped?



A student is not allowed to drop any of these courses before the semester starts, or during drop/add week without departmental approval, which is only granted in the most exceptional cases.


After the completion of drop/add week and the semester is fully started, if a student is struggling in one of these courses, then they are allowed to request permission to drop the course. Students are required to provide legitimate documentation supporting their petition to drop the course, especially if they have previously dropped the same course. Under some circumstances, the request to drop will be granted approval. This process does take time as it requires approval by the instructor, the RHET department, and sometimes even the dean’s office.  However, many requests are not approved, including, but not limited to the following reasons.

  • A student may not drop to avoid the penalty from an academic integrity violation.

  • A student may not drop if he/she has had a registration hold placed on them for formerly postponing RHET 1010, CORE 1010, or RHET 1020.

  • A student may be prevented from dropping if it puts them at risk of not completing their courses in a timely manner.


Can RHET 2220, at 3000 level or 4000 level RHET courses be dropped?



Generally yes, although there are some situations where a drop request may be rejected, (e.g. if the student has committed an academic integrity violation in class). Check with your instructor or the department for clarification.


I’m thinking about dropping my course. What should I do?



  • First, talk with your instructor and see if this is the best option.

  • Second, if after talking with your instructor you want to seek permission to drop, then fill out the drop form. It is important to note that filling out this form does not mean you have dropped the course, it means you are seeking permission to drop the course. You should continue attending classes until you hear that your drop is approved. You must complete and submit the drop form prior to the drop deadline, even though the approval might occur after the deadline.

  • If you fill out the form, and then change your mind, please contact your instructor and the RHET department ASAP asking that the drop request be rejected.

  • If the drop request is approved, the course remains on the student’s transcript and is assigned a grade of “W.” A “W” counts as one of the allowed attempts to complete a RHET or CORE course.


What happens if I miss the drop deadline?



For almost all students, it is simply too late to drop, hence the name deadline. However, if a student has an extraordinary case, they need to speak to the chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Composition, who will review the case, and possibly refer it to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, who may then recommend to the registrar’s office that a late drop be allowed under an exceptional circumstance. (Avoiding a fail is never considered an exceptional circumstance).


Can I drop either RHET 1010 or CORE 1010 and still continue in the other tandemized course?



No. For tandemized RHET 1010 and CORE 1010 sections, if a student is approved for dropping one course, they will automatically be dropped from the other.


Can I be dropped from any RHET/CORE course?



Like with other courses at AUC, failure to pay fees in a timely manner can result in the registrar  dropping you from your courses, including RHET/CORE courses if registered in any.


What happens if I fail only RHET 1010 or CORE 1010, but pass the other tandem course?



This is possible. Each course is given its own grade. If a student has to repeat only one of the courses, then the following semester, they need to register in one of the stand alone (non-tandemized) sections of the course they are repeating.


What happens if I fail both RHET 1010 and CORE 1010?



This is possible. The following semester you will need to register again for these courses, yet you cannot repeat the same theme; thus, you must register in a different theme.


What happens if I fail only CORE 1010, the next semester do I retake CORE 1010 with or without RHET 1020?



Ideally to stay on track with AUC’s Timely Completion Policies, a student should take RHET 1020 even if repeating CORE 1010, this is generally the most beneficial for the student. However, there are some situations where the department may approve postponing RHET 1020 for one semester while the student repeats CORE 1010. You can meet with the department chair or associate chair for further details.


What happens if I fail RHET 1020?



You are expected to attempt it again during your next semester, or a hold will be placed on your registration.  


What happens if I fail RHET 2220, a 3000, or a 4000 level RHET course?



You only need to attempt the course again if your major or minor requires it. If you want to attempt the course again because you want to pass the course or improve your grade, then you have the standard retake or repeat options allowed at AUC.