What’s the deal with census dates?

Carla is a third year BSc student studying geology and completing a Dip Lang in Spanish. She enjoys reading outdoors, and some of her passions include soccer, hiking and photography.

Navigating the University website and remembering all the key dates and deadlines for the year can be overwhelming. So I have put together a handy step by step guide to help you understand some of the terminology that is often used. Whether you are a first year student who has no idea what a ‘census date’ is, or you just relate to this cat on a spiritual level, this article is for you!


So what is a census date?

It is basically the last day that you can withdraw from a subject without paying its fees.

You will need to have a look for the census date for each of your subjects. Just head over to my.unimelb, and find the ‘Student Admin’ box on the right side of the page.


Click on ‘My admin’ and then go to ‘my enrolment’ (this will appear on the right-hand side of the page).



Then click on the first option:


What about subject withdrawal?  

Do I have to enrol in another subject if I drop out of one? What if it’s Week 4 and I won’t be able to catch up?

Don’t stress! Enrolling in another subject in the same semester is entirely your choice. Just keep in mind that you have to have a certain amount of credit points at the end of your degree. You could even do a fun summer subject to make up for the one you withdrew from.


So how exactly do you do all of this?

Follow the same process you used to check your census date, except now you want to click on ‘withdraw from subjects’.withdrawIf you click on the red box, you will be taken to a page with all of your subjects that looks something like this:


Here you can easily withdraw from a subject by selecting it in the left hand side box. The census dates are in the far right column!

How easy was that?! Don’t feel pressured to stay in a subject that you are finding too difficult or not enjoying. Students withdraw from subjects all the time, so keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to do so!


– Carla


This post was originally published in 2016, but has been updated for 2017 by Bella (editor).


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