Satisfactory Progress

In order to be considered in good academic standing, students must be in compliance with the following policies. 

Continuous Enrollment

Graduate students must register for at least three graduate credits each term (except Summer), unless on-leave status has been approved.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Course Load

  • Full-time enrollment is at least nine graduate credits or three credits of 603 Dissertation for advanced doctoral students.

  • Half-time enrollment is at least five graduate credits.

  • Graduate employees (GE) are required to enroll in a minimum of nine graduate credits.

  • International students should consult with both the Division of Graduate Studies and the Division of Global Engagement for requirements.

Credit Limits and Full-Time Course Load

Time Limit

Master's, doctoral, and certificate students have seven years to complete their degrees/certificates. Details are available at the links below: 

Division of Graduate Studies Satisfactory Progress Requirements:

Note: These satisfactory progress requirements do not apply to JD and LLM students. Please consult with the School of Law for satisfactory progress policies.  

  • GPA: Graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 in graded courses. Individual graduate programs may have higher GPA requirements.  
  • Grades: The accumulation of more than 5 credits of N or F grades, regardless of GPA, is considered unsatisfactory. See Grades and Incompletes for more information. 
  • Incompletes: Accumulation of more than 7 credits of Incomplete is considered unsatisfactory.  
  • Departmental Requirements: Graduate programs may have more stringent requirements than the Graduate School minimums, and/or they may have other criteria, such as research progress, examinations, or other milestones. Any such requirements must be documented within a handbook or other departmental materials.  
  • Student Conduct: Depending on the nature of the violation, the Division of Graduate Studies will also consider violations of the Student Conduct Code when determining whether a student is in good standing. 
  • Financial Aid Requirements: There is an additional set of satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid recipients. Learn more here 

Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

If a student is found to not be meeting satisfactory progress requirements, either through a departmental review process or by the Division of Graduate Studies, they will be placed in one of the following categories:  

No Action 

  • No action is required but the student may receive a reminder of satisfactory progress requirements in the following cases:
    • the student's cumulative GPA is close to the minimum (i.e., 3.0-3.1), and their most recent term GPA is below 3.0, or
    • the student has accumulated between 1 and 5 credits of N or F grades
    • the student has accumulated between 1 and 7 credits of Incompletes

Academic Warning 

  • Students will be placed on academic warning when their cumulative GPA has dropped slightly below 3.0 or they have other academic deficiencies and the department does not yet feel it is warranted to place the student on probation. 
  • When the Division of Graduate Studies finds that a student’s GPA is below 3.0, they will consult with the student’s department before determining whether a student should be placed on warning or probation status. 
  • The department must notify the student and the Division of the deficiencies that have led to the academic warning and outline the requirement(s) for moving out of warning status.  
  • Academic warning status is not meant to be a persistent designation for a student, and if improvement is not made, the student should be placed on probation. 
  • Academic warning status will not be noted on the student’s transcript.  

Academic Probation 

  • Students will be placed on academic probation when:  
    • The student’s cumulative GPA drops significantly below 3.0; or 
    • The student has failed to correct the deficiencies that caused the academic warning action within the time limit specified by the graduate program; or 
    • The student accumulates more than 5 credits of F or N; or 
    • The student accumulates more than 7 credits of Incompletes; or 
    • The student has failed to meet other departmental satisfactory progress requirements. 
  • A student on probation will be required to create an academic improvement plan in consultation with their advisor and/or Director of Graduate Studies.  
  • The student’s registration for future terms may be blocked until the Division of Graduate Studies receives a copy of the plan.  
  • Probation status will be removed once the student’s GPA reaches 3.0 or higher, or once the student has corrected other deficiencies that caused the probation action.  
  • Typically a student may be on probation for a maximum of two consecutive quarters before being dismissed. Exceptions will be considered in unusual circumstances at the request of the student’s graduate program.  
  • Either the Division of Graduate Studies or the student’s graduate program may place a student on academic probation. Before placing a student on probation, the Division will consult with the graduate program.  
  • Probation status will not be noted on the student’s transcript.  


  • A graduate program may recommend that a student be dismissed from their program after at least one quarter of probation.  
  • A graduate program may also recommend that a student be dismissed without probation if the student fails a required milestone exam and all permitted retakes. Exam policies must be documented in a departmental graduate handbook or equivalent.  
  • A graduate program may also recommend that a student be dismissed without probation if the student’s actions have led to ineligibility to complete all requirements for the degree. For example, a student may be dismissed if they become ineligible to complete practicum or licensure requirements that are required for the degree.  
  • Other exceptions to the requirement that students be on probation for at least one quarter before departments recommend dismissal will be considered by the Division of Graduate Studies in extenuating circumstances. Departments must contact the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies to request and explain the grounds of such dismissals. 
  • The dismissal recommendation to the Division of Graduate Studies may come from the Department Head of the student’s home department or the Dean (or Dean’s designee) of the student’s School or College.  
  • Final dismissal decisions are made by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies.  


A student may appeal a dismissal by filing a formal written appeal to the Division of Graduate Studies within 30 days of receiving notice of the disqualification. Formal appeals filed by students under this policy shall include at least the following information: 

 (A) The approximate date and nature of the events that lead to the dismissal and filing of the appeal; 

 (B) All the relevant facts the student knows that support the appeal, including any stated policies or procedures that the student believes to have been violated; 

 (C) The outcome the student is seeking to resolve the situation.  

Appeals may be emailed to The appeal will be reviewed by the Graduate Council grievance committee, who will make a recommendation to the Provost. The Provost or Provost's designee will render a decision, in writing, within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.