Academic Standing

Minimum Cumulative Program Degree GPA

All CCAS graduate students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of (GPA) of 3.0 (B) in all coursework taken following admission to a CCAS graduate program. (Some programs require a higher cumulative GPA; please refer to the University Bulletin for the minimum GPA requirement for your program).

Deficiency and prerequisite courses (if required) are not included in calculating your cumulative program GPA, even though they may appear on your graduate transcript. These courses also do not count toward the credits required for your graduate degree/certificate. Failure to maintain the minimum cumulative GPA may result in academic probation or termination from your graduate program.

Maintaining satisfactory academic standing is separate from the Student Financial Assistance Office's satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy. SAP is required for all students who receive a federal loan. The SAP policy refers to your ability to access federal loans only and should not be confused with the academic policy.  


Probation and Academic Dismissal

If you do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA required by your program, you may be placed on academic probation or dismissed from your program. While you are on probation, limits may be placed on the number of credits you may take, and you will no longer be able to receive any failing or incomplete grades. The Office of Graduate Studies will inform you of the conditions attached to your probationary period. A second consecutive semester of probation will be approved only in very exceptional circumstances. 

Your cumulative program GPA will be reviewed after your probationary period. If you have not met the conditions of your probation and increased your cumulative GPA to at least a 3.0, or as specified in your terms of probation, you may be dismissed from your program. If you have met the requirements of your probation, you will either be reinstated to good academic standing or remain on extended probation, depending on your individual circumstance and registration.

A student who has a cumulative GPA below 3.0 and who does not have enough credits remaining in their program to attain the required 3.0 cumulative GPA will be dismissed.

Once you have completed all required, graded coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, you must continue to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of all remaining degree requirements (as defined by your program’s graduate handbook) in order to remain in good academic standing. If you fail to make satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of your degree, your program may recommend that you be placed on academic probation, and you may be dismissed from your program if you fail to meet the terms of this probation. The Office of Graduate Studies will inform you of the conditions attached to your probationary period; a second consecutive semester of probation will be approved only in very exceptional circumstances. (As outlined below, graduate programs also have the option of placing students on academic warning when they fail to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements. Programs may recommend the sanction they feel is more appropriate—academic warning or academic probation; the former does not have to precede the latter.)

If you have any questions regarding your academic standing, please email [email protected].


Academic Standing Notation on Transcript

Your GW transcript indicates your academic standing for each semester. If you maintain the minimum required cumulative GPA, your transcript will indicate Good Standing. If you are placed on academic probation, your standing will change to Probation. If you are dismissed, your standing will change to Academic Dismissal.

Academic Warning Status

To help graduate programs intervene more quickly and assist students who are not on academic probation but whose academic progress has raised concerns about their ability to complete degree requirements, the Office of Graduate Studies has instituted an “Academic Warning” system. Students will be placed on academic warning:

  • if a single Incomplete is received within the first nine credits of the degree;
  • if two or more Incompletes are on the transcript at any given time; or
  • if a grade of C, C-, or F is received but the cumulative GPA is above the minimum required to remain in good academic standing in the program.

Graduate programs may also recommend that students be placed on academic warning if they have completed all required, graded coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher but are no longer making satisfactory progress (as defined by the program’s graduate handbook) toward the completion of their remaining degree requirements. (As outlined above, graduate programs also have the option of placing students on academic probation when they fail to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements. Programs may recommend the sanction they feel is more appropriate—academic warning or academic probation; the former does not have to precede the latter.)

If you are placed on academic warning, you will receive an email from the Office of Graduate Studies and will be encouraged to address any ongoing academic issues. Please note that academic warning will NOT place any restrictions on enrollment and there will be NO changes in academic standing on your transcript.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In order to qualify for federal financial assistance, federal regulations and University institutional policy require a specified level of academic achievement and the completion of a set number of credits within a given time frame. These criteria make up the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The full SAP policy is available through the Office of Student Financial Assistance. This financial assistance policy does not replace CCAS and departmental policies pertaining to academic standing and/or degree progression.  

Students must meet minimum standards after each period in which they are enrolled (fall, spring and summer semesters) in order to receive federal financial assistance. The minimum standards include:

  • Semester and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. All graduate students must attain a 3.0 for each semester of enrollment as well as cumulatively.
  • Pass and earn 67% of attempted hours. For example, a full-time student registered for 9 credits must pass 6. Grades of F, the symbols W, Z, and I (even if a grade is subsequently earned), and missing grades all count towards a student’s attempted credits.
  • Attain degree within 150% of published length of the program. Graduate certificate programs must be completed within 9 semesters of enrollment. Master’s programs must be completed within 12 semesters of enrollment. Doctoral programs must be completed within 24 semesters of enrollment.