Academic Standing

A 2.00 minimum cumulative grade point average for undergraduates and graduates, or a 3.00 minimum cumulative grade point average for graduate degree candidates, is required to maintain “good academic standing.” The Academic Standards Committee reviews the record of each student not meeting the minimum standards. Non-matriculated students are subject to the same policies.

Academic sanctions are determined based on a student’s grade point average and total quality points. Each letter grade is assigned a point value as described in the section titled “Grade Information and Policy.” Quality points are the product of the value of the grade multiplied by the unit value of the course. Because most of the University’s graded courses are 1.00 unit, the quality point and grade points for most academic courses is the same. For example, a “C” grade is worth 2.00 grade points and, when assigned to a 1.00-unit course, generates 2.00 quality points. However, a “C” grade assigned to a .50-unit course generates 1.00 quality point. In terms of grade point average, a student taking 4.00 graded units needs a total of 8.00 quality points in order to have grade point average of 2.00.

NEW UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
New students entering Puget Sound with freshman, transfer, or non-matriculated status who earn a grade point average below 2.00 for their first semester at Puget Sound will be placed on Academic Probation or will receive Academic Dismissal as described below:

Academic Probation
If the grade point average for a new student is between 1.00 and 1.99, then the student is placed on Academic Probation.

Academic Dismissal
If the grade point average for a new student is below 1.00, then the student is dismissed for one semester.  The student may petition the Committee for readmission at the end of the dismissal period provided the student can present a reasonable plan for academic improvement.  The student also has the option to petition for immediate readmission and the Committee expects such a student to present a compelling argument and a compelling plan for academic improvement.  The guidelines for submitting a readmission petition are provided to a student upon notification of dismissal.

 

CONTINUING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
After new freshman, transfer or non-matriculated students complete their first semester of attendance, they are categorized as continuing students in term of this policy on academic standing.  Continuing undergraduate students are subject to the sanctions of Academic Warning, Academic Suspension, Academic Probation, or Academic Dismissal as described below.

Academic Warning
A student whose cumulative grade point average is 2.00 or higher but whose term average is below 2.00 by one or more quality points may receive an academic warning letter. Academic warning is not recorded on the student’s academic transcript.

Example: Consider a hypothetical student who finishes three semesters with a cumulative GPA of 2.33. Because the cumulative GPA is above 2.00, the student is technically in good academic standing. But in the third semester the student earns three “C” grades and one “D” grade, yielding a total of 7.00 quality points (2.00 + 2.00 + 2.00 + 1.00 = 7.00). The student’s semester GPA is 1.75, the quotient of 7.00 quality points divided by 4.00 graded units. Because the student needed to earn 8.00 quality points in order to have a semester GPA of 2.00, the student’s GPA is deficient by 1.00 quality point and the student is subject to an Academic Warning from the Academic Standards Committee.

When placed on academic warning, a student is expected to develop a plan for academic improvement with a counselor from the Academic Advising Office or with the student’s academic advisor. Compliance with this plan will be considered by the Academic Standards Committee in deciding whether to continue a student who is placed on academic warning for a second term (and is therefore eligible for suspension).

Academic Suspension
A student subject to academic warning for two consecutive terms may be  suspended by the Academic Standards Committee for the next term. If the cumulative grade point average for a student who is subject to suspension drops below 2.00, then that student is also subject to the provisions outlined under “Academic Probation.” The student may petition the Academic Standards Committee for reinstatement at the end of the suspension period provided the student can present a reasonable plan for academic improvement. The student also has the option to petition for immediate reinstatement and the Committee expects such a student to present a compelling argument and a compelling plan for academic improvement. The guidelines for submitting a reinstatement petition are provided to a student upon notification of suspension. Academic suspension is not recorded on the student’s academic transcript.

Example: Consider again the hypothetical student who received an academic warning letter following the third semester. At the end of the fourth semester, the student has a cumulative GPA of 2.16, so that the student is still in good academic standing. However, the fourth semester grades were: “B,” “C,” “C-,” and “F.” The student has earned 6.67 more quality points (3.00 + 2.00 + 1.67 + 0.00) = 6.67) so the student’s semester GPA is 1.67, the quotient of 6.67 quality points divided by 4.00 graded units. Because the student needed to earn 8.00 quality points to have a 2.00 term GPA, the student’s GPA is deficient by 1.33 quality points (8.00 - 6.67). Because the student’s term GPA is below 2.00 by 1.00 or more quality points for a second consecutive semester, the student is academically suspended for one semester.

Academic Probation
A student whose cumulative grade point average is below 2.00 for the first term by any number of quality points is placed on academic probation. A student whose cumulative grade point average is below 2.00 by less than one quality point in subsequent consecutive terms is continued on academic probation.

Example: Consider another hypothetical student who begins the sophomore year in good standing with a GPA of 2.13, being the grade point average obtained by dividing 17.01 quality points by the 8.00 graded units the student took the freshman year. The 17.01 quality points come from these grades the student earned the freshman year:

Grade Graded Units Quality Points
B 1.00 3.00
B- 1.00 2.67
C+ 1.00 2.33
C 1.00 2.00
C 1.00 2.00
C- 1.00 1.67
C- 1.00 1.67
C- 1.00 1.67
Total 8.00 17.01

 

The student’s grade point average is 2.13, the quotient of 17.01 quality points divided by 8.00 graded units.

In the first semester of the sophomore year, the student takes 4.00 units and receives the following grades: “C,” “C-,” “D,” and “F.” These grades yield another 4.67 quality points (2.00 + 1.67 + 1.00 + 0.00) so the student has a total of 17.01 + 4.67 = 21.68 quality points. The cumulative grade point average is 1.81, the quotient of 21.68 quality points divided by 12.00 graded units. Because the student’s cumulative grade point average is below 2.00, the student is placed on academic probation.

When placed on academic probation, a student is expected to develop a plan for academic improvement with an advisor from the Academic Advising Office or with the student’s academic advisor. Compliance with this plan will be considered by the Academic Standards Committee in deciding whether to continue the student who remains on probation for a second term.

Academic Dismissal
A student whose cumulative grade point average remains below 2.00 by 1.00 or more quality points the second consecutive term may be dismissed from the University by the Academic Standards Committee.

  1. If the quality point deficiency is from 1.00 to 2.99, the student is dismissed for one semester. The student may petition the Committee for readmission at the end of the dismissal period provided the student can present a reasonable plan for academic improvement. The student also has the option to petition for immediate readmission and the Committee expects such a student to present a compelling argument and a compelling plan for academic improvement. The guidelines for submitting a readmission petition are provided to a student upon notification of dismissal.
  2. If the quality point deficiency is 3.00 or more, the student is dismissed for one year. The student may petition the Committee for readmission at the end of the dismissal period provided the student can present a reasonable plan for academic improvement. The student also has the option to petition for early readmission after only 1 semester away and the Committee expects such a student to present a compelling argument and a compelling plan for academic improvement. The guidelines for submitting a readmission petition are provided to a student upon notification of dismissal.

Example: Assume that this hypothetical student who went on academic probation with a cumulative grade point average of 1.81 earns the following four grades during the second semester of the sophomore year: C, C-, D, and D. The student earned an additional 5.67 quality points (2.00 + 1.67 + 1.00 + 1.00 = 5.67) so, when added to the 21.68 quality points from the previous three semesters, the student has a total of 27.35 quality points. Dividing the 27.35 quality points by the total of 16.00 graded units earned as a freshman and sophomore yields a cumulative grade point average of 1.71.

The student’s cumulative grade point average is below 2.00 for a second consecutive semester and the student is academically dismissed. Whether the student is dismissed for one semester or one year depends on how many quality points the student’s cumulative grade point average is deficient. In order to have a 2.00 grade average a student with 16.00 graded units would need 32.00 quality points (16.00 x 2.00 = 32.00) and this student has only 27.35 quality points. The student’s grade average is therefore deficient by 4.65 quality points (32.00 - 27.35), and the student is dismissed for one year.

As the examples illustrate, quality points, in addition to the grade point average, are a useful measure of a student’s academic difficulty. Therefore, a student who needs to compensate for a deficiency of quality points may do so either by earning new grades of at least C+ or by repeating, for higher grades, courses with low grades.

Academic Expulsion
A new or continuing student may be dismissed and precluded from ever returning to the University. Expulsion is the most severe sanction available to a Hearing Board or to the Academic Standards Committee and may be levied, for example, in response to a severe case of academic dishonesty.