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Academic Standing

Students’ academic standing can be classified in four ways: good, satisfactory, warning, or termination. Each program’s director of graduate study is required to maintain an updated and comprehensive census of the status of each student in his/her graduate program. Since TA or RA assignments form part of a student’s professional training, performance in those areas can also affect academic standing (see Student Support and Financial Aid).

DGSs are also required to update students on a regular basis regarding their academic status; requirements for the scheduling of these notifications are below.

  • Students in good standing are making both good and timely academic progress. No more than one incomplete can be carried on a student record in good standing.
  • Satisfactory standing indicates that a student has encountered difficulties of some kind – inadequate performance or slow progress in coursework, research, writing, etc. Two or more incompletes will, at minimum, result in a shift from good to satisfactory standing. This status level has no immediate impact on funding. If the concerns impacting a student’s status are not resolved, the student will move on to warning status.
  • Warning status signals chronic or severe problems. Students on warning must be given a written notice of their deficiencies and the consequences of those deficiencies. Students must also receive clear, written instructions of the steps to be taken (if possible) to regain good or satisfactory standing, and date-specific deadlines (typically one semester) for recovery. Such notice must come at the end of every semester that a student is on warning status. If the deficiencies are not resolved by the specified deadline, the student on warning moves to termination. Although warning could lead to an immediate removal of funding depending on the severity of the problem, the student will typically continue to receive funding in a probationary state during the specified time period.
  • Termination status signals severe and irrevocable problems.Termination indicates an immediate removal of matriculant/enrollment status, as well as all forms of financial support.

Deadlines for Evaluation and Notification

Enrolled students in good or satisfactory standing must receive an evaluation of their standing in the program at least once every academic year. First-year students and those on warning status must receive an evaluation at least once every semester. All students should also receive written notification immediately following the successful completion of each academic milestone in their program.

To terminate a student for the following academic year sufficient notice must be given. Please refer to the "Deadlines for Evaluation and Notification" section of the Graduate School Handbook  for specific dates and deadlines.

We recognize that each program needs to coordinate the timing of students’ evaluations with relevant decision points within their program, such as first-year project defenses, language exams, and qualifying exams. The deadlines listed in the Graduate School Handbook represent the latest possible dates that key notifications and benchmark evaluations can occur.

Depending on the severity of the problem, a student may be placed immediately on warning or termination status. In cases of extreme non-performance, a student can be terminated at the end of the current semester, but only with a special petition to the Dean of the Graduate School. In all cases of unsatisfactory performance, attention should be given to the particular difficulties being faced by the student. The Associate Dean for Student Life is available to provide advice in these situations. Often, a leave of absence may be the best course of action.

Evaluation of Students with TA or RA Appointments Outside of their Home Program

Students who have a TA or RA appointment in a program outside of their home program should also receive an evaluation of their performance at the end of each academic semester by the course instructor or research supervisor. A copy of the evaluation should be provided to the student and to the DGS in the student’s home program. The DGS in the student’s home program should review the report with the student and use it in the program’s annual evaluation of the student.

Implications of Academic Standing for Financial Aid

To maintain repayment-deferral status for student loans, students must be enrolled and in good or satisfactory standing. The Graduate School must be informed in writing of all changes in status, particularly in cases where a student’s aid is terminated. Failure to do so will result in charges being applied to the program.