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George Mason University
2002-03 University Catalog


Undergraduate Academic Policies

Academic Standing

Academic Period

Academic Period refers to fall semester, spring semester, or summer term. For determining academic standing, including the duration of academic probation and suspension, an academic period is defined as follows:

Each academic period begins on the 15th day following the last scheduled day of final examinations for the previous period. Each academic period ends on the 14th day after the last scheduled day of final examinations.

Example: Assume that the last scheduled day of final exams for a semester is Monday, December 23. That period then ends on Monday, January 6. The next period begins on Tuesday, January 7.

Consecutive Periods of Enrollment

Consecutive academic periods of enrollment are successive periods (semesters or terms) during which the student was enrolled, regardless of whether there were intervening periods during which the student did not enroll.

Good Academic Standing

A student is in good academic standing unless academically dismissed, suspended, or on probation. An academic warning alone does not deprive a student of good academic standing.

Standard of Academic Performance

Undergraduate students perform acceptably during any academic period in which they earn a current grade point average of 2.000 or higher (1.800 for those in the first or second academic period of the freshman year). In computing the grade point average, grades of FA and IN are counted as F, and the grades AB, IP, NC, S and SP are not counted.

Dean's List

Students in degree status who take at least six credits in an academic period and earn a grade point average for that period of 3.500 or higher merit placement on the Dean's List.

Academic Warning

Students receive an academic warning at the end of any academic period in which they fail to attain a grade point average for that period of 2.000 or better (1.800 for those in the first or second academic period of the freshman year). Note that "warning" refers to a below standard, or unacceptable, academic performance in a semester or term. The warning notation on the student's record may be superseded by a stronger notation of probation, suspension or dismissal if it applies.

Academic Probation

Students who receive two warnings during any four consecutive periods of enrollment are on probation during the academic period of enrollment following the second warning, unless suspension criteria apply.

Academic Suspension

Academic suspension results from two situations. First, a student receiving academic warnings in two consecutive periods of enrollment is suspended. In the case of first suspension, the two consecutive periods are extended to three if the student attempted fewer than 12 credits during either of the first two periods. Second, a suspension also results from receiving a second probation.

A student's first academic suspension is for two academic periods, unless it is imposed at the end of the Summer Term, in which case it is for one semester. A second suspension is for one calendar year: two semesters and a Summer Term. A third suspension results in dismissal.

All notations of academic standing are included in a student's permanent record. Course credits earned at other colleges during the period of suspension from the university (for academic or nonacademic reasons) are not accepted for the degree program.

Effect of Suspension on the Re-enrolled Student

A student re-enrolling after suspension is on probation for one academic period of enrollment. A warning received at the end of that semester or term results in continuation of probation but not suspension; however, a student will be dismissed at the end of that period if the dismissal criteria (below) apply. A second consecutive warning immediately after returning from a suspension results in a new suspension.

Academic Dismissal

A third academic suspension results in academic dismissal. An undergraduate is also dismissed at the end of any academic period when all of the following occur:

1. The student has received at least one earlier academic suspension.

2. The work done during the just-completed academic period is unacceptable.

3. The student's cumulative grade point average for all work attempted at the university is below a minimum threshold that depends on the number of cumulative quality credits (QHRS) earned at the university plus credits transferred from other institutions or obtained by testing, as follows:

Credits GPA Credits GPA
0-39 0.000 80-84 1.625
40-44 1.250 85-89 1.647
45-49 1.333 90-94 1.667
50-54 1.400 95-99 1.684
55-59 1.455 100-104 1.700
60-64 1.500 105-109 1.714
65-69 1.538 110-114 1.727
70-74 1.571 115-119 1.739
75-79 1.600 120- 1.750

For example, a student who transfers 30 credits to George Mason from another institution and has earned 40 credits at George Mason (not including courses graded S [Satisfactory]) must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 1.571 on the courses taken at George Mason.

Effect of Academic Standing on Next Semester's Credit Limit

Undergraduate students who earn a GPA of less than 2.000 in any fall or spring semester, and are still eligible to enroll, may register for a maximum of 13 credit hours their following spring or fall semester. All undergraduate students who are returning from suspension in a fall or spring semester may take a maximum of 13 credit hours and must meet with an advisor before registering.

Effect of Academic Standing on Student Activities

Only students in good academic standing are eligible to hold or run for elective or appointive office in any organization or activity associated with the university, or to compete in any athletic or other activity representing the university on either an intercollegiate or club level, or to serve as a working staff member of any student organization.

A student whose eligibility for an activity requires the completion of a semester will have fulfilled that requirement when the student's publicly scheduled exams are over, unless the student's continued eligibility depends on the grades received. In the latter case, the student will not become eligible until the end of the semester as defined for probation and suspension purposes.