At the end of each term the Committee on Academic Standing reviews the records of all students enrolled in the School of General Studies to determine whether academic progress has been achieved. Students who are making satisfactory academic progress are considered to be in good standing, whereas those in academic difficulty are subject to academic discipline. Students ending the term with more than two incompletes are typically not permitted to enroll in the following semester without the explicit permission of the Committee on Academic Standing. Students with one or more incompletes in the spring semester may not enroll in summer session or study abroad. Students who withdraw from a semester after the eleventh week of classes cannot return for the following semester without the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing.
To achieve good standing, undergraduates must make satisfactory academic progress and maintain semester and cumulative grade point averages of 2.0 or higher, have no marks of UW (Unofficial Withdrawal) or AR (Administrative Referral), no unauthorized incompletes, and no failing grades. Students who have multiple withdrawals, who are on probation or are required to withdraw for either academic or disciplinary reasons, are not in good standing. Only students in good standing are eligible to study away from Columbia, study abroad, or hold officer positions within the GS Student Council (see "Failure to Make Academic Progress" below).
Failure to Make Academic Progress
Consequences for failing to make academic progress range from academic warning to dismissal, depending on the degree of academic failure and the recurrence of unsatisfactory progress. Students who are on academic probation, or returning on probation after a leave of absence, are required to complete a probation contract in consultation with their respective GS advisors prior to their next term of enrollment.
Any of the following conditions will prevent Undergraduates within General Studies from making academic progress:
- Failure to complete the American Language Program (ALP) requirements within the required time frame
- Failure to achieve a minimum 2.0 semester grade point average
- Receiving a grade of F
- Failure to make satisfactory academic progress toward the degree (such as having a major or cumulative grade point average below a 2.0, and/or consistently failing to complete a significant portion of attempted credits).
Administrative warnings are issued by the Committee on Academic Standing whenever necessary (e.g., failure to comply with an administrative policy or deadline). Students receive such warnings only once; failure to comply with the warning may lead to more serious consequences (such as registration hold).
Academic warnings are issued by the Committee on Academic Standing whenever necessary (e.g., failure to declare a major before completing 90 credits toward the degree). Students receive such warnings only once; failure to comply with the warning may lead to probation and registration hold.
Academic probation is a serious warning that immediate and significant improvement is required as a second consecutive unsatisfactory semester may lead to suspension or dismissal from the School. Students are placed on probation when any of the following apply: they have not met the conditions of an earlier warning; they have earned a grade of F; they have a term or cumulative GPA below 2.0; they have not successfully completed University Writing after their third completed semester at GS.
A student is removed from probation upon achieving a satisfactory academic record the following term based on at least 6 points taken for a letter grade.
Students with two consecutive unsatisfactory semesters are typically suspended from the School for a period of up to one year. A student may also be suspended after one unsatisfactory semester, especially when more than one condition for academic probation may apply or there is failure to make any academic progress in a given term. A student with multiple unsatisfactory semesters (more than three) or multiple withdrawals (more than three) is subject to a period of suspension. Suspension from the School is also a possible consequence of academic dishonesty.
Students suspended for academic reasons may appeal their suspension to the Dean of the School of General Studies within two weeks of the official suspension notification.
A student who has been required to withdraw from the School must apply for re-enrollment within three years of the suspension. See the Leaves of Absence and Withdrawals page for information on re-enrollment.
A student who has previously been suspended and fails to make any academic progress in a given term, or who has completed two or more terms with a cumulative GPA below 2.0, who fails to fulfill the conditions of probationary status, or who fails to make immediate satisfactory progress upon returning from academic suspension is subject to dismissal from the School. A student may also be summarily dismissed from the School for academic dishonesty. Ties with GS are permanently severed for students who are dismissed from the School.
Students dismissed for academic or disciplinary reasons may appeal their dismissal to the Dean of the School of General Studies within two weeks of the official notification of dismissal.
Premedical Undergraduate Academic Review
Students who have identified themselves as interested in pursuing a premedical track will have their academic performance in premedical coursework reviewed by the Premedical Committee at the end of each term. Students whose grades in premedical coursework indicate academic difficulty will be contacted by their premedical advisors.
Acceptance to medical school and to other health professional schools is extremely competitive. According to national statistics compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges, students admitted to medical school in recent years have a mean grade point average of 3.7 in science courses. For this reason, Postbac Premed students are expected to maintain a competitive GPA and make steady progress in fulfilling the premedical sciences curriculum in the sequence prescribed by the Program.
Policies concerning registration, class attendance, academic progress, adding or dropping courses, grades, incompletes, academic integrity, academic grievances, leaves of absence, withdrawals, and medical leaves are found in the Academic Policies section of the GS website. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with these policies and procedures and to adhere to the requirements, policies, and deadlines published therein. The Postbaccalaureate Premedical Committee on Academic Standing ("the Premedical Committee") considers appeals and reviews petitions from students for incompletes, re-enrollment, and exceptions to Postbac Premed Program policies.
The Premedical Committee conducts an academic review of all students in the Program at the end of each term, including the summer session, and takes appropriate academic action as required. For the purpose of its review, the Premedical Committee generally does not factor in non-science courses, but does include science elective courses. When a course is taken and repeated at Columbia, the Premedical Committee will average together both courses to determine the GPA.
At the end of the fall, spring, and summer terms, the Premedical Committee reviews the academic performance of all students, and either the advisor or a representative of the Committee will reach out to any student experiencing academic difficulty to discuss strategies for greater academic success.
All current students undergo formal academic review each semester after having attempted 15 points of required premedical coursework in the Program. Because students with GPAs below 2.75 in premedical coursework are highly unlikely to gain admission to medical school, students whose cumulative GPA in the Program falls below 2.75 at any point after having attempted 15 points may be dismissed from the Program. A student may also be dismissed from the Program for academic failure or academic dishonesty. Ties with GS are permanently severed with students who are dismissed from the Program. Students may appeal their dismissal to the Dean of the School of General Studies within two weeks of the official notification of dismissal.