At the end of each term, the records of all students enrolled in GS are reviewed to confirm that students are making satisfactory academic progress. Students who have met the stated academic standards are considered to be in good standing, while students who are not able to meet the criteria will receive an academic sanction.
Policies concerning registration, academic progress, adding or dropping courses, grades, incompletes, 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 GS Committee on Academic Standing considers appeals and reviews petitions from students for incompletes, re-enrollment, and exceptions to School policies. For more information, a student can contact their academic advisor.
Good 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. Additional requirements for good standing are detailed under "Academic Standards." Students who have multiple withdrawals, who are on probation, or who 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 difficulty and the recurrence of unsatisfactory progress.
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 recognition that prompt and significant change is needed to ensure long-term academic success. Students on probation are able to remain enrolled in classes but are considered outside of good academic standing. Academic probation is noted on a student's record for internal use only, and is not noted on transcripts. 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.
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 GS advisors prior to their next term of enrollment. As part of the contract, the student and advisor will identify strategies and resources to support the student in returning to good academic standing.
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. A second consecutive semester in which a student is unable to meet the requirements for good academic standing may result in further sanctions.
A student on Academic Probation who makes satisfactory progress in a term that includes fewer than 6 letter graded points may be placed on Continued Probation. This means that the Probation has neither been removed nor elevated to a higher sanction.
Academic suspension is a temporary separation from the University resulting from a loss of good academic standing, which is noted on students' transcripts. Students with two consecutive semesters outside of good standing 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) may also be 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, 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") 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. There are no categories of probation comparable to those for undergraduates. 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.