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Satisfactory Progress


The academic standards for graduate student employment eligibility are separate from the standards for satisfactory academic progress. The information below has been extracted from the Graduate Policies & Procedures Handbook and the Graduate Division website, and is provided for your convenience.


  1. Your graduate group might have additional requirements — check your graduate program policies.
  2. It is your responsibility to determine which requirements, procedures and deadlines apply to you.

Unsatisfactory Progress

A graduate student who has not demonstrated satisfactory academic progress is not eligible for any academic appointment/employment and may not receive fellowship support or other awards.

a. Criteria for Determining Unsatisfactory Progress

  • A cumulative grade point average below 3.0; or
  • A grade point average below 3.0 in two successive semesters; or
  • Fewer than 8 units completed and applicable toward the advanced degree requirements in the last two semesters; or
  • Failure to establish a GPA prior to the beginning of the third semester because all courses have been taken for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades; or
  • Failure to satisfactorily complete required courses or examinations within the period specified by the graduate program; or
  • Failure to pass a required examination in two attempts; or
  • Failure to progress academically within the Normal Time to Degree framework specified for the student’s graduate program; or
  • The appropriate faculty committee's evaluation that there has not been satisfactory progress toward completion of the thesis or dissertation.

Note: Unsatisfactory academic progress may be determined on the basis of explicit requirements such as those outlined above. However, professional judgment of the faculty, upon review of all graduate work undertaken by the student, is paramount, and the faculty of a particular Graduate Group may establish more restrictive criteria or additional requirements and standards for satisfactory academic progress, as identified in their Policies and Procedures.

b. Notice of Unsatisfactory Progress

It is very important to keep students apprised of their progress in their degree program. Faculty Advisors should be direct in communicating orally and in writing with students demonstrating academic difficulties, and should keep a written record of all such communications.

Notices of Unsatisfactory Progress should be sent in writing and/or via University electronic mail to the student; a copy should also be retained in the Graduate Group files and another copy sent to the Graduate Dean. The notice should include specific details of areas that require improvement, provide an outline for future expectations of academic progress, and set meeting dates to maintain continuity in advisement.

The purpose of the Notice of Unsatisfactory Progress (commonly known as academic probation), is to provide the student with a period of time (usually at least one academic semester) in which to make the necessary improvement in his/her academic status, and successfully complete their graduate study. If requested by the Graduate Group to do so, the Graduate Dean will also send a Notice of Unsatisfactory Progress to the student.