Academic Standing & Re-entry Policies

Federal regulations require students to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to qualify for any form of financial assistance (grants, scholarships, loans, or employment). Satisfactory progress is evaluated at the end of each academic term by Student Financial Services independently of the Academic Standing Committee of each school. Please refer to the Graduate SAP policy for academic progress requirements.

Graduate students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

SBS Academic Standards

Graduate students (degree or certificate) in the Sawyer Business School are expected to earn at least a “B” (3.0) in all courses attempted. Failure to maintain this average can lead to academic dismissal. Students must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 at the completion of each semester as well as to graduate. "A," "A –," "B+," and "B" represent satisfactory work. "B-", "C+", and "C", represent passing but unsatisfactory work. There is no grade below a “C” that is a passing grade in graduate school. It is the student's responsibility to monitor his/her academic progress. Formal guidelines for academic performance and consequent actions are as follows:

Warning
  1. Issued when a student's semester GPA falls below 3.0 for the second consecutive semester with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  2. Issued when a student receives an “F” grade in an elective course with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  3. Issued when a student receives a 2nd Incomplete grade (I)
Probation
  1. Issued when a student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.0
  2. Issued when a student receives an “F” grade in a required course with a with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  3. Issued when a student receives a second “F” grade in an elective course with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  4. Issued when a student has three (3) or more “I” grades; student will be blocked from registration for the next semester and continuously until achieves two or less “I” grades within the timeframe of the agreed upon “I” grade deadline; grades must be passing grades in each course to progress in program
Extended Probation

Issued on a case by case basis for serious extenuating circumstances for a student who demonstrates strong progress toward regaining good academic standing.

Steps for granting Extended Probation
  1. Student must meet with the program director and provide documentation outlining extenuating circumstances.
  2. Program director must forward the student’s documentation and provide a letter of support as well as an agreed upon plan of action to the dean of graduate programs. 
Dismissal
  • May be issued when a student receives a 2nd “F” grade in a required course
  • May be issued when a student receives a second “F” grade in an elective course with a cumulative GPA below 3.0
  • May be issued when a student does not meet the conditions of his/her probation in the semester following the probationary term

Once a student is dismissed from Suffolk University, s/he is no longer considered a Suffolk University student. A student dismissed from any dual degree program is dismissed from all programs that constitute the dual degree. Dismissals are recorded on the student transcript. A student seeking re-admission to a single Sawyer Business School program must complete a new application for admission and provide supporting documentation required for admission consideration. Students will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Applying to Return to the University

Appeal for Readmission
A student may appeal for readmission to the program from which they were dismissed by taking the following steps:
  1. Student must petition the Program Director, in writing, requesting readmission within 14 days of receiving the dismissal letter. The petition letter should include personal contact information, including the former Suffolk University ID. The letter should address any difficulties or extenuating circumstances they experienced while enrolled in their degree program that resulted in the academic performance leading to their dismissal.
  2. Student must meet with the Program Director and provide documentation outlining any such extenuating circumstances, e.g., transcripts from other institutions, letters from a current faculty member, etc.
  3. Program Director must forward the student’s documentation and provide a letter of support as well as an agreed upon action plan to the Dean of Graduate Programs: 
    Michael Behnam, Ph.D.
    Dean of Graduate Programs
    Sawyer Business School
    120 Tremont Street
    Boston, MA 02108-2770

The student will be notified of the decision in writing by the SBS Dean of Graduate Programs.

  • If readmission is denied, the student is dismissed without any opportunity to appeal for readmission to the Program
  • If readmission is granted, the student's progress will be closely monitored by the Program Director. If satisfactory progress is not achieved as defined in the agreed-upon action plan, the student will be dismissed with no opportunity for readmission to the Program.

Students who are dismissed for academic dishonesty will not be allowed to apply for readmission.

For more information, please call the Sawyer Business School Graduate Programs Dean’s Office at 617-573-8088.

Attention International Students: If your appeal is successful and you are readmitted, bring a copy of your readmission letter to the International Student Services Office located on the 9th Floor of 73 Tremont Street, 617-573-8154, if you are on a visa or I-20. This re-admittance is academic and does not ensure that the university will be able to reinstate you through immigration.

Policy for students seeking re-entry since their last enrollment

A student previously enrolled in a Sawyer Business School graduate degree program who has not been officially enrolled for two or more semesters (fall/spring) or who did not comply with the terms of an applied leave of absence must apply for readmission and meet the following criteria to be considered for re-entry:

  1. A student seeking re-entry 5 or less years since their last enrollment:
    1. Submit a Re-Entry Form and resume to the Office of Graduate Admission.
    2. If the student is in good academic standing, with no outstanding payment issues, the Office of Graduate Admission will issue official Re-Entry Admission letter.
    3. Students will be subject to the academic requirements for the degree at the time of readmission and readmitted under the current catalog year.
    4. All review of prior coursework and academic performance will be handled on a case by case basis for relevance and current following current waiver and transfer policies.
  2. A student seeking re-entry with more than 5 years and less than 7 years since their last enrollment:
  3. A student seeking re-entry with 7 or more years since their last enrollment:
  4. All re-entry applicants to the Executive MBA shall do the following:
    1. Submit a Re-Entry Form and resume to the Office of Graduate Admission.
    2. The Office of Graduate Admission will send these documents to the Executive MBA Academic director.
    3. The Academic director will make the admit decision based on the following:
  5. Re-entry due to Military Service

At the conclusion of each semester, the Graduate Academic Standing Committee reviews the records of graduate students failing to make satisfactory academic progress. The Committee may choose to take one of the following actions, or may take other actions specific to the noted deficiency in the student file. Written notification of all actions taken by the Committee is communicated to the student in a timely fashion.

Academic Warning:

  • Two or more grades of I or W in a given semester, or
  • Any grade below B, with a cumulative GPA above 3.0

Probation:

  • A semester GPA below 3.0, or
  • A cumulative GPA below 3.0 for the first time

Note: Students are placed on probation with specific conditions to be met in the subsequent semester.

Dismissal:

  • A cumulative GPA below 3.0 for any two semesters, or
  • Violation of professional or ethical standards, or
  • Failure to make satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree, or
  • Failure to meet the conditions of probation

A student dismissed from any dual degree program is dismissed from all programs that constitute the dual degree. Dismissals are recorded on the student transcript.

A student may appeal any decision in writing to the dean of the college within 30 days of receipt of the notice of action taken by the committee. The dean or designee will then make a final determination at the conclusion of a full investigation. (Please consult the published statements of individual graduate programs for any additional academic guidelines and policies regarding specific program requirements.)

Re-Admission to Suffolk University

Degree requirements for doctoral programs must be completed within eight consecutive years from the matriculation into the doctoral program. Degree requirements for all master's programs are normally completed within five years after the start of graduate work.

A student previously enrolled in a College of Arts & Sciences graduate degree program who has not been officially enrolled for two or more semesters (fall/spring) or who did not comply with the terms of an applied leave of absence must apply for readmission and meet the following criteria to be considered for re-entry:

A student seeking re-entry 5 or less years since their last enrollment:
    • Submit a Re-Entry Form and resume to the Office of Graduate Admission.
    • If the student is in good academic standing, with no outstanding payment issues, the Office of Graduate Admission will issue official Re-Entry Admission letter.
    • Students will be subject to the academic requirements for the degree at the time of readmission and readmitted under the current catalog year.
    • All review of prior coursework and academic performance will be handled on a case by case basis for relevance and currency following current waiver and transfer policies.
    A student seeking re-entry with more than 5 years and less than 7 years since their last enrollment:
    • Submit a Re-Entry Form and resume to the Office of Graduate Admission
    • The graduate program director will make admit decision based on consideration of the earned Suffolk grades in the graduate program to date and a letter explaining why the student left the program and detailing professional activity that supports readmission.
    • If readmitted, students will be subject to the academic requirements for the degree at the time of readmission and readmitted under the current catalog year.
    • All review of prior coursework and academic performance will be handled on a case-by-case basis for relevance and currency following current waiver and transfer policies.
    A student seeking re-entry with 7 or more years since their last enrollment:
    • Must completely re-apply to the program including application for admission, new GRE (if required for standard admission to the program), and all other components of a standard first-time application to the program
    • If admitted, students will be subject to the academic requirements for the degree at the time of readmission and admitted under the current catalog year
    • All review of prior coursework and academic performance will be handled on a case-by-case basis for relevance and currency following current waiver and transfer policies.

    Pass (“P”) / Fail (“F”) Option

    Practica, internships, theses, and designated field experiences are typically taken on a pass/fail basis. Exceptions to this policy are only at the discretion of the respective program directors.

    A Pass (“P”) grade may be applied toward fulfilling degree credits, but will not be applied toward the cumulative grade point average.

    Academic Misconduct

    Suffolk University expects all students to be responsible individuals with high standards of conduct. Students are expected to practice ethical behavior in all learning environments and scenarios, including classrooms and laboratories, internships and practica, and study groups and academic teams. Cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, use of unauthorized electronic devices, self-plagiarism, fabrication or falsification of data, and other types of academic misconduct are treated as serious offenses that initiate a formal process of inquiry, one that may lead to disciplinary sanctions. Some cases of academic misconduct may be reviewed and resolved at the academic departmental level; other more egregious forms of academic misconduct necessitate a full review by the Academic Misconduct Committee (AMC).

    Resolving Incidents of Academic Misconduct

    A faculty member suspecting academic misconduct will contact the student using the Suffolk email address to schedule a meeting and will make all effort to do so within five business days of detecting the incident. During the meeting, the faculty member will present the documentation that led to suspected academic misconduct. If the faculty member reaches the conclusion that academic misconduct has occurred, he or she may impose limited sanctions that are meant to acknowledge the behavior in the context of providing remediation and addressing skill development. These sanctions involve grade reductions to student work that constitutes up to 25% of the course grade (e.g., homework; short papers; quizzes) and frequently include some form of remediation.

    When the suspected academic misconduct involves student work that constitutes more than 25% of the course grade, or if an F grade (0 credit) on the assignment is recommended as a sanction, the faculty member will consult with the department chair (or program director) prior to imposing the sanction. If the faculty member and chair agree on a determination of academic misconduct, the sanction may be imposed.

    If a determination of academic misconduct is made and a sanction is imposed, the faculty member must complete the Academic Misconduct Incident Form (available online) and submit it electronically to the AMC coordinator who will document the incident, along with the written documentation of misconduct, in the AMC internal record. A student may appeal the determination of academic misconduct, but not the sanction, by requesting a hearing before the full AMC. Appeals should be filed with the AMC coordinator within ten business days of receiving the sanction.

    If the suspected academic misconduct involves actions that the faculty member and chair believe warrant an F grade in the course, or if there is disagreement between the faculty member and chair on the appropriate sanction, then the incident must be forwarded directly to the AMC for committee review. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: cheating on exams; group cheating; submitting purchased term papers or term papers with extensive copying or use of external sources without citation; and fabrication or falsification of research data. If the faculty member and chair suspect an incident of this type, they must file an incident report form with the AMC coordinator to initiate a full committee review. The AMC coordinator will schedule a hearing at the next standing meeting of the AMC, generally within ten business days of receipt of the incident form. The faculty member will submit all documentation to the AMC coordinator who will email the student (using Suffolk email) a notice to appear for a hearing. At the hearing, a determination is made by the committee, regardless of whether or not the student is in attendance; imposition of sanctions is made by committee vote. A determination letter is then sent to the student, the faculty member, and the chair.

    A full review by the AMC, as described above, will also occur if multiple incident reports for a single student are detected in the AMC internal record.

    AMC hearings are not open to the public. Therefore, members of the Suffolk University community who are not directly involved in the allegation and friends, parents, partners, siblings, legal counsel, and others are not permitted in the room where the AMC hearing takes place but may wait nearby for support purposes. Formal rules of process, procedure, or evidence such as those applied in civil or criminal courts are not used in the AMC. Members of the AMC will recuse themselves from a case when appropriate. Student conduct that warrants sanctions may result in forfeiture of all Suffolk scholarships, financial aid, or monies paid.

    Sanctions imposed by the AMC may include but are not limited to a reprimand; a remediation plan; a grade of F in a course; probation; and/or dismissal. A sanction grade of F in a course will be factored into the overall grade point average regardless of whether or not the course is successfully repeated. A student found responsible for academic misconduct and sanctioned by the AMC may file one appeal to the provost (or designee) by sending a written letter of appeal within ten business days. (A graduating student must initiate the appeal process no later than three days prior to commencement.) Appeals are considered only if there is additional information not available at the time of the hearing or a procedural error that calls into question the determination of academic misconduct. Students must include a statement of why the additional information should be considered and why it was not presented at the time of the original hearing. The decision of the provost is final.

    Grading Students under Review for Academic Misconduct

    Faculty, department chairs, program directors, and the AMC will work diligently to ensure timely review and closure of cases of academic misconduct. In some cases, however, it may not be possible to reach a determination or impose a sanction prior to the deadline for submitting course grades. In this case, the faculty member will not submit a grade for the student, but will leave the grade field blank. Once a determination has been made, the faculty member will complete a change of grade form, with an explanation of the grade change that includes a brief statement of how the sanction impacted the final course grade.

    Membership of the Academic Misconduct Committee

    The AMC hears cases of alleged academic misconduct involving students in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Sawyer Business School (SBS). The committee consists of two CAS faculty members, appointed by the CAS dean; two SBS faculty members, appointed by the SBS dean; the CAS and SBS assistant deans who convene the Academic Standing Committees in their respective schools; and a non-voting dean from Student Affairs. At the start of the academic year, AMC members elect a committee chair; the chair casts the deciding vote in the case of a tie.

    All full-time CAS and SBS faculty are eligible to serve on the committee with the exception of non-tenured, tenure-track faculty. Associate deans from the two schools may be asked to attend as ex officio members when particular background or expertise is requested by the committee.