Academic Standing


At the conclusion of each semester, students failing to make satisfactory progress are reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee of their respective school.  Suffolk University expects students to maintain an overall grade point average of 2.0 and a grade point average of 2.0 in the major field of study, as well as a 2.0 grade point average in the minor. Failure to maintain these degree requirements may result in academic probation or dismissal.  Students are notified in writing of any actions taken by the Academic Standing Committees.  Actions may include the following:

Students who fail to make satisfactory progress towards degree completion, or fail to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 are placed on probation and informed of conditions (to be met in the next semester enrolled) for continued matriculation.

In the semester following the first probationary period:

  • If conditions are met and the cumulative GPA is at least 2.0, then the student is removed from probationary status.
  • If conditions are met and the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0, then the student is placed on a probation extension.
  • If conditions are not met, the student may be dismissed from the University.

Typically, students placed on probation are put on a reduced course load and are instructed to improve their grade point average by the next committee review. Students who are demonstrating academic improvement may have their probation extended until they return to good academic standing. Those failing to demonstrate improvement are in imminent danger of dismissal.

Extracurricular: No student on academic probation shall be eligible to participate in athletics, hold elected or appointed office, or represent the University in extracurricular or intercollegiate activities. However, a student on academic probation may continue membership in extracurricular activities such as clubs or fraternities, and may write for, but not be a member of, the staff of campus publications. In the event a student’s average does not improve, the Academic Standing Committee may require further curtailment of extracurricular activities as a condition of continued academic probation at Suffolk University.

Financial Aid: Academic standing review is an academic process independent of federal guidelines managing access to student aid. It is possible to be allowed to continue at the University academically but be denied financial aid eligibility. ALL students who have financial aid and find themselves in academic difficulty should meet with their financial aid advisor to understand their personal situation.

Students will receive a warning when their overall GPA is above 2.0, but fail to achieve a semester GPA of 2.0; or when they fail to make satisfactory progress towards degree completion.

Students who earn a GPA below 2.0 in their major, even if only one course has been completed, are alerted to minimum GPA requirements and referred to their major for advising. Students with at least two courses in their major and a GPA in their major under 2.0, will be placed on probation for not making progress in their major.  If students do not meet the probationary conditions the following semester they may be removed from their major.

Students who earn excess grades of "I" and/or "W" are sent a warning and may have their records frozen for advising.

Students are sent a warning if any single grade of “F” is earned.

Continued failure to make satisfactory progress toward a degree will inevitably result in dismissal from the University. Low grade point average, unexplained semester absences, refusal to complete prescribed remedial coursework, unwillingness to honor the recommendations of the Academic Standing Committee and/or other specific conditions are but a few of the situations that can undermine satisfactory progress and constitute legitimate grounds for dismissal.

Once dismissed for scholastic failure, a student is ineligible to enroll in further courses at the University until s/he is readmitted by the Academic Standing Committee. Dismissal does not suspend a student’s responsibility to meet prior course commitments. Consequently, all Incomplete “I” grades will convert to “F” grades unless attended to within one academic year.

Returning from Academic Dismissal

Students who have been academically dismissed may apply for readmission after two semesters (summer counts as one semester) by providing the appropriate committee with a written letter of petition. The filing deadline for petitioning is August 1 for fall re-admission and December 1 for spring re-admission. Please address the letter to: "The Academic Standing Committee.”

This letter should contain three main sections:

  1. Address the difficulties you had while you were enrolled at Suffolk University.
  2. Describe what steps you have taken while away from Suffolk University to improve your personal situation (such as academic performance, personal issues, medical conditions, financial hardship). Be sure to attach any supporting documentation (such as transcripts from other institutions, letters from a doctor or current faculty member).
  3. Create an action plan for your return (if reinstated) and describe what you would do to succeed in the future.

Letters should include your personal contact information for mail, email and phone.

If dismissed from the College of Arts & Sciences, send letters to:

Sharon Lenzie, Assistant Dean 
College of Arts & Sciences 
73 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-2770
Phone: 617-573-8268 

If dismissed from the Sawyer Business School, send letters to:

Kim Larkin, Assistant Dean
Undergraduate Programs
Sawyer Business School
73 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-2770
Phone: 617-573-8375

Fresh Start

A student dismissed for academic reasons, who is seeking readmission after an absence of five or more years from the University, may petition the Academic Standing Committee to grant him/her grade amnesty for all grades below C under the Fresh Start Program.

If approved, all Suffolk work completed prior to readmission will be reevaluated for relevance and currency, as all students readmitted under this policy are subject to the academic requirements for graduation at the time of readmission. Only coursework with a C or better earned prior to reinstatement and coursework attempted after reinstatement is calculated into the GPA and applied to the degree.   

Normally, a student readmitted through the Fresh Start Program is not eligible for scholastic honors. All prior grades are used to compute the student’s academic progress for financial aid evaluation.

Returning after Being Administratively Withdrawn for Non-Attendance

Students who have been administratively withdrawn for non-attendance or are attempting to return after an unauthorized absence may apply for reentry to Suffolk through the Office of Undergraduate Admission. If approved, all students readmitted under this policy are subject to the academic requirements for graduation at the time of readmission.

Applicable courses taken eight or more years prior to readmission, whether taken at Suffolk or elsewhere, will be reviewed by the Dean’s Office for relevance and currency. If a course is deemed ineligible, students may be required to complete the current course designed to satisfy that particular academic requirement.

Federal regulations require students to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their educational program in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. SAP is established and reviewed by the Office of Student Financial Services for the College of Arts & Sciences and Sawyer Business School. While it is possible to continue at the University but be denied financial aid eligibility, all students who seek financial aid and find themselves in academic difficulty should meet with their financial aid advisor to understand their personal situation.