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Undergraduate Academic Probation and Disqualification FAQs

Academic Probation
Determining My Academic Status
Getting Help with Probation and Disqualification

Academic Probation

What is academic probation?

Being on academic probation means that a student’s academic performance is below the state minimum required for graduation and that improvement is required. Students are placed on academic probation at the end of the semester when their SDSU grade point average (GPA) and/or cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 (less than a “C” average).

How is academic probation determined?

Academic standing for undergraduates at SDSU is determined by the grade point average a student earns.

What is considered “good standing”?

At the undergraduate level, good academic standing means that the student has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) and an SDSU GPA of 2.0 or higher.

What happens when you are on academic probation?

Students on academic probation must achieve a minimum SDSU grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 each semester or they will be immediately disqualified. If the semester GPA is at least a 2.0 while on academic probation, the student may continue on probation for a maximum of three semesters. Students who, at the end of the third semester, have not raised their SDSU and cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or higher will be academically disqualified.


What is academic disqualification?

Students on academic probation will be disqualified at the end of the fall or spring semesters if they earn less than a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) for any semester while on probation, or if they still have less than a 2.0 GPA in all work completed at the end of their third semester on probation (not including summer).

What happens when you are disqualified?

Students who have been disqualified from SDSU will not be allowed to attend regular SDSU or Open University classes, or classes through the SDSU College of Extended Studies Special Sessions until one year from the date of their disqualification. Students must also reapply for admission to SDSU and gain acceptance before resuming enrollment in regular SDSU classes after that one year.

After being disqualified, how can I be readmitted to SDSU?

Disqualified students must reapply to SDSU. You must meet the admission criteria that exist at the time you reapply in order to be considered for readmission. Readmission is not automatic and is not guaranteed.

Determining My Academic Status

How can I determine my academic status?

To determine your academic status, you should refer to your transcript and calculate your grade point average (GPA). Every semester you are on probation, you must have a minimum 2.0 semester GPA (“C” average) in SDSU coursework or you will be disqualified.

How do I calculate my GPA?

To calculate your grade point average (GPA), divide your total grade points by your total number of units attempted. Units earned with a “Cr” (Credit) grade are not included in the computation. A grade of “I” (Incomplete authorized) is not counted in the GPA computation until one calendar year has expired, at which point it will be charged as an “IC” (Incomplete charged) and count as an “F” in the calculation. Summer term and Open University courses are included in the SDSU GPA. Extension courses are calculated only in the cumulative GPA.

Referring to your transcript, use this formula:

GPA = Total Grade Points / Total Units Attempted

How do I calculate grade points?

For every course unit, you receive grade points based on the grade you earned. SDSU offers a plus/minus grading system, but not all instructors use it.

Grade Points Per Unit Grade Points Per Unit
D +
A -
B +
D -
B -
C + 2.3 I 0
C 2.0 IC 0
C - 1.7    

To calculate your grade points, multiply the number of course units by the number of grade points for the grade you earned. Referring to the chart above and your transcript, use this formula:

Number of Course Units X Number of Grade Points

Example: If you earned a B+ in a 3-unit class, your grade point total for that class would be:

3 units X 3.3 grade points/unit = 9.9 grade points

Getting Help with Probation and Disqualification

How do I get off academic probation?

Course forgiveness is the most effective and efficient way to get off academic probation.

What is course forgiveness?

Course forgiveness allows you to re-take a class and “forgive” the first grade. Course forgiveness can only be used on original grades of “C-“ or lower. The courses must be the exact same course and must be repeated at SDSU. The original grade remains on your transcript, but does not get calculated into your grade point average. The second grade replaces (forgives) the original grade. Course forgiveness is not automatic; you must apply through the Office of the Registrar. See the course forgiveness section of this Web site for more information.

How many courses can I take with course forgiveness?

You may request a maximum of 16 units for course forgiveness as part of the 28-unit course repeat limit. Note that you can repeat the same course only once for course forgiveness, and no more than one course used for course forgiveness may be an upper division course.

What if I earn a lower grade using course forgiveness?

The second grade you earn in the course counts, even if it is lower than your original grade.

How does being on academic probation affect my impacted major?

Getting off academic probation does not mean that you will be admitted to an impacted major. For most impacted majors, students must complete a specified set of lower division courses and have a certain grade point average. Requirements for admission to impacted majors are subject to change each year. Contact the department of your major for specific requirements.

How can I get good grades?

Here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Go to class.
  • When in class, participate and ask questions.
  • Limit your class and workload total.
  • Plan to study at least 3 to 4 hours each week for every unit of class.
  • Attend Bounce Back.
  • Visit your instructor during office hours to get answers when you don’t understand assignments or information.
  • Join or form a study group.

What resources are available to help me if I’m on academic probation?

What is the Bounce Back program?

The Department of Counseling and Psychological Services offers the Bounce Back program to students on academic probation. This one-unit course teaches various academic skills such as time management, test taking, study skills, and how to increase resilience by strengthening the ability to bounce back from adversity. More information about the Bounce Back program can be found on the Counseling and Psychological Services Web site.

You can also review the Academic Probation tutorial. The tutorial was designed by the Academic Advising Center to show you how to get back in good academic standing.

How can I avoid unearned poor grades?

Here are some tips to help you avoid getting unearned low grades:

  • Take the Academic Probation tutorial.
  • Confirm your class schedule using the WebPortal and drop any class you are not attending.
  • Read the e-mail that is sent to you by SDSU, and the messages in the WebPortal Message Center.
  • Know the schedule adjustment deadline each semester. The schedule adjustment period ends at 11:59 p.m. on the tenth class day of the fall and spring semesters. You will not be able to add and drop classes after the deadline.
  • Be willing to change your behaviors (e.g. attend class regularly, improve study habits, manage schedule).
  • Know the SDSU academic policies – refer to the General Catalog first if you have questions.

Where can I get help?

See an academic adviser in the Academic Advising Center, SSW 1551, to establish an academic plan to help you get off academic probation. Students who have been disqualified from SDSU can see an academic adviser to develop an academic plan to prepare for readmission to SDSU.