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Understanding Your Program

Be sure to fully understand the steps needed for success in your chosen program and field of study.


Academic Standing

To be a student in good standing, you must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and be making adequate progress toward degree completion (12 credits per semester for full-time students).

Dean's List
If you receive a semester average of 3.6 or better with a minimum of 12 credit hours of graded coursework with no grades of "I," you will be placed on the Dean's List for the completed semester.

Students may be placed on academic probation for any of the following reasons:

  • Semester GPA falls below a 2.0 (regardless of cumulative GPA)
  • Cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 (regardless of semester GPA)
  • Making inadequate progress and completing fewer than 12 credits
  • Failure to make adequate progress towards degree completion
  • Having taken an immediate Leave of Absence after the drop deadline (resulting in all WD, I, or Failing grades)

Students on academic probation must complete the following requirements or risk being academically suspended from Syracuse University and the Whitman School of Management:

  • Register for and successfully complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of graded coursework with no incompletes, WD's or pass/fails
  • Achieve a 2.0 GPA for the following semester
  • Meet with a Probation Counselor in the Undergraduate Office on a regular basis
  • Meet any other stipulations as outlined in the probation letter

Students failing to meet the requirements of academic probation may be suspended from the University. Students suspended due to academic probation must remain out of school for one academic year. Students who wish to appeal the initial suspension may submit a letter to the Academic Review Committee. Students should refer to their suspension letter for specific dates and instructions. A letter of appeal does not guarantee readmission.

Once eligible to apply for readmission, a student must write to the Academic Review Committee reflecting on how their academic and personal goals have changed since leaving the University. Students will be placed on academic probation for at least the first semester that they return to campus.

Change of Grade & Grade Appeals

If you believe you have received an incorrect grade, contact the professor. An instructor may submit a grade change at her/his discretion according to University policy.

A course grade is based upon the instructor's professional assessment of the academic quality of the student's performance. Such assessments are non-negotiable, and disputes about them do not constitute valid grounds for an appeal. Valid grounds can arise, for example, when an instructor fails to provide or implement uniform and consistent standards, or bases an assessment of criteria other than academic performance. For the full policy, see the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

Global Diversity Requirement

Whitman students must have some form of global experience before graduating. This can be achieved in one of the following ways:

  • Studying abroad
  • International students (non-resident alien)
  • Completion of two courses from the global diversity elective list


A grade of incomplete can be granted only at the student's request and with the instructor's approval. Incompletes can be granted only when exceptional circumstances prevent the student from completing the course, including final examinations or projects, within the normal time limits. To receive an incomplete, the student must complete the Request for Incomplete Grade Form, which is an agreement between the faculty member and the student specifying the reasons, the conditions and the time limit for removing the incomplete. The form may be obtained in the Whitman Undergraduate Office. If the terms of the Incomplete involve sitting in on the course the following term, do not re-register for the course; approach the new faculty member and explain your situation.

A grade of incomplete is counted into your grade point average as an "F" until the course has been completed and a new grade assigned. You should take this into consideration when you decide to request an incomplete, since it may bring your cumulative GPA below the 2.0 required for good academic standing.

Maximum & Minimum Course Loads

A Whitman student must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester to be considered a full-time student; a regular load is 15 credits per semester. If you wish to take more than 19 credit hours, you must petition to do so. Additional tuition will be charged for each credit hour over 19. You must drop by the financial deadline to be eligible for any refund. Honors students, as well as juniors/seniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, may petition to exceed 19 credits at no additional charge.

Pass/Fail Option

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may use the pass/fail option for one class per semester. The course must be 300-level or higher and must be a free elective or a course from groups I, III, IV, or V on the degree check sheet. 

Matriculated Fall 2015 or later: Sophomores, juniors and seniors may use the pass/fail option for one class per semester. The course must be 300-level or higher and must be a free elective or liberal arts elective only. 

Repeating a Class

Whitman students may retake a course for grade improvement. Normally, students may not retake a course after completing a more advanced course in the same area (Example: ACC 151 may not be repeated after ACC 356 or any other 300-level ACC course). Students should meet with an academic advisor in the Undergraduate Office before retaking a course.

The most recent grade is used to calculate the GPA regardless of which grade is higher. Both grades remain on the official transcript. Grades in management courses can only be flagged once.

Taking Graduate Level Courses

Undergraduates may take up to six credits of graduate-level coursework, with special permission. Check with the Undergraduate Office regarding the petition process to enroll in graduate-level classes.

Taking or Terminating a Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence from the University
If for some reason you wish to leave the University, you are encouraged to discuss your decision with an academic advisor in the Whitman Undergraduate Office. An academic advisor can discuss the academic and financial implications regarding your leave.

Students taking an immediate Leave of Absence after the drop deadline will be subject to a One-Term Trial Probation in the semester of Readmission. These students will need to write to the Academic Review Committee when they are ready to return reflecting on why their previous semester resulted in an immediate Leave and how their experience will be positively changed upon return.

Readmission/ Termination of Leave of Absence
As soon as you decide to return to the University, you should contact an academic advisor to discuss any conditions that may pertain to your readmission and plan your courses. You must obtain a Readmission/Termination of Leave Form from the Undergraduate Office and have that form signed by the assistant dean in Whitman. You will not be able to register for classes until your readmission has been approved.