Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal and state regulations require recipients of financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their programs of study. The University expects that students will make progress toward completion of the degree or professional development program in which they are enrolled. The following requirements apply to both part-time and full-time students for all terms of enrollment within an academic year, including those terms for which no financial aid was granted.

For additional information on SAP requirements, please contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid.

Academic Probation

Students taking undergraduate-level courses at SPS are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) throughout their studies and to successfully complete all classes taken each quarter. Performance-Based Admission (PBA) students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B) while on PBA. Courses with D grades will not be counted toward the major or minor and may amount to no more than one-fifth of total coursework.

Students in Premedicine and Professional Health Careers programs are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B).

Academic Probation

Academic probation is a warning status applied to students who do not meet minimum expectations. Degree and certificate students will be placed on academic probation if they have

  • A cumulative GPA under 2.0 (or 3.0 for those in Premedicine and Professional Health Careers programs)
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.0 in a major/minor
  • An F grade in a course 
    or
  • Two more incomplete (Y) grades

Students-at-large must maintain a 2.0 term and cumulative GPA, accumulate no more than 2 F, Y, X, or withdrawals in one term, and accumulate no more than 5 total F, Y, X, or withdrawals. 

Students receiving a notice of academic probation must carefully follow any instructions in the notice and contact their academic adviser for additional help or guidance.

Additional Policies on Academic Probation

A student’s academic performance may affect eligibility for federal financial aid programs. For more information, please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy or contact the Chicago Financial Aid Office.

Dismissal

Student-at-large, Post-baccalaureate, and College Prep students on academic probation may be dismissed from their programs for consistently poor academic performance.

Degree and certificate students will be dismissed if they have a cumulative GPA under 2.0 in three consecutive quarters of enrolling in coursework – unless other programmatic or admissions-based stipulations apply (for instance, Performance-Based Admission or a Professional Health Career program stipulations).

  • Performance-Based Admission students will be dismissed if they cannot maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 in their first 4 courses.
  • Premedicine and Professional Health Careers program students will be dismissed if they cannot maintain the required minimum GPA of 3.0, with a probationary period of one quarter.

Summer Session, Visiting students and Pre-College students enrolled in undergraduate courses fall under the SPS undergraduate academic dismissal policies for academic integrity and student code of conduct.

Students-at-large who fail to get off probation in the subsequent term face dismissal.

Students may also be dismissed for

  • After being placed on academic probation in three consecutive enrolled terms
  • Violating academic integrity
  • Violating the student code of conduct
  • Refusal to change majors/minors if the student is unable to maintain a 2.0 in major/requirement areas

Student Affairs Appeal

Students have the option to appeal an academic dismissal by submitting a Student Affairs Appeal. 

To submit a Student Affairs Appeal, use the electronic form found on the SPS website on the Forms and Documents page. Students must include a statement explaining the reason(s) for their poor academic performance as well as a plan for future academic improvement. Additional supporting documents (doctors’ notes, etc.) may be emailed to spspetitions@northwestern.edu.