Suspension and Probation

Graduate students who meet one or more of the conditions below will be academically suspended from further graduate study at Appalachian.

  • Unacceptable grades, including
    • Cumulative GPA less than 3.0,
    • 4 or more grades at the C level, or
    • Any failing grade (U or F). NOTE: There are no grades at the D level for graduate courses, so any such grade submitted in error by the faculty will be changed to F. C- is the minimum passing grade.
  • Denial of candidacy in programs that require candidacy. Check the Graduate Bulletin to see if your program requires candidacy. Check with the program director for the specific conditions needed to obtain candidacy.

Students with a GPA under 3.0 or with too many grades at the C level can petition to return for one semester on academic probation. This petition should be made to the program director of department chair; if they support the request, they will in turn seek Graduate School approval.

If the department or the Graduate School denies the request for a term on probation, the student can formally appeal to an ad hoc appeals subcommittee of the graduate faculty. That appeal must be in writing; the Associate Dean of the Graduate School coordinates the appeals process.

Students who were admitted with provisional status are considered to be using their one semester on probation during their first semester of study.

Q: How will I know I was suspended?

A: The Graduate School will send a letter to your enrolled student mailing address. In addition, you can see the academic suspension code on your unofficial transcript in Appalnet or Degreeworks.

Q: What if I believe there was a recording error that is causing my suspension?

A: Notify your advisor, program director or department chair as soon as possible! A common situation is an incomplete grade that was not changed by the faculty member by the deadline; these grades "roll" to U or F at the end of the extension.

Q: How do I appeal an academic suspension?

A: Go to your advisor, program director, or department chair and discuss your situation with them. If they support your request, they will petition the Graduate School for a semester on probation for you.

Q: How do I appeal a grade?

A: Follow the grade appeal process, which you can find described in detail on the Academic Affairs website. Please note that because grades appeals involve a dispute with a faculty member, the department and the academic college will handle those rather than the Graduate School. We are happy to answer questions about the process if needed. It is very important to follow the procedure carefully and as soon as possible.

Q: How do I appeal a denial of candidacy?

A: Denial of candidacy can appealed to the Graduate School in writing. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School coordinates the appeals process. This appeal will go straight to an ad hoc appeals subcommittee of the graduate faculty for review. This committee of three members (from departments other than your home department) will review all of the materials you submit, as well as information provided by the department and Graduate School, and they will make a binding decision. This process can take some time, so most students find that if their appeal is successful they will end up returning in a later semester.

Q: My department does not support a semester on probation. What are my options?

A: You can appeal directly to the Graduate School in writing. That can be via email to the Associate Dean, or you can mail a letter. Be sure to be detailed and specific about the circumstances leading to your poor performance and why you can return to good standing in one semester.

Q: The Graduate School does not support a semester on probation. What are my options?

A: The Dean of the Graduate School will automatically forward your request to the appeals committee. This committee of three members (from departments other than your home department) will review all of the materials you submit, as well as information submitted by the department and the Graduate School, and they will make a binding decision. This process can take some time, so most students find that if their appeal is successful they will end up returning in a later semester.

Q: What if I don't return to good standing at the end of my semester on probation?

A: Graduate students are allowed only one semester on probation. An appeal for a second semester on probation is possible and can be made in writing to the Graduate School. It is very important for you to understand that these requests are almost never granted. Circumstances surrounding your poor performance in the probationary term must be unusual and compelling.

Q: Do I have any options for returning to graduate school at Appalachian after I have exhausted my probation and my appeals?

A: You can apply again for admission to a program. If you are admitted, that admission resets your GPA. Note however, that only nine (9) hours of coursework you took prior to the new admission can be used to meet graduation requirements.