Academic Review: Warning, Probation, and Suspension

The Academic Standing Committee reviews the academic record of all students enrolled in the College. Students are expected (a) to maintain a cumulative grade point average (gpa) of 2.00 or higher, and (b) to earn one course credit every Block, so that they will graduate in four years. That is, students are expected to earn eight course credits during their first year, should have 16 by the end of their sophomore year, and 24 after their junior year. Transfer students and students who withdraw from Cornell and then re-enter are expected to keep up with their class, so a student who enters or reenters with sophomore standing should have earned at least 16 credits by the end of the sophomore year (see also Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy).

The gradations of academic review issued by the Committee are: Warning, Probation, Probationary Suspension, Suspension, and Dismissal. These citations are arranged in order of seriousness and reflect the likelihood of the student's graduation from the College.

Students who are in academic difficulty are expected to work with their instructors, their academic advisors, members of the counseling staff, the Teaching and Learning Center, the Registrar, other professionals, and their parents to identify and resolve the problems that are causing their academic difficulties. Students in academic difficulty should give serious thought to revising their registrations to include courses in which they have a greater chance of success. Failure to heed these citations and to seek appropriate help may result in suspension and dismissal.

  1. Students are given an ACADEMIC WARNING
    1. if at the end of a semester (Block Four or Block Eight) their cumulative grade point average is above 2.00, but their semester gpa is below 2.00; or
    2. if after any Block their gpa falls below 2.00 (note–first-Block students are allowed one C- before this category applies to them); or
    3. if they will be unlikely to be graduated in four years (32 Blocks). For the purposes of this citation, students must earn at least seven course credits in their first year (or equivalent for students who enter after Block One, or who take a leave of absence, or who withdraw and then reenter), 14 credits by the end of their second year, and 23 credits by the end of their third year. Students who fail to achieve these numbers will be issued a Warning. This citation may last until a student has earned 27 course credits. Students will be notified when issued a Warning, and at the end of every semester thereafter as long as this condition applies.

    Academic Warning is an indicator that the student may be liable for one of the following academic sanctions if grades do not improve. A student on Warning may be suspended at the end of a semester for an extremely poor academic performance (see 5.a.). Therefore, the Committee may require a student on either academic citation, Warning or Probation, to draw up, sign, and fulfill a Learning Contract. The Contract will bind the student to additional conditions in order to continue as a student at Cornell.

  2. Students are placed on ACADEMIC PROBATION at the end of a semester for the entire following semester
    1. if their cumulative gpa is below 2.00 and their semester gpa is 1.25 or higher; or
      students are placed on PROBATION after any Block for at least the next three Blocks
    2. if they have received a grade of F or NC, and their cumulative gpa has fallen below 2.00; or
    3. if they will be unlikely to be graduated in four and one-half years (36 Blocks). For the purposes of this citation, students must earn at least five course credits in their first year (or equivalent), 13 course credits by the end of their second year, and 21 course credits by the end of their third year. Students who fail to achieve these numbers will be placed on Probation. This citation may last until a student has earned 27 course credits. Students will be notified when placed on Probation, and at the end of every semester thereafter as long as this condition applies; and
    4. the Committee may also, at its discretion, place any student on Probation who has lost two course credits in the course of that semester (note–the first vacation Block taken in any academic year is not counted as a lost course credit). Students are considered to have lost a course credit if they (a) take more than one vacation Block per year; (b) receive a grade of F or NC; or (c) withdraw from a course with a grade of W, WH, or WR.

    Once on Probation, a student is not allowed to withdraw from a course or take a vacation block without the permission of the Academic Standing Committee. Students who do either without permission will be subject to Suspension.

    The words "withdraw" and "withdrawal," as used here, refer to those situations in which students receive on their transcript the notation W, WH, or WR. Students, however, are always permitted to drop one course and add another in its place either before a Block begins or during the first three days of a Block.

  3. Students continue on PROBATION
    1. if their cumulative gpa is below 2.00, but their semester gpa is 2.00 or higher; or
    2. if they continue to have a deficiency in course credits, as listed in 2.c.
  4. Students are removed from PROBATION if their cumulative gpa at the end of the semester is above 2.00, and if they achieve the minimum number of course credits for their year, as listed in 2.c.

    Students on Probation have no restrictions on their right to take courses and participate in all the activities of the College. However, they need to monitor their activities to see that they do not fall into even greater difficulty. Students on Probation should seriously reconsider their commitment to any extracurricular activity: social life, participation in organizations, employment on or off campus, or athletics. Finally, students on Probation are not permitted to withdraw from a course without permission of the Academic Standing Committee (see Adding and Dropping Courses, item 7).

  5. Students are subject to ACADEMIC SUSPENSION
    1. if at the end of the semester their cumulative gpa is below 2.00, and their gpa for the semester is below 1.25; or
    2. if they had been on Probation, and their semester gpa is below 2.00.
    3. Students are also subject to SUSPENSION after any term

    4. if they have been placed on Probation and they receive a grade of F or NC; or
    5. if while on Probation they withdraw from a course without the permission of the Academic Standing Committee.

    The phrase "subject to Suspension" means that the Academic Standing Committee places students on Suspension or leaves them on Probationary Suspension at its own discretion. Always the criterion is whether the student has a reasonable chance to graduate from Cornell if that student continues at Cornell, or whether the student would benefit from time spent away from the College.

    Students whose academic record is such that they may be subject to Suspension at the end of a Block or semester ought to present any pertinent information concerning mitigating circumstances to the Committee prior to the time the Committee meets to review student records for that Block (usually the Monday following the end of a Block). The actions of the Committee are not subject to appeal.

    A student who is suspended for unsatisfactory scholarship, disciplinary, or financial reasons is denied permission to continue to attend classes, to enroll in subsequent terms, to reside in College housing, to receive Cornell-funded financial aid, and to participate in Cornell-sponsored extracurricular activities in ways that are not also open to the general public. The student must leave the campus within three days after notification unless granted an extension by the Dean of Students. Failure to leave in a timely and orderly manner may jeopardize a student's readmission.

  6. Students who are subject to suspension but who have, prior to the committee’s deliberations, presented evidence of mitigating circumstances that the Academic Standing Committee then deems compelling, may be placed on PROBATIONARY SUSPENSION. These students continue on probation but may have additional restrictions and obligations as specified by the committee. Students whom the committee deems to have violated these additional restrictions and obligations will be subject to SUSPENSION.

    In deciding whether to Suspend or place on Probationary Suspension, the Committee may (but need not) choose to use Cornell's minimum gpa scale for class standing.

    The minimum for a student's class standing is defined as the number of Blocks in which they have been enrolled at Cornell, whether or not they earned course credits for these, plus any other credits earned from adjunct courses, by examination, or by transfer, according to the following sliding scale:

      Blocks/Credits   Minimum GPA
     
      4 - 6      
      7 - 10      
      11 - 18      
      19 - 26      
      27 -        
     
      1.5  
      1.6  
      1.7  
      1.8  
      1.9  
  7. Students are given ACADEMIC DISMISSAL if they had been suspended once before in their career at Cornell, had been readmitted, and are now being suspended for a second time. Such students may not return to the College.