Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy for Graduate Students


Columbia College has a responsibility to identify graduate students who may be unlikely to earn degrees due to academic performance. Standardizing the eligibility criteria for academic probation and dismissal allows for greater understanding and consistent application of probation and dismissal policies. Graduate students need to have clearly articulated processes for being placed on and removed from probation or dismissal. This policy implements criteria and requirements for accreditation established by the Higher Learning Commission.


This policy applies to all graduate students at Columbia College.



Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below the 3.0 minimum for courses within their degree program will be placed on probation. Students placed on probation must earn sufficient grade points, within their degree program, during their probationary term, to raise their cumulative grade point average to 3.0 within the next 9 semester hours. Failure to raise the cumulative grade point average will result in dismissal.  


Students will be dismissed from the graduate program and are not considered as having met graduation requirements for any of the following:

  1. Receipt of a grade of C in two or more graduate courses (also applies to undergraduate courses for MAT and M.Ed. Post-Baccalaureate students). Note: Although students may repeat a course in order to replace a C with a higher grade, receiving a second C prior to repeating the first C with a grade of B or higher will cause the student to be dismissed.
  2. Receipt of a grade of F in any one graduate course (or a grade of D or F in undergraduate courses for MAT and M.Ed. Post-Baccalaureate students)
  3. Failure to remove themselves from probation as described above.
  4. Recommendation of the academic department, based on proven academic dishonesty or ethical or professional misconduct.
  5. Students not completing the graduate degree program within a seven-year period will be dismissed. The seven-year period begins with the student's first graduate-level course.
  6. Students may appeal a grade resulting in academic dismissal to the dean of the school in which their program is housed, who will convene a Campus Hearing Board to rule on the grade appeal. Only if the grade appeal is successful will the dismissal be reversed. The decision of the Campus Hearing Board is final. Students will receive a written summary of the outcome by the dean. Student appeals must be directed to the dean within fourteen days of the official posting of the grade, and the Campus Hearing Board must rule on the appeal within sixty days of receiving it, following the process outlined below.

Academic Dismissal Appeal

Graduate students may appeal the academic dismissal decision. Graduate students must file a formal appeal with their school dean.

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