Academic Standards

Each school has a committee which is charged with monitoring and maintaining academic standards. These committees review the academic performance of all undergraduates at the end of each fall and spring semester and have the authority to place students whose performance has been deficient on probation or to suspend or dismiss them from the University. The committees may also issue warnings to students who have withdrawn from or neglected to enroll in classes designed to meet degree requirements, or who otherwise are not making adequate progress towards the degree. The following parameters apply to all schools (for further details please see the sections on Academic Standards under each school entry).

1. Attendance and Timely Completion of Assignments

Attendance at classes is restricted to those who are officially registered or who are present at the specific invitation of the instructor.

All students are expected to attend all classes, including participation in activities required by the instructor during campus "closure',  and to complete all of their assignments in a timely fashion. All course requirements are to be completed no later than the date of the final examination. Absences may have an adverse effect on grades in a course, up to and including failure.

“Absence” is defined as the failure of a student to be present when the class roster is checked by the professor. Lateness may be listed as absence, since students may be refused admission to any class when late. Flagrant cases of absence that affect the student’s achievement of course objectives may necessitate withdrawal from the school.

Students absent for several days because of illness should notify their Dean’s Office. A prolonged absence may necessitate the student’s withdrawal from the University for the semester.

Accommodating Student Religious Observances

Georgetown University promotes respect for all religions. Any student who is unable to attend classes or to participate in any examination, presentation, or assignment on a given day because of the observance of a major religious holiday or related travel shall be excused and provided with the opportunity to make up, without unreasonable burden, any work that has been missed for this reason and shall not in any other way be penalized for the absence or rescheduled work. Students will remain responsible for all assigned work. Students should notify professors in writing at the beginning of the semester of religious observances that conflict with their classes. The Office of the Provost, in consultation with Campus Ministry and the Registrar, will publish, before classes begin for a given term, a list of major religious holidays likely to affect Georgetown students. This list can be found on the Campus Ministry website, http://campusministry.georgetown.edu. The Provost and the Main Campus Executive Faculty encourage faculty to accommodate students whose bona fide religious observances in other ways impede normal participation in a course. Students who cannot be accommodated should discuss the matter with an advising dean.

2. minimum grade point average

Note that in addition to all other standards expressed below and in each school's section of this Bulletin, all undergraduates are required to achieve a final, cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to graduate from the University.

3. Probation

Students who fail a course or who earn a cumulative grade point average below 2.0 are automatically placed on probation. Students may also be placed on probation for failing to complete a full-time courseload (minimum of 12 credits) in two or more semesters. Probationary status continues until it is lifted by the academic standards committee.

In general, students on probation are expected to earn a grade point average of at least 2.0 while carrying at least twelve credits during the semester following imposition of probationary status. The academic standards committees reserve the right to impose additional or higher standards of performance (these additional conditions are communicated to the student by letter). Any student who fails to meet all of these conditions—general or specific—may be suspended or dismissed at the end of the following semester.

Please note: no notation of academic probation is made on the transcript.

4. Suspension or Dismissal from the University

Students may be suspended (for one or two semesters) or permanently dismissed from the University because of unsatisfactory academic performance. Students who fail a course while on probation are eligible for suspension or dismissal as are those who fail two courses in a single semester or who accumulate a total of three failures while enrolled at Georgetown. In addition, students may be suspended or dismissed if their cumulative grade point averages fall below the following levels at the end of the academic year:

First-year students: 1.20
Sophomores: 1.70
Juniors: 1.90

In cases of academic suspension, the length of the student’s separation from the University is determined by the Academic Standards Committee. The Committee may also impose requirements for readmission at the end of the suspension period; these are generally linked to the expectation of better academic performance after study is resumed. Students who are suspended for academic deficiency, or Honor System or Student Conduct violations, may not transfer credits to Georgetown earned elsewhere during the suspension period. Please note: academic suspensions are noted on transcripts.

In cases of dismissal for any reason including academic deficiency, Honor System, or Student Conduct violations, students are permanently separated from the University.

Please note: academic dismissals are noted on transcripts. Dismissed students may not continue to work in any way toward a Georgetown degree.

Suspended and dismissed students may not register or attend classes, hold a room in a campus residence hall, or participate in any activities reserved for students in good standing at Georgetown University, including (but not limited to) Commencement activities.

5. Appeal of Suspension or Dismissal

Students who are academically suspended or dismissed may request an appeal of this decision by writing to the Academic Standards Committee within the time limit set by individual schools. Students who do not request an appeal within the time limit determined by the school forfeit the right to appeal. This time limit is specified in the letter of the Committee notifying the student of the suspension or dismissal. The appeal will be heard by a special Appeals Board (see the school sections of the Bulletin for details of board composition and procedure). Every effort will be made to assure the student of fundamental fairness in the appeal hearing. The Appeals Boards for all schools operate within the following parameters:

  • The purpose of the Board is to review the student’s academic records in light of the decision of the Academic Standards Committee and to determine whether there are any mitigating factors that warrant a less severe penalty than the one imposed by that Committee. For this reason, the student’s file and a summary of the Committee’s deliberations are made available to the Board.
  • In requesting the appeal, the student must explain in writing what the mitigating factors might be and may also present evidence to which the Academic Standards Committee may not have had access. Appellants normally must appear before the Board to present the case in person. The student may bring someone to help present the case and for the purpose of moral support. However, since the Board is an educational institution and not a court of law, an attorney may not appear on behalf of a student during the hearing or appeals process. In extraordinary cases in which it is not possible for the student to appear in person before the Board, a written statement from the student may suffice.
  • The Board has the right to call people other than the student to appear before it in the interest of illuminating the case and especially the claims made by the student about extenuating circumstances. If these people cannot appear, they may submit their views in writing. The Board will accept and review written statements submitted at the request of the student in support of the appeal, but it is up to the Board to decide whether it will invite “witnesses” such as parents, professors, and psychiatrists to participate in the hearing itself.
  • The student may be present for all stages of the hearing except for the final deliberations of the board.
  • Decisions reached by the Board are final and may not be appealed again.
6. Readmission

Students who are suspended must make a formal written request to be readmitted at the end of the suspension period. These requests must be submitted to the Dean’s Office six weeks before the date of registration.

A student who has been dismissed from Georgetown must not expect to be readmitted. In very rare cases, the Academic Standards Committee may agree to consider an application for readmission after at least one year has elapsed from the date of the dismissal. Requests for readmission must be made in writing to the Dean’s Office.