Academic Policies

I. Academic Integrity
II. Academic Actions: Probation
III. Academic Ineligibility
IV. Grade Appeals
V. Academic Policies and Procedures for Visiting Students
Academic Integrity

See the description of the Georgetown University Undergraduate Honor System in the Academic Regulations section of this Bulletin.

Academic Actions: Probation

If a student fails one course during a semester, the student is automatically placed on probation and remains in that status until the terms of the probation are satisfied. In addition, a student will be placed on probation if his/her cumulative quality index is below 2.0 at the end of any academic semester. A student remains on academic probation until a minimal cumulative 2.0 GPA is achieved.

  • Academic actions: Academic dismissal (degree candidacy terminated)
  • Academic dismissal is determined on one of two grounds: academic integrity or academic ineligibility.

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Academic Ineligibility

For students in the B.A.L.S. Program, earning one “F” in a semester while on probation, two “F’s” in any one semester regardless of previous record, or at any time an accumulation of three “F’s” results in academic dismissal.

Dismissal Appeal and Readmission after Dismissal

A student who has been dismissed for academic reasons should not expect to be readmitted at a later date. In very rare cases, however, when in the judgment of the BALS Associate Dean there is clear evidence of probable future academic success, a written application from the student for readmission may be considered by an academic committee. In those cases, the dismissed student may submit a written appeal to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Compliance who will then refer the case to the Academic Appeals Committee comprised of three faculty/staff members. This appeal procedure is not to be used for the circumvention of standard requirements or Program policies (e.g., grade point average and thesis requirements), but is instead designed to deal with exceptional, documented cases. Students should consult with the BALS Associate Dean about the types of materials to submit in their appeal applications. In cases when it is mathematically impossible for a student's GPA to reach the required 2.000 within the remaining required coursework, no appeal will be considered. 

The student must present his or her grounds for appeal to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Compliance, in writing, along with any supporting information and documentation of exceptional circumstances. Ideally, the student will also document changes that s/he has made to ensure future academic success if allowed a return. The Associate Dean will forward the materials to the Academic Appeals Committee. The Academic Appeals Committee reserves the right to make its judgment based on the written materials alone. If the materials so warrant, a formal hearing may also be held. The recommendation of the Committee to grant or deny the student’s request for readmission will be forwarded to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Compliance who will then notify the student. The Committee may also recommend that the student complete additional steps for an appeal to be considered (such as successfully completing certain courses elsewhere to demonstrate academic commitment). All decisions rendered are considered final and without right of further appeal. 

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Grade Appeal

Course Grade Appeal

Liberal Studies faculty members have been chosen due to their unique experience and expertise in their respective fields. As such, SCS strongly believes in the authority of its faculty to determine the academic merit and grades of their students. While students may request a review of their final course grade in the steps outlined below, they should also keep in mind that the faculty member is considered the academic and professional expert in determining their grade. In the case of all grade appeal reviews, the student should be aware that the re-evaluation of the grade could lead to the grade being raised, sustained, or lowered.

The grade appeal procedure is not set up to address allegations of discrimination (please see the “Non-Discrimination Policy” under “University and Program Policies” in this Handbook). However, SCS takes all such allegations very seriously and advises that students who believe they have been discriminated against make a formal complaint through the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (202-687-4798; ideaa@georgetown.edu). The Grievance Procedure and Discrimination Complaint form can be found at http://ideaa.georgetown.edu/policies/.

In the event that a student would like to appeal the final grade received for a course, the following steps are to be taken:

  1. Students should first seek an explanation for the grade through a discussion with the instructor. This process must begin no later than 30 days after the beginning of the semester following that semester in which the contested grade was received. Students should bring copies of the course syllabus and all graded assignments with them to their meeting with the instructor so that they can discuss all aspects of their grade and how it was calculated and recorded. The syllabus should serve as a guideline with the understanding that instructors can make amendments to their syllabi during the semester (adding or deleting assignments, for example, or changing a percentage allocation for an assignment under unusual circumstances) if needed as long as all students in the course are held to the same academic standards.
  2. If, after speaking with the instructor, the student still believes that the final grade was incorrectly assigned, s/he may then appeal in writing to (a) the Associate Dean if the course is specific to the BALS program (BLHS/BLHV) or (b) the Chair of the department offering the course if the course is taught outside of the program (such as a HIST or PHIL course). In the case of (b), the student should copy the BALS Associate Dean on his/her correspondence to the department Chair.

    At this level of appeal, the student should supply a copy of the syllabus, relevant emails, and copies of all graded assignments. This process must begin no later than 60 days after the beginning of the semester following that semester in which the contested grade was received. The course instructor may also be contacted by the Associate Dean or Chair for additional information. Upon completion of this review, the Associate Dean or Chair may decide (1) that there is no basis for the appeal and the original grade will be upheld or (2) that the appeal warrants further review by a faculty committee. In the case of BALS course (BLHS/BLHV) appeals, this committee is comprised of three faculty members who have taught within that program. If a committee is called, the Associate Dean will name a chair of that committee and all members will review the information and assignments and then make a formal, written recommendation to the Associate Dean. In re-evaluating the student’s work, the committee can recommend to raise, sustain, or lower the grade. The Associate Dean of the program will make a recommendation to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Compliance. In the case of courses taught outside of BALS SCS will follow the grade appeal procedures determined by the relevant department Chair and Georgetown School.

  3. If, after speaking with the instructor and BALS Associate Dean, the student would like to appeal a BALS (BLHS/BLHV) course grade further based upon procedural grounds, s/he may then submit a formal request to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Compliance and the Deputy Dean of the School of Continuing Studies for final review. The Associate Dean will complete an investigation on behalf of the Deputy Dean. This process must begin no later than 90 days after the beginning of the semester following that semester in which the contested grade was received. Please note: This final level of appeal reviews the administrative handling of the appeal only. Neither the Associate Dean nor the Deputy Dean of SCS will evaluate the academic merit of the work (such as re-grading a paper or test). The decision of the Deputy Dean is final and not open to further appeal. In the case of courses taught outside of BALS, SCS will follow the grade appeal procedures determined by the relevant department Chair and Georgetown School.

Pending Grade Appeal

A student may request a delay in imposing academic termination from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Compliance, because of a pending grade appeal that could change the student’s status. An approved delay allows the student to register while on termination. This request must be submitted by the student in writing to the Associate Dean at least two weeks prior to the first day of classes of the semester in which the termination has been placed. Submission of a request does not guarantee approval will be granted.

If the grade appeal is successful, the official transcript is corrected and the student continues in classes. If the grade appeal is not successful, the student is required to stop attending all classes immediately. No record of registration for the academic period appears on a transcript and the student receives the appropriate refund as of the decision date.

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ACADEMIC POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR VISITING STUDENTS

All of the credit and degree programs within the School of Continuing Studies are application-based. Acceptance to one undergraduate program within the School does not guarantee or imply acceptance into another undergraduate program within the School or University. Specific student handbooks and policies have been developed to reflect the unique undergraduate populations (such as part-time, non-traditional, or visiting students) served within the School of Continuing Studies. Students in these programs should refer to their program handbook for policies that govern their study (http://scs.georgetown.edu/academic-affairs/student-handbooks).

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