GPA below 2.00

The university's minimum standard for satisfactory academic achievement is a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students with at least 7 attempted credits and a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 fall into one of three categories: warning, probation, or suspension.

Standards of Academic Performance 

Students who maintain a cumulative GPA below 2.00 may face additional academic actions, such as probation, suspension, or dismissal. Therefore, our office strongly supports this limit. Students should be familiar with the retention table in the university catalog, as posted below.

Retention Table

Academic Warning

Students on academic warning are still considered in good academic standing but they will be limited to a maximum of 13 credits until they achieve a cumulative 2.0 grade point average. Students registered for 14 or more credits under Warning are responsible for seeking academic advisement and adjusting their enrollment to a maximum of 13 credits.  Students on academic warning may participate fully in student activities unless that activity imposes stricter limits.

Academic Probation

Students on academic probation will be limited to a maximum of 13 credits until they achieve a cumulative 2.0 grade point average. Students registered for 14 or more credits under Probation are responsible for seeking academic advisement and adjusting their enrollment to a maximum of 13 credits. Only students in good academic standing are eligible to hold or run for elective or appointive office in any organization or activity associated with Mason, compete in any athletic or other activity representing Mason on either an intercollegiate or a club level, or serve as a working staff member of any student organization. 

Academic Suspension

Students in degree status who incur a first suspension following a spring semester or summer term serve a period of suspension through the next fall semester. Students who incur a first suspension following a fall semester serve a period of suspension through the next summer term. A second suspension is for one calendar year: two semesters and a summer term. Students returning from suspension are on probation for one academic period. Course credits earned at other colleges during the period of suspension from Mason (for academic or nonacademic reasons) are not accepted for the degree program.

Nondegree undergraduate students placed on suspension have no specified rights of return to the university. Nondegree students who have been suspended and wish to resume their studies after a period of absence must qualify for readmission through the Office of Admissions.

More information on suspension can be found on the left hand navigation bar on this page under "Suspended."

Academic Dismissal

A third suspension results in academic dismissal, a status that is usually permanent. In exceptional cases, students who have been dismissed may apply for readmission after a minimum absence of three calendar years from the university, but only if they meet one or more of the following conditions after having been dismissed:

  • Demonstrate academic success (2.50 GPA or better) in at least 18 credits of classes taken during the period of dismissal at an accredited two- or four-year college or university. Such credits may be considered for transfer back to Mason, but there is no guarantee of acceptance of the credit.
  • Provide other evidence of a renewed ability to achieve academic success.
  • Provide evidence that all degree requirements will be met once an additional 12 or fewer credits are complete.

Meeting the above requirements does not guarantee a return. The Office of Admissions and the appropriate school or college dean will make individual decisions in the best academic interests of the student and the university. For students seeking readmission to a new school or college, the new dean will make the decision in consultation with the former dean and the Office of Admissions.

Policies to Consider

Limits on Registration

The Faculty Senate of George Mason University passed a resolution that limits undergraduate students with a cumulative GPA below 2.00 to a maximum of 13 credit hours. All undergraduate students returning from suspension are also limited to a maximum of 13 credit hours. These limits on registration are strictly enforced.

Exception for Freshmen and Transfer Students

Freshmen and transfer students in their first semester of study at Mason will receive probation as the strongest academic sanction. GPA retention levels, as stated above, will apply in all subsequent semesters.  Students in this category should be on notice that they must improve their academic record to avoid suspension in future semesters; in particular they should consult their advisors and consider repeating courses to achieve academic good standing.

Academic Warning, Probation, Suspension, and Dismissal Repeat Policy

For undergraduate classes not repeatable for credit, undergraduate degree students may repeat courses for which they seek a higher grade. A grade received in a repeated course will replace a grade in prior takings of the same course in the calculation of the cumulative GPA, even if the more recent grade is lower. Duplicate credit is not given. Repeat rules apply to taking the same course and courses designated in the catalog as equivalent. Repeat rules apply throughout a student's academic history. All instances of courses and their grades remain part of the student's transcript. No adjustment to the cumulative GPA will be made when the grade in the repeated course is W. A grade in a Mason course will not be excluded from the cumulative GPA based on a subsequent taking of an equivalent course at a transfer institution. The exclusion of earlier grades of repeated courses will not change the academic standing or dean's list notations for the earlier semester. Note that individual programs may disallow students from retaking certain high-demand courses simply for the purpose of improving their grade. Academic programs may restrict repeats of certain departmental or college courses in the major. Excessive repeats may result in termination from the major by a student's dean. Programs may also require departmental permission for students to repeat certain department, school, or college courses.

What Are Some Ways to Improve Academic Standing?

Each student is unique in the ways that they learn, the challenges they face, and the goals that they have for their education. Meeting regularly with an academic advisor allows students to develop an individualized plan for returning to good standing. When brainstorming with an advisor, students should discuss:

  • Retaking courses
  • Most appropriate course-load (full or part-time)
  • Resources at Mason to support learning and degree progress
  • Ways to engage with faculty
  • Impact of academic standing on financial aid

CHSS Resources for Students with GPA Below 2.0

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) strives to provide individualized, learning-centered advising programs for our students. Within Undergraduate Academic Affairs (UAA), our goal is to encourage students to engage with their academic advisor on a regular basis, seeking support for their academic pursuits through their major department.

In collaboration with our departments, CHSS UAA conducts retention outreach that is designed to mentor students in their return to good academic standing and overall progress towards degree completion. A few of our initiatives are highlighted below.

Student Advising Meeting (SAM) Program

CHSS undergraduate students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 are required to participate in the Student Advising Meeting (SAM) program, which involves completing the Student Advising Meeting Form with their academic advisor before the last day to add in the upcoming term.


Why is this required?

Regular communication with your academic advisor is key to efficient degree completion. Collaboration on the SAM form means you have discussed the optimal schedule for your academic success, your current academic standing, grades needed to avoid suspension, and campus resources that may be helpful to you. 

Unsure how to locate your advisor? Advising contact information for all academic departments in CHSS can be found here.

 

Who participates in SAM?
  • All CHSS students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 after a fall, spring, or summer semester.
When does SAM take place?
  • Each fall and spring semester. Students are required to meet with their academic advisor prior to the add and drop deadlines and to submit a completed SAM form to the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office.
How will I be notified about this requirement?

Students are notified of the SAM requirement via email, starting before the semester begins and throughout the term until the form is received.


What happens if the form is not submitted?

Students who do not complete this form by the deadline will have a registration hold placed on their account. 


Steps to complete the Student Advising Meeting Form:
  1. Meet with an academic advisor in your major department. Bring a copy of the Student Advising Meeting form with you.
  2. Work with your advisor to complete the form. Be sure to discuss your upcoming course schedule, the repeat policy, the retention policy, and any relevant campus resources.
  3. Submit the signed Student Advising Meeting Form to the Undergraduate Academic Affairs office in Buchanan Hall, D217, via email at chssadv@gmu.edu, or via fax at 703-993-8712.
Please note:

**Students returning from academic suspension or pursuing re-enrollment do not need to complete the Student Advising Meeting form. Instead, suspended or inactive students can find relevant information on the “suspended” or “inactive” sections of this webpage.

Personal Academic Support and Success (PASS) Program

What are the goals of PASS?
  • By identifying students' unique barriers to academic success and finding resources at Mason that will help them overcome these barriers, we will help get students back on the path to success! 
Who participates in PASS?
  • Transfer students within CHSS that have fallen below 2.0 after their first semester at Mason.
When does PASS take place?
  • PASS is a semester-long program available each fall and spring term.
How are students notified about PASS?
  • Students participate in this program through an invitation from a member of the Undergraduate Academic Affairs office. If you believe that you would qualify for this program and would like to participate, please contact us at chssadvising@gmu.edu

First Year Mentorship Program (FYMP)

In addition to the advising programs offered by CHSS, students have access to many useful resources at Mason providing support in other areas such as health, wellness, learni

What are the goals of FYMP?
  • To support first-year students' social and academic integration into the Mason community, using upper-class CHSS mentors.
Who participates in FYMP?
  • Freshmen students within CHSS that have fallen below 2.0 after their first semester at Mason.
When does FYMP take place?
  • FYMP is a semester-long program available each spring term.
How are students notified about FYMP?
  • Students participate in this program through an invitation from a member of the Undergraduate Academic Affairs office. If you believe that you would qualify for this program and would like to participate, please contact us at chssadvising@gmu.edu

     

Mason Resources for Students with GPA Below 2.0

In addition to the advising programs offered by CHSS, students have access to many useful resources at Mason providing support in other areas such as health, wellness, learning, enrichment, and student services.

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