Graduate Student Probation and Dismissal

Information and resources for COSSPP graduate students on Academic Probation or who have been Academically Dismissed from the University.


  1. College Commitment
  2. Academic Probation and Dismissal for Graduate Students
    1. Probation
    2. Dismissal
    3. Appealing Dismissal – Reinstatement on Probation
  3. How to Resolve a GPA Deficiency
    1. GPA Recovery Points – Credit Hours and Grades
    2. Incomplete “I” Grades
    3. Retroactive Course Drops and Semester Withdrawals
  4. Important Dates and Academic Policies
    1. Semester Dates and Deadlines
    2. Financial Aid
    3. Grade Disputes and Appeals
  5. Support Resources and Referrals

College Commitment

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy is committed to empowering students through teaching, mentoring, and advising as they pursue their academic goals. When students fall out of good academic standing, the Office of Academic Affairs steps in to provide information, resource referrals, academic advising, and guidance on appropriate University policies and procedures. We are here to support students as they work to improve their standing and make progress towards completing their degree requirements.

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Academic Probation and Dismissal for Graduate Students

Florida State University’s academic standing and retention policy can be found online in the University Graduate Bulletin. Under this policy, if the student fails to return to an overall 3.0 FSU GPA (good academic standing) they are placed on Academic Probation and are at risk for Academic Dismissal from the University.

Graduate students cannot graduate from Florida State University with less than a 3.0 cumulative FSU graduate GPA.


Graduate students whose cumulative FSU GPA for graduate courses (5000-level and above taken at FSU) falls below 3.0 at the end of a term (not counting courses taken on an S/U basis) will be considered not in good academic standing and will be placed on academic probation.

The designation of “academic probation” does not appear on permanent records (e.g. transcripts) of graduate students.

An academic standing of “probation” or “dismissed reinstated on probation” does not specifically prohibit participation in extracurricular activities unless otherwise specified by University policy, rules, or by-laws governing the activity or organization.


If a student on academic probation does not attain 3.0 cumulative FSU GPA by the end of the next full term of enrollment, the student will be placed on academic dismissal.

Academic dismissal constitutes a separation of the student from the University for academic reasons and they are not considered a degree-seeking student at FSU while academically dismissed. Students on dismissal are not be permitted to register for courses, including registering as a non-degree student.

Consideration of the academic dismissal takes priority over any readmission application and must be resolved first. Students on dismissal are not eligible for readmission or the readmission appeal process unless they have first been reinstated by the academic dean.

Appealing Dismissal – Reinstatement on Probation

At the time of dismissal, the student may petition the academic dean for consideration of reinstatement on probation with support from their major professor/faculty advisor and the department chair/director. This petition requires justification by the major professor for an exception to this regulation.

Reinstatement petitions, complete with faculty signatures, must be received by the Office of Academic Affairs no later than one full business week prior to the start of classes in the semester in which reinstatement is sought. Petitions received after this deadline will be considered for reinstatement in the immediately following semester.

Per University policy, a second reinstatement is not an option. Under no circumstances will a student be allowed more than one additional term of probation after reinstatement.

To be approved for reinstatement back to FSU, the COSSPP Office of Academic Affairs requires the following of academically dismissed graduate students:

  1. Student must complete Section I of the Graduate Student Petition for Reinstatement after Academic Dismissal form
  2. In conjunction with the major professor, the student must develop an academic plan mapping out how they will improve their FSU GPA to a 3.0 by the end of the next enrolled term and how they will continue to make adequate and timely progress towards degree completion.
  3. The student must send back via email from their FSU student account to
    1. The completed and signed Petition for Reinstatement after Academic Dismissal
    2. Any additional supporting documentation that they wish to submit to support their petition
    3. The academic plan developed with their major professor, if separate from the faculty justification provided in the petition

If a student is approved for reinstatement, they must enroll in enough letter-graded credit hours and earn high enough grades in their next term of enrollment to raise their cumulative FSU GPA to a 3.0 or better. Failure to achieve this GPA in their next term of enrollment will result in a second dismissal. Graduate students twice dismissed from the university are not eligible for reinstatement.

It is the student’s responsibility to think carefully about their obligations outside of school, the classes they should take, and the number of credit hours they can reasonably complete successfully.

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How to Resolve a GPA Deficiency

A GPA deficiency reflects that a student lacks the number of quality points (grade points) to achieve an average 3.0 GPA. To rectify this deficiency, the student must enroll in enough letter-graded course credit hours and earn grades high enough to regain the 3.0 cumulative FSU GPA.

Courses graded on an S/U basis, undergraduate (4999-level and below) courses, and courses taken outside of FSU do not count towards FSU graduate GPA points and do not address the deficiency.

GPA Recovery Points – Credit Hours and Grades

Recovery points (quality points which reduce a GPA deficit) are earned with grades of B+ or better. B grades have no impact on the deficit. Grades lower than B will increase the deficit. The chart below indicates the number of recovery points you can regain in three-hour and one-hour classes based on the grades that you earn.

Recovery PointsRecovery Points
Three-credit hour courseOne-credit hour course
A    =   3.00A    =   1.00
A-   =   2.25A-   =   0.75
B+  =   0.75B+  =   0.25
B    =   0.00B    =   0.00

Incomplete “I” Grades

Incomplete “I” grades in letter-graded courses do not count toward a student’s FSU GPA hours until they are either resolved or roll to their default grade on the allotted date. However, “I” graded courses do count as attempted enrollment. An “I” grade with no other letter-graded enrollment in that same semester will result in a 0.0 term GPA displaying on the transcript and if a student was previously on academic probation will result in an academic dismissal.

Resolving or defaulting outstanding incomplete “I” grades may either increase or decrease the GPA deficit depending on the letter grade earned. This may alter academic standing in one or several terms as the student’s GPA is updated from that term moving forward.

Resolved or defaulted “I” grades which increase a student’s GPA deficit may result in the transcript being updated to reflect an increased number of terms on academic probation or dismissal. The associated penalties of these updated statuses are applied from the point of the grade update moving forward.

It is the student’s responsibility to remain in contact with their instructor(s) to ensure resolving “I” grades successfully and in a timely manner.

Retroactive Course Drops and Semester Withdrawals

Students may petition for retroactive course drops or semester withdrawals which may cause their FSU GPA to rise above 3.0 to return to good standing or to return academic probation if previously dismissed. Retroactive drops and withdrawals are only considered in the case of failing “F” or unsatisfactory “U” grades. Detailed information and criteria is on our Drops and Withdrawals information page.

All drop and withdrawal petitions are initiated through the COSSPP online Course Drop and Withdrawal Petition Application.

Drop and withdrawal petitions based on medical or mental health require supporting documentation from state-licensed providers and are reviewed by University committees affiliated with University Health Services. The recommendation from this committee to approve or deny a petition will ultimately be followed by the College.

Drop and withdrawal petitions based on personal hardship (criteria other than the student’s own medical or mental health circumstances) are considered by the College’s Drops, Exceptions, and Waivers (DEW) Committee. The DEW Committee’s decision on personal hardship drop and withdrawal petitions is final.

The course drop/withdrawal petition process can take three weeks or more for committee review and a decision to be rendered.

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Important Dates and Academic Policies

Semester Dates and Deadlines

The COSSPP academic reinstatement deadline each semester is one business week prior to the start of classes.

  • Spring 2024 – January 3, 2024; 12:00 pm Eastern (first day of class: January 8, 2024)
    Exception to one-week deadline based on University-wide early closure for winter break.
  • Summer 2024 – May 6, 2023; 5:00 pm Eastern (first day of class: May 13)
    Summer reinstatement must be approved prior to semester start, even if only taking B session courses.
  • Fall 2024 – August 19, 2024; 5:00 pm Eastern (first day of class: August 26)

Review the University Academic Calendar for the most up-to-date information on University dates and deadlines in any given semester. Once reinstated, students should pay particular attention to the drop and withdrawal deadlines each semester.

  • 7th Week Deadline (Spring 2024 – February 23)
    • Last day to drop a class without dean’s permission.  
    • Last day to change a course from letter-graded to S/U grading.  
    • Last day to withdraw without extenuating circumstances.  

Financial Aid

Academic Probation and/or Dismissal status can have a serious impact on your financial aid status. Low cumulative GPA and/or low course completion rate may impact satisfactory academic progress and/or make you ineligible for Federal and/or other types of financial aid.

Check your financial aid status before the start of classes – you will need to contact the Office of Financial Aid with any questions regarding financial aid eligibility and/or Student Business Services with questions tuition and fees, payments, university debt, and financial customer service.

Grade Disputes and Appeals

Students who feel they were given a grade in violation of the instructor’s specified grading statement in the course syllabus may attempt to appeal the grade. This must be initiated first with the instructor within 15 class days, and if unresolved within that period, submitted to the Department Chair or Director within 10 class days. The Office of Academic Affairs plays no role in the grade appeals process.

Additional and detailed information on this process is available through the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement.

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Support Resources and Referrals

Every student faces the possibility of enduring some type of personal hardship outside of classes that can directly impact their academic performance. In addition to the following common resources, the Department of Student Support and Transitions and other offices on campus can offer assistance and guidance on a variety of issues.

  • Case Management Services – provides emotional support, counseling, advocacy, and identification of immediate needs, and makes referrals to campus and community resources
  • Counseling and Psychological Services – services including counseling, alcohol and drug assessments, anxiety management programs, peer support, and emergency walk in appointments
  • Food Pantry – an on-campus food pantry supporting students experiencing food insecurity
  • Office of Accessibility Services – supporting student access and success though academic, housing, and dining accommodations; testing support; assistive technologies; and more.
  • Victim Advocate Program – confidential advocates offer emotional support, instructor notification, referrals, crisis intervention and assistance in student conduct, legal, and medical matters

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