For graduate academic standards, please see Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures.
Grades are used to determine academic standing. Academic Standing status is determined at the completion of the fall and spring semesters. Undergraduate students with a 2.0-grade point average (GPA) or better are said to be in good academic standing.
Undergraduate students with an SF State and/or combined cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 are not in good academic standing and will be placed on academic probation (Academic Senate Policy S20-275).
Academic Probation Notification and Hold
At the end of the fall and spring semesters, the Registrar’s Office runs a process to determine each student’s academic standing. Undergraduate students with an SF State or combined cumulative GPA below 2.0 are placed on academic probation and receive an email notification from the University, encouraging them to meet with an academic advisor. If it is a student’s first semester on academic probation, no registration hold will be placed on their record and they will not be blocked from future registration.
If a student is still on probation for a second semester, then they must seek mandatory advising. First-year freshmen and undeclared students meet with their assigned advisor in the Undergraduate Advising Center. All other students (continuing freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors) with declared majors shall meet with an advisor in their college-based resource center. These students will also receive an email from the University, notifying them they are on academic probation and that they must complete the hold clearance process to register for the following semester.
Maximum Number of Units for Undergraduate Students on Academic Probation
Undergraduate students who are on academic probation can enroll in a maximum of 13 units per semester while their GPA is below 2.0 (Academic Senate Policy F20-275). On rare occasions, individual exceptions to this unit limit may be granted with approval from the student’s department chair and college dean. Petitions for exceptions for undeclared students may be submitted to the Undergraduate Advising Center. The petition for this exception can be found on the Registrar’s website.
Subject to Disqualification and Academic Disqualification
Undergraduate students on academic probation or subject to disqualification are academically disqualified before the start of the subsequent fall or spring semester if their term GPA is less than a 2.0 and their SF State and/or combined cumulative GPA fall below the thresholds listed below:
- As a freshman (fewer than 30 units completed), their SF State or combined cumulative GPA is below 1.50.*
- As a sophomore (30-59 units completed), their SF State or combined cumulative GPA is below 1.70.
- As a junior (60-89 units completed), their SF State or combined cumulative GPA is below 1.85.
- As a senior (90 or more units completed), their SF State or combined cumulative GPA is below 1.95.
* Freshmen (with fewer than 30 units) will be placed on subject to disqualification status and are allowed an additional (third) semester at SF State before a term GPA less than 2.0 and an SF State or combined cumulative GPA of below 1.50 will result in academic disqualification.
Regardless of the term GPA, all undergraduate students whose SF State and combined cumulative GPAs stay above the thresholds listed above will also be allowed to continue at SF State and will remain in a subject to disqualification status.
All undergraduate students on probation who earn a term GPA of 2.0 or better or stay above the thresholds listed above will not be disqualified. Instead, they will be placed on subject to disqualification status and allowed an additional semester at SF State. They must also adhere to the same academic probation hold clearance procedures and unit limit policies, as stated above. For academic probation and disqualification, class standing is determined by a student’s total units earned, as reflected on the SF State transcript. This total includes all transfer coursework and transfer credit, including Advanced Placement credit.
Readmission of Disqualified Students
Students who have been academically disqualified from SF State must raise their SF State and combined cumulative GPAs to a 2.0 or better to be reinstated or readmitted to SF State. To raise the SF State GPA to 2.0, students must complete coursework in Open University through the College of Extended Learning. To raise the combined cumulative GPA, coursework may be completed at any accredited college. Students who raise their GPAs to a 2.0 or higher within one year may apply to be reinstated to SF State through the Registrar’s Office. Students who require more than two semesters to raise their GPAs to 2.0 or higher, must apply for admission to the University.
If disqualification resulted from reasons other than academic performance, approval for readmission must be obtained from the unit of the University that recommended the disqualification action. Students disqualified from another institution, including other CSU campuses, may not be admitted to San Francisco State unless they can demonstrate that the cause of the disqualification has been eliminated (additional coursework with good grades, etc.) and the student is otherwise eligible to return to the institution of disqualification. For additional information, see Readmission Procedures.
Students who have not been in attendance at SF State for more than one semester, including students who were on academic probation or were academically disqualified from the University, are expected to have a 2.0 or higher SF State and combined cumulative GPA to be re-admitted to SF State. When not matriculated, a former student must enroll in courses through Open University in the College of Extended Learning to raise their SF State GPA. Students who do not meet the 2.0 minimum GPA requirement may qualify to return through special consideration if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Have a grade point deficit of -12 or less
- Have completed 6 or more transferable units since last regular enrollment at SF State (maybe through the College of Extended Learning or another institution) and:
- Earned a 2.5 GPA or better in these courses
- Earned a grade of C or better in the coursework they have taken since their last regular enrollment at SF State
- Demonstrated they have sufficiently addressed the previous challenges that impacted their academic success and their plan for future success
Students interested in this option should speak with an advisor at the Undergraduate Advising Center.
Minimum Grade-Point Average
To be eligible for graduation, students must achieve a combined cumulative, SF State, and major GPA of 2.0 or better. The grade point average is calculated by dividing grade points by GPA units. CR and NC grades are not included in the calculation of grade point average. Students who do not meet the minimum 2.0 GPA requirement for SF State coursework or in their combined cumulative GPA will be subject to academic probation/disqualification guidelines, and ineligible for graduation until they have the necessary minimum 2.0 GPA.
An undergraduate, second baccalaureate, or graduate student may be placed on administrative/academic probation by the University for any of the following reasons:
- Withdrawal from all or a substantial portion of a program of studies in two successive terms or any three terms. A student whose withdrawal is directly associated with a chronic or recurring disability or its treatment is not to be subject to administrative/academic probation for such withdrawal.
- Repeated failure to progress toward the stated degree objective, or another program objective, including that resulting from assignment of 15 units of No Credit, when such failure appears to be due to circumstances within the control of the student.
- Failure to comply, after due notice, with an academic requirement or regulation which is routine for all students or a defined group of students. Examples: failure to complete a required CSU or campus examination, failure to complete a required practicum, failure to comply with professional standards appropriate to the field of study, failure to complete a specified number of units as a condition for receiving student financial aid, or failure in making satisfactory progress in the academic program.
When such action is taken, the student shall be notified in writing and shall be provided with the conditions for removal from probation and the circumstances that would lead to disqualification, should probation not be removed.
An undergraduate, second baccalaureate, or graduate student who has been placed on administrative/academic probation may be disqualified from further attendance if:
- The conditions for removal of administrative/academic probation are not met within the period specified.
- The student becomes subject to academic probation while on administrative/academic probation.
- The student becomes subject to administrative/academic probation for the same or similar reason for which he/she has been placed on administrative/academic probation previously, although not currently in such status.
When such action is taken, the student shall receive written notification, including an explanation of the basis for the action.
Students who have been on continuous probation and/or subject to disqualification for three continuous semesters may be administratively disqualified at the end of their third semester. This excludes summer enrollment.
In addition, an appropriate campus administrator may disqualify a student who at any time during enrollment has demonstrated behavior so contrary to the standards of the profession for which the student is preparing as to render him/her unfit for the profession. In such cases, disqualification will occur immediately upon notice to the student, which shall include an explanation of the basis for the action, and the campus may require the student to discontinue enrollment as of the date of the notification.
Academic Renewal may be used for the purpose of disregarding some undergraduate coursework from graduation requirements. According to Title 5 (Section 40402), “When, in the opinion of the appropriate campus authority, work completed during a previous enrollment at the campus or another institution of higher education is substandard and not reflective of the student’s present scholastic ability and level of performance, all work completed during one or two semesters, as the appropriate campus authority shall decide, may be disregarded in the computation of grade point averages and other requirements for graduation.” The conditions for approval noted below must be met for academic renewal to be invoked. These conditions are:
- The student has formally requested such action and presented evidence that substantiates that the work in question is substandard and not representative of her/his current scholastic ability and/or performance level, and
- The previous level of performance was due to extenuating circumstances, and
- All degree requirements except the earning of at least a “C” (2.0) grade point average have or will soon have been met.
University policy regarding academic renewal is not intended to permit the improvement of a student’s grade point average beyond what is required for graduation. Final determination that one or more terms shall be disregarded shall be based on careful review of evidence by a committee appointed by the president, which shall include the designee of the chief academic officer and consist of at least three members.
- Such final determination shall be made only when:
- Five years have elapsed since the most recent work to be disregarded was completed, and
- The student has earned in residence at the campus since the most recent work being considered was completed:
- 15-semester units with at least a 3.0 GPA or
- 30-semester units with at least a 2.5 GPA or
- 45-semester units with at least a 2.0 GPA.
When such action is taken, the student’s record shall be annotated so that it is readily evident to users of the record, that NO work taken during the disregarded term(s), even if satisfactory, has been applied towards the meeting of degree requirements. However, all work must remain legible on the record. The student’s academic transcript shall have the notation, “Acad Renewal” by each course approved for Academic Renewal with an explanation in the transcript’s legend.
If another institution has acted to remove coursework from consideration, such action shall be honored in terms of that institution’s policy. But, elimination of any coursework’s consideration shall reduce by one term the two-semester maximum on the application of academic renewal to a student’s record.
The following section applies to repeated coursework taken prior to Fall 2017:
This provision is applicable only if it enables the student to meet the 2.0 minimum grade point average required for graduation. The Registrar’s Office can apply this special provision to a student’s record at the point of graduation if it appears that the student may be denied graduation due to their GPA being below a 2.0. Advisor and student requests can be directed to the Registrar's Office. The following conditions apply:
- This type of grade forgiveness is only applied to repeated coursework where in the prior attempt the students earned a grade of C-, D, F or WU. Grades for both the previous and repeated attempts are recorded on the transcript.
- This special provision of academic renewal can only be applied to 16 units maximum of repeated coursework. This 16-unit maximum is a total for all grade forgiveness applied via both the Course Repeat Policy, F16-248 (for coursework repeated fall 2017 and beyond) and via individual course Academic Renewal (for coursework repeated prior to fall 2017).
- If a student secures permission to attempt a course beyond two times, and they have not yet reached the 16-unit maximum, then the grade points for the prior attempts can be excluded for graduation purposes (up to 16 units).
- Students transferring from other institutions where courses were taken and repeated are held to the policy of the institution where the course was repeated.
Grievances and Appeals
An undergraduate student who has questions or concerns about degree requirements or general University regulations should discuss them first with a major advisor. If students wish to review an issue or to appeal a decision, they should consult with the department or program chair and, if needed, the college dean. Should questions arise beyond this point with respect to where or to whom a specific appeal should be directed, the Dean of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning may be consulted for advice. After all of the informal procedures for grievances and appeals have been exhausted, the Dean of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning or designee may initiate formal grievance procedures.
A graduate student who has problems arising from evaluation, advancement to candidacy, degree requirements, or general regulations should discuss them first with a graduate major advisor. If a student wishes to review a problem or to appeal a decision, they should then consult with the department chair, college graduate coordinator, and the college dean, in that order. Should questions arise beyond this point with respect to where or to whom a specific appeal should be directed, the Dean of Graduate Studies may be consulted for advice. After all of the informal procedures for grievances and appeals have been exhausted, the Dean of the Graduate Division or designee may initiate formal grievance procedures.
See here for Student Grievance Procedures. Disabled students should consult the Disability Programs and Resource Center for disability-related grievance procedures.