Academic Standing and Progression Policy

Effective Spring 2013, the minimum requirements to remain in academic good standing are:

  • 1.80 Semester GPA
  • 2.00 Cumulative GPA
  • 67% Completion
Table 1.1 – 67% Completion rates for full-time students
Semester hours registeredMinimum hours to complete for 67%
18 hours12 hours
17 hours12 hours
16 hours11 hours
15 hours10 hours
14 hours10 hours
13 hours9 hours
12 hours8 hours
Note: To be considered a full-time student, a minimum of 12 hours registered are required.
Table 1.2 How does this impact me?
If your academic standing the current semester isAnd you meet the following requirements at the end of the semestersThen your academic standing for the following semester will be
Good StandingAll three requirementsGood Standing
Good Standingzero, one or two requirementsAcademic Probation*
Academic ProbationAll three requirementsGood Standing
Academic Probationone or two requirementsAcademic Continued Probation
Academic ProbationNone of the requirementsAcademic Suspension
Academic Continued ProbationAll three requirementsGood Standing
Academic Continued Probationzero, one or two requirements**Academic Suspension
Readmitted on ProbationAll three requirements**Good Standing
Readmitted on Probationzero, one or two requirements**Academic Suspension
*Academic Probation occurs only one time. If a student returns to Good Standing and does not meet the requirements at a later time, the student will be placed on Academic Continued Probation.** Students readmitted on probation may be required to fulfill additional conditions that are placed by their Academic Dean at the time of readmission. Requirements may include, but are not limited to, higher semester GPA, restriction on hours enrolled, and required follow up with campus resources. Readmission letters will outline specific readmission requirements.

Academic Suspension

Students placed on academic probation must complete a written academic plan and a written financial aid appeal (if receiving financial assistance) in order to meet their probationary terms. Guidelines on how to complete these requirements are outlined in each student’s probationary letter.

The first Academic Suspension is for a period of one long semester (fall or spring). Extenuating circumstances may be presented to the appropriate academic Dean for review. A second Academic Suspension is for a period of at least 12 months. Removal of probation after a suspension is governed by the readmission conditions.

GPA and Completion Ratio

The GPA for a semester includes all courses taken for credit. Therefore, in addition to courses passed with a grade of D or higher, the GPA includes those with F and WF. Not included are zero-hour course; pass/no-pass course; those taken as an Auditor; and courses with grades of W, WX, NC, I, IP, IS, or CR. All courses attempted, however, are figured into the semester completion ratio.

The above policy does not govern eligibility for financial assistance. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance for eligibility requirements.

Adding Courses

During the 100% refund period (corresponds to the first calendar week of fall and spring semesters or to the first two days of a summer session), changes to course schedules can be processed online via Gateway without incurring any charges. If attempting to add a closed course during the 100% refund period, the student must submit an add/drop form to the Registrar’s office with the signatures of the course instructor, the student’s academic adviser, and the chair of the department from which the course is being offered. If the course is part of the SMC then the signature of the Core Director is required.

During the 75% and 50% refund periods, signatures of approval from the course instructor, Academic Adviser, and Dean are required on all add/drop forms in order to add a course(s) and/or to switch sections within the same course. If a student wishes to add a course that has closed, he/she must submit an add/drop form to the Registrar’s Office with the appropriate signatures as previously indicated.

After the 50% refund period (approximately corresponds to after the third calendar week of classes during the fall or spring semester or after the first calendar week of classes during a summer session or an eight week course), students may not add any courses and/or switch sections within the same course except in extremely rare and extenuating circumstances as approved by the instructor of the course and the Dean of the school from which the course is being offered. This Add/Schedule Change policy is in agreement with our current Attendance policy which states that a student may be dropped from a course after missing the equivalent of two weeks of classes.

Class Attendance

The following attendance policy applies to Fall 2020 only.

Monitoring attendance, whether students are in-class or online, is critical for the early identification of at-risk students, helps our students with satisfactory academic progression, and can impact federal student aid dollars.

However, it must be recognized that our transition to offering courses In Person/Virtual (IPV), Virtual (V-synchronous online), and Online (OL-asynchronous online) modalities, complicates our current attendance policy.  It is recommended that the current St. Mary’s attendance policy be suspended for the fall semester and be replaced by this proposed attendance policy. The attendance policy should be revisited before October 15 to make decisions on the appropriate attendance policy for the spring 2021 semester.

Given the variety of teaching modalities that will be used this fall, it is necessary to define attendance and absences. Agreement on these terms is essential for consistent application of the proposed attendance policy.


I. Attendance

  • Attendance in a live classroom remains unchanged
  • Attendance in synchronous online classes – the faculty member determines the method(s) for ensuring active presence of synchronous online students but due to the diverse quality in bandwidth, uneven access to appropriate technology, and the unique home situations among students, attendance should not require the use of the Zoom video feature for the entire class to show that a student is present.
  • Examples of ensuring presence – use of Reactions during class; asking questions randomly to in-class students and online students; use of chat function to ask questions; use of Polls in Zoom, etc.
  • Attendance in asynchronous online classes – can be defined by the faculty member but must require students to complete asynchronous work according to the course assignment schedule.  All assignments must be able to be monitored and recorded by the course instructor. Failure to complete assignments according to the course schedule constitutes non-attendance.
  • Examples of ensuring attendance – weekly asynchronous assignments equivalent to in-class experience, e.g., watch a taped lecture followed by a brief essay or quiz; weekly posts to discussion boards in response to other students’ posts or in response to a prompt; student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction; weekly quizzes, etc.

II. Absences

If a student must be absent from a class for one of the reasons listed below, the student is required to communicate with the faculty member to provide information on the reason for the absence. Documentation is not required for University-related activities, legitimate health concerns and illness.  Documentation for University-related activities will be verified by the academic dean’s office.  Documentation for legitimate health concerns and illness will be verified by the Dean of Students. Students must be given the opportunity to make up any missed assignments or the equivalent. Untruthful student claims about absences are considered a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

  • University-related activities: Students who are absent from class while participating in a University-sponsored event or who are absent from the campus because they officially represent the University in such sponsored activities as intercollegiate athletics, debate tournaments, and tours will be excused from classes.
  • Legitimate health concerns: No student will be required to attend in-person classes if doing so endangers their health or the health of someone in their household. Students must be granted the freedom to learn in a manner that protects their safety and that of their family.
  • Illness: For the duration of the pandemic, students who are ill should not attend class and should self-report if symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. In cases of severe illness, students may also be excused from synchronous online classes and asynchronous online classes. For all situations, we recommend the following procedures:
  • Technology issues: Given the technology gap facing some students, instructors must make allowances (e.g., flexible time limits and due dates) for inevitable technology difficulties that may impact students’ ability to do their online coursework. A student who is unable to complete a synchronous or asynchronous assignment in a timely manner as a result of technology-related issues should be considered excused for submitting the assignment late and the assignment should not be penalized.
  • Home environments and obligations: Faculty should understand that students may be living in a home environment that can interfere with participating in synchronous online classes as they would in on-campus classes. Instructors should make allowances and not penalize students for non-participation in synchronous online classes that is the result of a difficult home environment.

Failure to attend classes for reasons other than those listed above are considered unexcused absences unless the faculty member, in consultation with the student, approves an absence as excused.


  • The attendance policy must be clearly stated in the course syllabus and include details on how attendance will be monitored for all modalities.
  • Faculty members will track student attendance on a regular basis in all classes using the recommended definitions that have been provided.
  • Faculty members will report through Rattler Navigate and to the appropriate academic Dean’s Office if a student has missed more than the equivalent of two weeks of classes.
  • Attendance cannot contribute to a student’s final grade unless it is offered as extra credit above and beyond the other component parts of a student’s final grade.
  • Faculty members cannot withdraw a student from a class for excessive absences or excessive late assignments.  Requests can be made to the appropriate academic Dean’s Office to withdraw a student from a class. If the Dean determines that a student should remain in the class, the final grade for the class will be based upon a student’s performance on the requirements specified in the course syllabus.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the instructor about any absence in order to receive opportunities to complete course work that was missed as a result of an absence.
Fall 2020 Class Attendance

For Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral students

Class attendance is related to academic success, and class participation contributes to the synergism of the educational process. Students are expected to attend all classes, including laboratories, practica, and events associated with the course or program.

The professor keeps the roll, may record a zero for any work missed due to an unexcused absence, and may drop a student for missing an equivalent of two weeks of classes. One absence in a laboratory will be the equivalent of two 50-minute classes or one 75-minute class. “Two weeks” are computed as follows:

Fall and Spring Semesters

  • Six unexcused absences in a 50 minute class period (M-W-F)
  • Four unexcused absences in a 75 minute class period (M-W, T-R)
  • Two unexcused absences in a 165 minute class period (Evening)

Summer Sessions

  • Four unexcused absences in a day class meeting
  • Two unexcused absences in an evening class meeting

Trimester Courses/Eight-Week Classes

  • Contact the Registrar’s Office for details


  • Three tardies constitute one absence.

Absences incurred during late registration are considered excused.

Absences for reasons other than University-sanctioned events (which must be approved by Deans or the Academic Vice President) will be determined to be “excused” or “not excused” by the professor.

An excessive number of absences, even if they are excused, can severely compromise the quality of the students’ learning experience. Therefore, if the professor judges that the student has missed excessive material due to absences (excused, unexcused or a combination of the two), that professor may initiate action for withdrawal from the class. Whenever possible, the professor shall notify a student one class prior to initiating action for a student’s withdrawal. The student will be charged a $10 fee for the add/drop slip (after the 100% refund period) regardless of whether the student or the professor submits the add/drop slip.

A grade of “W” (withdrawal) or “WF” (withdrawal failure) is assigned for a withdrawal if the withdrawal occurs after the 100% refund period. Remember, a “WF” is calculated in a student’s grade point average as an “F”. Refer to the Academic Calendar for the last day to drop with an automatic “W” and the last day to drop classes.

It is the responsibility of the student to contact the professor before an absence, if possible, or in the case of an emergency, as soon after the absence as possible. It is also the responsibility of the student to make up any work missed to the satisfaction of the professor on the basis of guidelines stated in that professor’s course syllabus.

Appeals from decisions made concerning this attendance policy may be brought to the attention of the appropriate Undergraduate Departmental Chairperson or Graduate Program Director. If the results of an appeal are not satisfactory at the chairperson level, an appeal may be brought to the attention of the Dean in whose school the course is taught.

For Law Students

St. Mary’s requires regular attendance in class. Students with problems that will cause numerous absences should see the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. In addition to the rules described below, a professor may impose alternate policies that do not affect a student’s grade or course registration. (For example, a student may be required to meet with the professor after a set number of absences.) For further information please refer to the Law Student Handbook.

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