Policy Statement - 11-10 Academic Progress Rules

Academic Progress Rules for Undergraduate Programs

This policy statement was recommended by the Academic Senate on November 17, 2011  
and approved by the President on November 30, 2011. 

    The purpose of this policy is to create rules for departments seeking to identify at-risk students who are not making sufficient progress in their undergraduate academic programs for the purposes of intervention.  Students so identified will be required to meet with academic advisors to develop a plan that will lead to successful completion of the existing program. If it is determined that successful completion of the existing academic program is not achievable then the student will be dismissed from that program and guided to a more appropriate program.



Departments or colleges who wish to implement academic progress rules must create plans that contain the following:

Clearly identified milestones that indicate that a student is making academic progress. The milestones must be consistent with graduation requirements and university policy. Possible academic progress milestones include but are not limited to:

Passing grades in specified required courses;

Semester GPAs above 2.0 (or higher for pre-majors if the impacted major has  a heightened GPA criteria);

Number of units earned;

GPA in the  major and upper division GPA in the major above 2.0;

Excessive numbers of repeats or withdrawals.

Clearly articulated timelines that identify how and by when the milestones must be met (end of one academic year, one calendar year, by 30 units, by 60 units, by 90 units, etc.) and what the consequences are for missing a milestone. Such plans will include adjustments as necessary for students requiring developmental work and transfer students.

Detailed descriptions of the intervention that will follow a missed milestone. The intervention must include mandatory academic advising to provide the student with guidance to meet the missed milestone the following semester.

Clearly articulated timelines for dismissal from the academic program for students who have missed a milestone for two successive semesters.

Detailed descriptions of the process by which students dismissed from the academic program will be advised and tracked into new academic programs.


    Academic Progress Rules plans must first be approved through the regular department and college curricular approval process and then be submitted to the Provost’s Office. Plans for Academic Progress Rules for pre-majors in impacted programs should describe the consultative process that was used in lieu of the departmental curricular process.  All Academic Progress Rules plans must be approved by the Provost’s Office before they are implemented to assure that they adhere to university and state educational policies. All plans must be published in the university catalog and included in all advising materials. Departments or colleges may revise plans, subject to approval by the Provost’s Office.


    Students may only be dismissed from their academic program if the department or college has followed the approved academic progress plan. Department Chairs or Associate Deans may decide that the student’s performance merits additional time to complete a missed milestone. Department Chairs or Associate Deans must notify students in writing or via email that they have been dismissed from the academic program. The college dismissing the student bears the responsibility for ensuring that dismissed students see the appropriate advisor and are admitted to a new academic program or moved to undeclared status. Resulting changes to student academic program objectives must be communicated to Enrollment Services in a timely manner.

    Students who are dismissed from an academic program have a right to appeal that dismissal to the office of the Dean of the College, and if not satisfied they may file an appeal with the Academic Appeals Committee.



    Students may be denied a request to declare an academic program if the student’s academic record already demonstrates lack of success based on that program’s approved Academic Progress Rules. These students should be referred to the college’s professional advisors or, in their absence, to the University Center for Undergraduate Advising.


    Students who have missed an academic progress milestone or who have GPAs below 2.5 may not add additional degree objectives, minors, or certificates unless approved by the advisor for their current primary academic program. Students who have missed a milestone or have GPAs below 2.5 may change primary academic programs to facilitate timely progress toward their degree.


EFFECTIVE: Immediately