Academic Actions and Exceptions

Good Academic Standing

A graduate student in good academic standing is making adequate progress toward the completion of degree requirements both in terms of time and quality of work. Students in good standing will maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better in their coursework (with at least six credit hours attempted). Individual graduate programs may adopt stricter requirements for good academic standing, which need to be formally approved and included in their section of the University Graduate Catalog. 

Graduate students should periodically discuss their academic progress with their advisors to learn whether they are performing satisfactorily and making sufficient progress toward the degree.

Probation & Dismissal Process

If a graduate student is deemed not to be in good academic standing in a given term or half term, the graduate program will decide to place the student on academic probation in the following term or half term for at least the duration of that entire term or require the student to withdraw from the University.  Graduate programs will notify students in writing when their performance falls below acceptable levels. Students should be notified of their probationary status ahead of the add/drop deadline of the subsequent semester, otherwise they will be granted an additional full semester of probation.

During the probationary status, the student will not be awarded a graduate degree or certificate or be advanced to candidacy. For students on probation, individual graduate programs may also create policies requiring students to achieve minimum grades in the overall program of study and/or in particular courses, provided such stipulations are applied fairly, transparently, and consistently among the graduate student population in the program. A longer probationary period may be granted at the discretion of the program. Whenever an extended probationary period is granted, a list of clear expectations and milestones shall be shared with the student in writing, and progress shall be tracked.

A student on probation when last enrolled in a graduate program who wishes to be readmitted to that program, or change programs, or degree level, must submit a petition along with the Request for readmission form or application to a new program. The petition should provide reasons for the poor academic record, explain how conditions that produced the poor performance have changed, and present specific plans for improvement. The admitting graduate program reviews the documents and makes a determination on admission/readmission as well as any conditions of academic probation.

A student whose cumulative GPA falls below a B (3.0 on a 4.0 point scale), or who is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, may be denied permission to register, required to withdraw from the term, or be dismissed from the program. Immediate dismissal without a probationary period should only be used in the most extreme situations, where student success support efforts are highly unlikely to succeed. The decision to dismiss a student without a probationary period should be reviewed by the college academic standards committee or an equivalent committee. Programs must provide the student with written notification of the grounds for dismissal.

See also Time to Degree policy and Regulations of Student Conduct.

Exceptions and Petitions

Students are responsible for complying with all policies and deadlines at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The University academic policies, procedures, and deadlines can be found online in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs along with the Academic Calendar. A petition may be used to request an exception to some academic rules and policies.

Academic petitions are not automatically granted, but rather reviewed and evaluated with consideration of fairness and equity for all students, and on the basis of strong and well-documented arguments which clearly support a student’s case for an exception. An exception to University policy is warranted only in cases involving unusual or extenuating circumstances that would normally not be faced by other students. Students should be aware that not every academic policy is petitionable. For a list of petitionable academic policies students should consult the Student Petitions webpage.

For cases unrelated to academic policies, such as disputing a grade, non-academic cases, or other equity concerns, students should seek the counsel of the University Ombuds for a referral to the correct policy or relevant office.

Procedures for Filing Petitions:

Petition requests must be submitted prior to graduating from the enrolled degree program and within three years of the petitionable event, unless otherwise specified in the policy governing the topic of the petition. 

  1. Complete the online Academic Policies Petition Form, found on the Student Petitions webpage, including preparing a well-supported rationale describing the request for an exception to policy.
  2. Attach all supporting/relevant documentation to the form. Some examples are hospital records, a letter from a physician, a statement from a counselor, or court records. If the circumstances relate to a death, an obituary or death certificate should be submitted. Students are encouraged to make copies for their personal files

NOTE: When an academic action is reversed as a result of an approved petition, students may lose eligibility/benefits. There, students should consult with the appropriate offices (e.g., Financial Aid, Veterans Affairs, Athletics, etc.) to assess the potential consequences before submitting a petition. Once submitted, the petition and supporting documents become a part of a student's educational record (link is external).

Please allow approximately four to six weeks for the petition to be reviewed. Students will be notified by email or mail of the decision.

Examples of Appropriate and Inappropriate Requests

If a student is hospitalized before the withdrawal deadline, ideally she/he would withdraw before that date.

  1. However, if a student is hospitalized and misses the semester withdrawal deadline, it may be appropriate for her/him to file a petition requesting a retroactive withdrawal, which needs to include official documentation such as hospital records or a letter from her/his physician.
  2. If the student was hospitalized and fully recovered before the withdrawal deadline, a petition would not be appropriate because the student would have been able to act within the deadline.

Petitions Evaluation Process

Petitions are reviewed on a regular schedule. Depending on the type of petition, the following offices are involved in the review and approval process:

  1. College Advising Office
  2. Graduate Staff
  3. Faculty
  4. Graduate Program Director
  5. College Academic Standards Committee[1]
  6. Office of the Dean
  7. Office of the Provost

Financial Aid recipients and students who receive Veteran Educational benefits are advised to meet with the appropriate office to review any possible effects from the petition approval.


[1] Each unit shall have a committee serving as an academic standards committee (ASC) with a minimum of three faculty members. ASC will include an ex officio academic advisor (non-voting) who will present objectively to the committee, provide context for each case, answer questions and provide clarifications.