Academic Standards

1. Probation

To be in good academic standing, students must maintain the following standards:

Hours Attempted Required
Cumulative GPA
1-29 1.5
30+ 2.00

A student who does not earn the required cumulative grade point average according to the number of semester hours attempted will be placed on academic probation. A student who has been placed on academic probation will have until the end of the next regular semester to show significant improvement in grades or be suspended from school. Significant improvement shall be defined as follows:

Total Hours Attempted GPA Earned
(including probationary semester)
1-29 1.75
30+ 2.00

If a student has been suspended because of academic reasons, the student will not be allowed to register for classes or attend the University for one full semester, excluding mini-session and summer terms. After one semester, the student may return to the University on a probationary status. The student must make significant improvement and the standards defined in the probationary section above. If improvement does not occur, the student will be suspended for one year from the date of the second suspension. Failure to earn at least a 2.00 grade point average during the returning semester will result in academic dismissal.

A student who believed there is justification for early readmission and chooses to appeal the suspension must submit a written appeal to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The letter of appeal must reach the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at least three business days prior to the registration for the semester for which readmission is sought. Appeals received after that date will not be considered for that semester. The Academic Suspension Appeal Committee will review the case and make a recommendation to the vice president for academic affairs. Credit earned while on academic suspension from any university, including SAU, will not by accepted by SAU.

2. Grading System

Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, uses the grading system of A, B, C, D, and F. The letters have the following significance.

Grade Grade Points per Semester Hour
A = excellent work 4
B = good work 3
C = satisfactory work 2
D = minimum passing work 1
F = failing work

Other grades that are recorded are AU, audit; CR, credit; I, incomplete work; NC, non-credit; P, pass; W, withdrawal with passing work; and WF, withdrawal with failure. (NC grades may be assigned only in remedial courses and Composition I.)

An incomplete grade may be given only for illness or other circumstances beyond the student’s control and must be removed prior to the week before final examinations of the next semester or it will be treated as an F grade.

A WF is computed as an F in the grade point average, but a W is not computed in the grade point average.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average is used to determine a student’s academic rating at any given time. The grade point average is obtained by multiplying the number of grade points awarded for each grade by the credit hour value for the course. Then the total number of grade points received for all SAU courses is divided by the total number of hours attempted at SAU. (For example: If a student has earned 34 grade points on 12 semester hours attempted, the grade point average is 34 divided by 12, or 2.883. Expressed in its letter equivalent, the average is higher than a C, but slightly less than a B.)

EXAMPLE: A student enrolls in five courses (12 credit hours) as follows:

Class CH Grade CH x GP Total
ENGL 3 A(4) 3 x 4 12
HIST 3 B(3) 3 x 3 9
MATH 3 C(2) 3 x 2 6
HS 2 C(2) 2 x 2 4
PHED 1 B(3) 1 x 3 3
Total 12 34

Semester grade point average: 34 GP ÷ 12 CH = 2.833

CH = Credit Hours
GP = Grade Points

Grade Forgiveness (Repeating a Course)

In order to receive credit for a course that was not completed successfully or to improve a grade point average, a course may be repeated. A grade of C or higher earned at another accredited institution will be entered on the SAU transcript, but the grade will not be used in calculating the cumulative grade point average. If a course is repeated at SAU, the grade earned the last time the course is taken will be used in calculating the cumulative grade point average. Only 24 semester hours of coursework can be repeated to improve a grade point.

In order to have a grade forgiven by repeating a course, the student should complete a Repeat Slip during the registration process or at the Office of the Registrar before the end of the semester in which the class is repeated.

3. Dropping a Course/Withdrawing

Dropping a Course:

A student may drop a course without penalty until the end of office hours on Wednesday of the tenth (10th) week of a regular semester or Wednesday of the third (3rd) week of a summer term subject to the approval of the advisor and the payment of a $10.00 fee. A student who drops a course after these deadlines will receive a grade of WF (withdrawal with failure), except for circumstances beyond the student’s control which are approved by the registrar. A grade of WF is computed in the grade point average as an F.

A student who stops attending class but does not officially withdraw will receive a grade of F in the course.

A student receiving VA benefits will be governed by Veterans Administration regulations regarding the dropping of courses and should contact the Office of the Registrar for information. Other agencies furnishing financial assistance to a student may have regulations affecting the dropping of courses which differ from those of the University policy.

Withdrawing from the University

A student who chooses to leave the University for any reason must officially withdraw. The withdrawal process is not complete until a withdrawal card has been obtained from the Office of the Dean of Students and completed by each administrative area listed. Any student who pre-registers and saves a schedule must follow this withdrawal process.

If a student withdraws from the University from week 11 through week 15 of a semester or week four of a summer session, a grade of W will be given for each course the student is passing at the time of the withdrawal, or a WF will be given if the student is failing. Exceptions to this policy may be made in the case of illness or some other valid reason.

A student may not officially withdraw from the University during the two final weeks of a semester or during the final week of a summer term, except for documented circumstances beyond the student’s control and approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. All other appeals must be approved by a committee of the vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for administration and finance, and the vice president for student affairs. A grade of W will be given for each course the student is passing at the time of the withdrawal, or a WF will be given if the student is failing.