Academic Standing, Probation and Dismissal – Graduate

Good academic standing is maintained by meeting the standards for credits attempted and for grade point average. A student must attempt a minimum of 12 credits in the fall and spring semesters and three credits each Wintersession (courses graded Audit (AU) and Withdrawn (W) do not count toward the attempted minimum credit loads) and earn a semester grade point average which meets the following minimum standard:

2.00 – First-year MArch. candidates

2.70 - First-year MLA candidates

3.00 – All graduate students, except first-year MArch candidates and first semester MLA candidates

The minimum cumulative grade point average required for graduation is 3.00, except for MArch and MLA candidates, who need a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.

The Academic Standing Committee reviews the academic performance of all students at the end of each term. Students are expected to meet minimum academic standards, not only for each term, but also cumulatively. Any student attempting fewer than the required minimum number of credits or earning a GPA less than the published standard will be subject to academic probation. Two successive semesters or three non-consecutive semesters of substandard performance will normally result in dismissal of the student from the college.

Even if a student has not been at RISD for multiple semesters, so could not already have been placed on probation, the Academic Standing Committee (ASC) could determine that mandatory leave or withdrawal from the College is appropriate when the student's academic performance is below the required minimum Grade Point Average (GPA). Similarly, the ASC could make this determination for a student in the first semester of a new major or degree program, when the GPA is below minimum or the student fails too many prerequisite courses to be allowed to register for the sequential courses in the upcoming semester. The ASC considers such determinations upon the recommendation of the student's Department Head and Divisional Dean. Once a student is placed on probation, he or she will remain in that status until the end of the next semester, at which time the Academic Standing Committee will review the student’s academic record.

For purposes of academic review by the Academic Standing Committee, a grade of I (for incomplete) is computed in the grade point average as an F. Students may be subject to warning of academic probation or warning of academic dismissal (as appropriate) until the I grade is made up through the completion of required work.

Academic Standing Committee

The Academic Standing Committee, along with the student’s department head, reviews the academic performance of all students at the end of the fall and spring terms.

This committee also hears requests from students seeking exceptions to academic policies (e.g. enrolling for less than a full-time load, late course adds or drops, participating in commencement when degree requirements are not yet met). This committee meets regularly during the academic year. Students may file requests for exceptions with the Registrar’s office.

The Academic Standing Committee is chaired by the vice provost. Additional members are a faculty member elected by the Instruction Committee from its membership, two faculty members elected by the faculty, the registrar, the dean of students, and the coordinator of Academic Advising.

See the matrix used to calculate academic standing.