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Academic Probation and Progress Toward the Degree

What are the significance and purpose of "probation status?
In any given semester, about 40-60 students are on probation.  This designation indicates to the student and to his or her advisor that the student is in serious academic difficulty and must take steps immediately to improve his or her academic record.  Students on probation are not in immediate danger of flunking out of the College, and the majority of students on probation recover quickly from their academic problems. But probation status is a serious state of affairs, for one's being on probation a second time places one below the "Minimal Standards for Continuation" (see other side of this sheet).

How does a student earn probation status?
If a student's grade point for a single semester falls below 2.00, or if the student's cumulative average falls below 2.00, s/he is placed on "probation."  The designation "probation" appears on the grade report next to the semester average.

What happens next?
The Office of the Dean of Studies sends letters to all probation students urging them to see their faculty advisors and recommending a meeting with a member of the Dean of Studies Office.  Both consultations are an effort to clarify the situation with the student, to explore the problems that might have led to the probation, to plan a course of action for the upcoming semester, to acquaint the student with support services at Skidmore, and to review minimal academic standards for continuation.

What other consequences are there for the probation student?
The Student Government Association disallows students from running for office or holding office if the student's cumulative average falls below 2.00. A student's eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics may also be jeopardized by a poor record (student athletes should consult closely with the Department of Exercise Science, Dance, and Athletics and review the minimal standards printed in the Academic Information Guide). Clearly one's academic standing at Skidmore is of the greatest importance, and students in severe academic jeopardy should devote all their attention to improving their records.  The Committee on Academic Standing, and the Office of the Dean of Studies, recommends that students on probation limit their involvement in all co-curricular and athletic pursuits in order to concentrate on academic achievement.

Skidmore's Committee on Academic Standing observes three principles in determining students' eligibility to continue their studies at the College:

  • First, students must meet or exceed semester-by-semester minimal standards for grade point average and for semester hours completed (see the chart below).
  • Second, a student risks disqualification if his or her term or overall GPA falls below 2.00 and thus earns a second "probation" warning.
  • Third, a student may be disqualified if his or her GPA in the major field of study falls below 2.00 by the end of the junior year or thereafter.

NOTE:  To remain in good academic standing and to assure their continuation at the College, students must meet all three of the standards described above.

SEMESTER MINIMAL CONTINUATION STANDARDS: The following chart describes the minimal standards which the student must meet by the end of each semester (and see additional criteria above):

End of: Semester Hours
Cumulative Grade
Point Average
Cumulative GPA for
Class of 2002 and Beyond
First Semester 6 1.50 1.67
Second Semester 18 1.67 1.85
Third Semester 30 1.85 2.00
Fourth Semester 45 2.00 2.00
Fifth Semester 60 2.00 2.00
Sixth Semester 72 2.00 2.00
Seventh Semester 84 2.00 2.00
Eighth Semester 96 2.00 2.00
Ninth Semester 108 2.00 2.00
Tenth Semester 120 2.00 2.00

Office of the Dean of Studies
January 2000