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Academic Standards: FAQ


Your U of U cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or above for you to stay in good academic standing. You can view your GPA by logging on to CIS (and clicking 'Academic Summary').

Low List means that your term GPA is below a 2.0 but your cumulative GPA is a 2.0 or above. Basically, you had a rough semester, but you are still in good standing. You are still eligible to be enrolled at the University of Utah, but if you have any questions or academic concerns please call Academic Advising Center at 801-581-8146 to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor.

If your cumulative GPA is below 2.0 for the first time, you will be placed on academic warning. An advising hold will be placed on your registration and you will need to complete an Academic Standards Workshop in order to get the hold removed.

WARNING: The first term your cumulative GPA drops below 2.0, you are on warning and a hold is placed on your registration.

  • You will receive an e-mail from the Academic Advising Center instructing you to complete an Academic Success Workshop in order to have your registration hold removed.

PROBATION: If you have another term with both term and cumulative GPA below 2.0, you move to probation.

  • You will receive an email from the Academic Advising Center with instructions regarding two advising appointments.  You will need to meet with your major/department advisor and an Academic Advising Center advisor. 
  • Attached to the email will be a Probation Major Meeting Form  which you will need to print and have your major/department advisor fill out with you in an appointment. 
  • Bring the completed form to an advising appointment with an Academic Advising Center advisor.  Both meetings need to happen to have the hold removed.

SUSPENSION: After a third term with both term and cumulative GPA below 2.0, you will be suspended from the University.

  • The suspension period is three terms, and suspended students are required to appeal to come back to the University.
  • To initiate the appeal, you will need to make an appointment with an Academic Advising Center advisor three months prior to the start of the term you wish to return.

DISMISSAL: If you are suspended for a second time, you will be dismissed from the University.

The best course of action is to meet with an Academic Advising Center advisor to discuss your options especially BEFORE taking courses at other institutions.

The normal suspension period is at least three terms. To return and begin the appeal process, you should meet with an Academic Advising Center advisor three months before you would like to resume classes.

Suspension Appeal Deadlines Table

The advisors in the Academic Advising Center are available to help you succeed and reach your goals. If you are not doing as well as you would like, schedule an appointment with an Academic Advising Center academic advisor. Meeting with an advisor can help you to develop strategies to be more successful and give you ideas on how to raise your GPA.

See below to learn more about common problems students face and resources to help overcome them:

Time Management

Effective time management is critical to your success at the University of Utah

As a general rule, you should expect to study at least two hours for every hour you are in class. For example, if you are registered for 12 credit hours, you'll need at least 24 hours a week set aside for studying. If you have a job or other commitments, you may need to make adjustments to your course load or outside commitments.

It may take more time to graduate than you originally anticipated. The average time to graduate at the U is 6 years. It's more important to do well than to get your degree in 4 years.

You should set a schedule and stick to it. Come to the Academic Advising Center for help with time management planning, or visit the Learning Center website for information on classes, workshops, and other resources to help you effectively manage your time. You may also reach them by telephone at 801-581-5153.

"If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what’s most important and then give it all you've got." – Lee Iacocca


If a lack of motivation is causing you to struggle at the U, it is important to examine why you are here.

If your reasons for attending the U are external (to please others, for example), you may encounter problems. The most successful students go to school because they want to, not because they think they must.

It is often helpful for students to discuss their motivation and goals with an academic advisor. The advisors at the U can help you organize your thoughts and come up with options.

Another common reason students struggle with motivation is a lack of direction (no major or career goals). It is not uncommon to be undecided during your first year at the U, but if it is leading to poor performance, consider making a plan to decide on a major and career.

“Motivation doesn't last.  Neither does bathing that is why we recommend doing it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Social/Personal Issues

If you're experiencing family or relationship problems, illness, or financial difficulties, it may be hard for you to focus on school.

If you think personal problems are the main reason you are not doing well, start to figure out how to resolve those difficulties now, before school becomes just one more problem. The Counseling Center (801-581-6826) has trained counselors available to help students deal with personal issues.

You might also consider reducing your course load until you get things back under control. Talk with an academic advisor for more information about resources and options.

"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work." - H. L. Hunt

Study Skills

If you want to be a successful student at the U, you will need to develop good study skills. Students are sometimes able to make it through high school without studying much at all. At the University, it will be hard to do well without good study techniques.

If you're having problems knowing what to study or how to study, register for Strategies for College Success (Educational Psychology 2600) see class schedule It might also be helpful to get some tutoring. Tutoring for a fee is offered through the Learning Center. TRIO and the Center for Equity & Student Belonging (CESB) offer free tutoring for students who are eligible for their programs. There is also a free math tutoring center and a writing center.

Another problem for some students is test anxiety. If you go into tests well prepared, but then get so nervous during the exam that you can not recall the information you studied, you may have test anxiety. Contact the Counseling Center at 801-581- 6826 for more information and assistance.

"Sacrifice.  Giving up something good now for something better later." - Unknown

Class Selection

Choosing inappropriate classes is a common reason students have academic difficulties.

Before registering for any class, check out the course description and the prerequisites. This information can be found in the class schedule.

When choosing courses, don't rely on friends and family too much. Rather, work with an academic advisor who can assist you with placement in math and science courses, and help you to set up a balanced schedule.

Try to select a good mix of classes. When choosing a schedule, think about your academic strengths and weaknesses, and strive for balance.

"Action expresses priorities." - Mahatma Gandhi

Policies and Procedures

To be a successful student, you will need to know how things "work" at the University of Utah. The Student Handbook explains how and when to register, has links to the Class Schedule and Academic Calendar, and gives details about important polices and procedures. Some of the most important policies to be aware of are:

  • The repeat policy
  • The withdrawal policy
  • The incomplete policy
  • The CR/NC (credit/no credit) policy
  • Academic renewal

Please see the Registrar's Office for more information.

“I live in a country where dreams can come true, where failure is sometimes the first step to success, and where success is only another form of failure if we forget where our priorities should be.”  - Harry Lloyd

Electing Credit/No Credit will not impact your GPA. For example, if you elect CR/NC for 2 out of 5 courses, only 3 courses will count towards your semester/cumulative GPA.

One way to improve your grades is to repeat courses in which you did poorly.

  • After you repeat the course, the Registrar's Office should automatically replace your first grade with the grade you received when you retook the course (if this does not automatically take place, contact the Registrar's Office).
  • If you plan to repeat a course, consider why you didn't do well the first time.
    • If the course was too difficult, consider waiting until you take the necessary prerequisites or get more college experience.
    • If you found the course incredibly uninteresting, you might not be able to do any better in the class and thus not raise your cumulative GPA.
    • If you know you can substantially improve your original grade, consider retaking the course to raise your cumulative GPA.
  • REPEAT POLICY: Students may repeat any course taken at the University. However, grades of I, NC, W, V, and T DO NOT qualify for removal of previous grades. Hours earned in repeated courses may be counted toward graduation only once. The last grade received in the course is the one used in computation of the student's GPA.

See an academic advisor for other strategies to help you raise your GPA such as good class selection, balancing school with your other commitments through time management, and developing good study skills.

Students are allowed to withdraw from any course prior to the deadline each semester. These deadlines can be found in the academic calendar. Withdrawing from a course and receiving a W on the transcript is communicating that a student withdrew from the course and did not receive a grade. A W does not indicate struggling in the course or a failing grade and does not impact GPA. Students utilize this option if they are unable to complete a course successfully as a result of many different life circumstances. There are a few competitive undergraduate and graduate school programs that withdrawing from courses can impact admissions decisions in the future (e.g., Medical School or Engineering). However, most do not consider withdrawals in their decision making, especially in courses that are not connected to the discipline of study in the specific program. Withdrawing from one or more classes could impact your timeframe for graduation. As a student, this is a great reason to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to have a conversation about this policy and if it is appropriate to elect in a semester.

Financial aid and/or scholarships, housing eligibility, visa status, and VA benefits can be impacted by utilizing the withdrawal policy. It is recommended to speak with those offices before electing to withdraw from a course.

For more information about how to complete the withdrawal process in CIS, please click here.

In extenuating circumstances, a student may petition for an exception to policy and withdraw after the deadline. Please speak to an academic advisor to learn more.

The following are useful resources for most students:

Other resources can be found in this document (PDF).

If you have been on Academic Warning in the past and completed the Academic Success Workshop, you must now meet with an Academic Advising Center advisor. Please call 801-581-8146 to schedule an appointment.

Yes, summer semester is considered a regular academic semester, such as fall and spring.

GPA is an average of the grades received.

Contact the Academic Advising Center at 801-581-8146 if you need further help or assistance, or need to make an appointment.

Last Updated: 3/19/24