Academic Policies

Table of Contents

Academic Action

Academic Action is the blanket term to address any disciplinary status applied to a student's record as a result of declining academic performance. The three categories of Academic Action are probation, suspension, and dismissal, and they always occur in that respective order. Academic Action takes into account a student's cumulative GPA as well as semester/term GPA.

Academic Action Index

Hours Attempted Last Semester GPA
0-16 2.0
17-48 2.1
49-64 2.2
65+ 2.3

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative grade point average for courses taken at Binghamton falls below 2.0 are placed on academic probation for the following semester and are subject to the following restrictions:

  • may not register for more than 14 credit hours
  • may not run for or accept any campus office or committee chairmanship

Students are removed from academic probation when their cumulative GPA reaches 2.0

Academic probation does not preclude students from receiving financial aid.

Academic Suspension

Students on academic probation who again fail to meet both the 2.0 cumulative GPA and the last-semester GPA, as shown in the Academic Action Index above, are suspended. Students who meet the last-semester GPA requirement but still post a cumulative GPA under 2.0 remain on academic probation.

Suspension becomes effective immediately when it is imposed.

The duration for academic suspension is one semester, and students are not considered for readmission during that period.

Suspension Appeal

Appeals will be considered for students, but only if the suspension is due to extreme circumstances. An appeal letter must be written by the suspended student.

Any medically-related appeal must be supported by acceptable medical documentation and must include written statements by medical professionals.

Any other type of extreme emergency situation must also be carefully and officially documented.

Suspension Readmission

Students who decide to request readmission after the minimum of one semester away from school due to suspension are required to contact the Watson Advising Office to discuss their academic plan and begin the readmission process.

Academic Dismissal

Students who, after being suspended and readmitted, once again fail to meet the required academic standards, are dismissed.

Academic Honors

Full-time students who complete a semester with a 3.5 or better GPA are placed on the Dean's Honors List. This honor is noted on the permanent transcript. 

  • 3.50-3.69 GPA: cum laude
  • 3.70-3.84 GPA: magna cum laude
  • 3.85-4.00 GPA: summa cum laude

Academic Progress Guide

Here is a guide to your academic progress here at Binghamton University. For official University policy, please check the University Bulletin.

Students' academic progress is reviewed at the end of each regular semester to ensure that satisfactory progress is maintained.

"Satisfactory progress" is defined as maintaining a 2.0 grade-point average (GPA).

The GPA is calculated on a 4.0 system using the following grade-point equivalents:

  • A = 4.0
  • A- = 3.7
  • B+ = 3.3
  • B = 3.0
  • B- = 2.7
  • C+ = 2.3
  • C = 2.0
  • C- = 1.7
  • D = 1.0
  • F = 0.0

Some students are advised to retake a course if they did not meet the minimum grade requirement.

Only if a failed course is retaken does that grade become part of the cumulative grade-point average.

When a course in which a student has earned a grade of D or better is retaken, it does count toward full-time enrollment during the semester in which it is retaken but the final grade does not replace the first (D) in the student's DegreeWorks Report or the student's grade-point average.

Add/Drop Policies

Students are expected to be familiar with the University-wide policies governing changes in their course registration, specifically the add/drop deadlines. 

Add/Drop Deadline: The add and drop deadline is typically two weeks after the start of classes.  Prior to this deadline, students are able to make changes to their schedule with no permanent record of these adjustments on their undergraduate record.

Course Withdrawal:  After the add/drop deadline has passed and prior to the course withdrawal deadline, students may withdraw from individual courses. (If students choose to withdraw from ALL their courses, see "University Withdrawal" below.) Courses withdrawn appear on a student’s schedule with a notation of “W”. Withdrawn courses are noted on a student’s transcript but there is no grade associated with a “W.” Course withdrawal can be completed on BU Brain (Student Tab > Registration > Add/Drop Courses > Web Withdrawal).

University Withdrawal/Semester Withdrawal:  Students who want to withdraw from all courses for the semester should complete the undergraduate semester withdrawal form. The semester withdrawal is noted on a student’s record as an official withdrawal and, in place of grades, all courses will have a “W” on the student’s transcript. The deadline to withdraw from the full semester is typically the last day of classes.

All above-mentioned deadlines for the current semester can be found on the University calendar.

Note: If an academic petition is approved for a late add or late drop because of extraordinary circumstances, a late add/drop fee is placed on your student account.

Late Course Withdrawal

Under extraordinary circumstances, a student may seek a late withdrawal from a course via BU Brain. This is subject to the approval of the instructor, the department, and Watson Advising, and requires both of the following:

  • A complete description of extenuating circumstances.
  • Accompanying official documentation (letters, incidence reports, etc.).

Both of the above are mandatory. A request must be received by the Watson Advising Office by the last day of classes in the current semester. It is against Watson College policy to permit course withdrawals from prior semesters.

For semester withdrawals, students should refer to the University policy.

Final Grade Appeal

The Watson College adheres to the academic policies outlined in the University Bulletin.

Yet, the college recognizes that at times students may believe that a grade has been unfairly assigned and want to appeal the grade. Students enrolled in a course offered in a department or program within Watson College have the right to do so, though in keeping with the University Bulletin, grade appeals in general will not be supported unless an error was made by the instructor. Students who wish to appeal a grade received in a Watson College course must follow the steps outlined below.

First Step - Instructor of Record

The student must first contact the instructor of record to discuss the grade and determine whether a change in grade will be made. The instructor has the right to ask the student for additional materials as needed to make a decision on the appeal. If the instructor denies the appeal, the student can then move to the next step of the appeals process. 

Second Step - Department Chair

If the instructor of record rejects the appeal, the student then has the option of bringing the appeal to the chair of the program or department in which the course was listed. Because the appeal process at this level may vary by department, students wishing to file an appeal with a department chair should first contact the department to learn of necessary procedures. Chairs can elect to discuss the matter with the student or may appoint a delegate to discuss the appeal. The appeal process may be done in person or in writing and may require the submission of additional information, all at the discretion of the chair. If the chair decides to reject the appeal, the student then has the option of appealing to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Administration.

Third Step - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Administration

Students wishing to appeal to the Associate Dean will be required to complete the attached form and attach supporting documentation, as listed on the form. All documents should be submitted in hard copy to the Watson Dean’s Office. The Associate Dean will review the documents and may contact the student or instructor to obtain additional information. Once the review is complete, the Associate Dean will notify the student of the decision. The decision of the Associate Dean is final in these matters. 

Hardcopy of Form