Graduate students

GPA (Grade Point Average) Requirements for Graduate Students

Policy Number: 100407

Current Policy

Category: Academic » Grading



Grade point averages (GPAs) are computed using the following point scale.

A — 4 points for each unit of credit

B — 3 points

C — 2 points

D — Does not earn graduate credit

F —  Does not earn graduate credit

Computing the GPA

The university determines GPA by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the number of units of credit attempted. In determining the GPA, NAU does not include courses with grades of "AU" (Audit), "P" (Pass), "IP" (In-Progress), "I" (Incomplete), and "W" (Withdrawal)—or courses accepted as transfer credit.

Graduate GPA Requirements

Students working toward a graduate degree or graduate certificate, must:

    • earn a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) for all courses taken, including those required in the program of study; 
    • earn no more than 6 units of “C” course grades; and
    • earn no course grades of “D” or “F.”

           Please note the following exceptions:

    • The Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, and Master of Physician Assistant Studies programs allow 11 units of “C” grades.
    • Some programs restrict the number of units of “C” grades to less than 6 units to meet masters and doctoral program requirements (see individual program handbooks for details).
    • Specific courses for certain academic plans require grades higher than a “C” to meet plan requirements, as stated in the academic catalog.
    • No more than 3 units of "C" grades can be counted toward a graduate certificate.  

Probation Standards

Students who fail to maintain Good Academic Standing or to meet the Conditional Admission Standards will be automatically placed on academic probation by the Graduate College at the end of each regular academic term for any of the following reasons:

  • grades of “D” or “F,”
  • 6 or more units of “C” grades,
  • GPA below 3.00, or
  • failure to meet the Conditional Admission Standards

Academic units may also recommend academic probation for failure to meet academic requirements, including Academic Progress, by notifying the student in writing with a copy to the Graduate College of specific failures leading to the recommendation of probation.

A student who is on academic probation is required to meet with her or his advisor to discuss the steps necessary to remediate problems that led to probation and to devise a written action plan.  This written action plan must be submitted to the department chair/director and the Graduate College for final approval.

If a student has not met the terms of the approved action plan or fails a second time to maintain Good Academic Standing, one or both of the following actions will be taken:

  • The academic unit may initiate academic dismissal by notifying the student and the Graduate College in writing of the program’s intent to recommend dismissal.
  •  The student will be blocked from future enrollment.

Certain infractions may warrant the imposition of serious disciplinary measures, including dismissal, without prior discipline having been imposed, usually in collaboration with the Office of Student Life.

Unsatisfactory Grades

Admission to a program may be denied or revoked for any graduate student who receives unsatisfactory grades.

Students can appeal or petition for exception

Graduate students may petition for an exception to any academic, non-grade-related, graduate regulation for which no specific appeal or petition process exists. Petitions should be submitted, in writing, to the Associate Dean of the Graduate College. When applicable, the student’s advisor and department chair may endorse the petition letter. In some specific instances, utilizing the Graduate Academic Appeal Policy is more appropriate.

Students should contact the Associate Dean of the Graduate College for clarification on which process to initiate.

Special Circumstances

Graduate non-degree students can continue to enroll as graduate students as long as they maintain a cumulative graduate grade point average of 2.5 or better.

Graduate assistants, in order to continue with an assistantship, must remain in good academic standing, make satisfactory progress toward a degree, and complete at least 9 units of credit in their program each semester. If the student fails to make adequate progress toward a degree, or receives a grade below a "B," employment may be discontinued at the discretion of the unit.

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