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Academic Standing

There are four states for your academic standing at Laurier:

  • May Proceed (Good Standing)
  • Academic Probation
  • Ineligible to Proceed
  • Required to Withdraw

Academic Probation

Academic probation occurs when your cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls to between 2.00 (D) and 3.99 on a minimum of 4.0 credit attempts.

If you are placed on academic probation, you may continue to study at Laurier for 4.0 more credit attempts before your status is assessed again. Note: Students enrolled in honours BA or BSc programs are excluded from progressing in an honours program while on probation, and they will be placed into a general degree program (BA or BSc) without designation.

In order to clear probation, you must raise your cumulative GPA to at least 4.00 (C-) by the end of the probationary period, which will extend to the end of the term (May, June, August or December) in which you complete a fourth credit attempt after being placed on probation. The cumulative GPA calculated to determine whether or not you have cleared probation will include all credits completed by the end of the probationary period.

A student who fails to clear probation after completing 4.0 credits will be required to withdraw from the university.


A student who has been placed on probation, and who at the end of the probationary period obtains a GPA of at least 5.00 (C) on a minimum of 4.0 credits taken after being placed on probation, but whose cumulative GPA is less than 4.0, will have until the end of an additional probationary period to raise the cumulative GPA to 4.00.

Clearing Probation

Once probation is cleared, you will return to Good Standing (May Proceed) status. However, if your overall GPA falls below 4.00 again after probation has been cleared, you will be required to withdraw from the university.

For information on re-entry into your honours program, contact an academic advisor.

Tips for Clearing Probation

Course Selection and Repeating Courses

When you’re on probation, courses selection is particularly important. Students on probation may not cross-register in courses at the University of Waterloo, nor attend another university on a Letter of Permission. Consult an academic advisor about course selection while on probation.

One strategy for improving your overall GPA is to repeat the courses that you feel you can most improve on. We strongly recommend that you consult with an academic advisor on which repeat classes will be most effective in achieving your academic goals.

When a course is repeated the grade received in the last attempt will be used to calculate your GPA. Students in degree programs may repeat up to a maximum of 2.0 credits. When a course is repeated, the first attempt will remain on your transcript. No course may be attempted more than twice.

You should also carefully evaluate your standing in each course before the deadline so you can drop a course without academic penalty if necessary (see important academic dates).

Course Load

Attempting a full course load is not usually a good idea, and current regulations limit you to a maximum of four 0.5-credit courses (or equivalent) per term while on probation. This allows you to commit more time to each course; it’s important to note, however, that this can have implications for RESPs that require a full five-course load.

Academic Advising

We are concerned about your academic performance and want to see you succeed in your studies at Laurier. Take a proactive role in your education by meeting with an academic advisor throughout your probationary period.

Additional Support Services

We recognize that student academic success is based on a variety of factors. We encourage you to connect with multiple student support services as needed. These are free services available on campus.

Required to Withdraw

Students may be required to withdraw from the university for a number of reasons:

  • A student whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) is less than 2.00, when academic decisions are made at the completion of each full year of study in May, will be required to withdraw from the university.
  • A student who fails to clear probation (after completing 4.0 credit attempts) will be required to withdraw from the university.
  • A student who fails more than 5.0 credits (or equivalent, including repeated courses) will be required to withdraw from the university.

Students that have been required to withdraw from the university, and who would like to apply to return to studies, must follow the readmission procedures. There may be cases where it is not in the student's best interest to attempt readmission to Laurier – consult with an academic advisor.

To remain in good academic standing, you must:

  • Attain the minimum required academic standing in your courses;
  • Maintain continuous registration each semester  in your program unless on an approved leave; and
  • Where required, and receive a satisfactory assessment on required progress reports.

Master's Students

Master's students must attain at least a B- grade in each course and, where required by the degree program, must present and defend an acceptable thesis/research paper. Most two-year master's programs also require periodic progress reports. Consult the graduate coordinator for your program for details.

Doctoral Students

Doctoral must attain at least a B grade in each course. Some programs have additional requirements concerning satisfactory performance. Consult the specific program section in the graduate academic calendar for details.

In addition, doctoral students are required to submit a report outlining their progress in the program over the past year, by April 15 annually. The academic unit/supervisory committee reviews the report and completes the annual evaluation of a student's overall program of studies and research to determine whether progress is deemed satisfactory.

In the event that progress is deemed unsatisfactory, the department may recommend to the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies that the student be required to withdraw.

Probationary Status

A master's or doctoral student who has failed a course, receives an progress report assessment indicating progression concerns, or who is permitted to continue in a program without fully meeting some requirement, may be classified as a probationary student following a formal review by the department, school or faculty. The student will remain on probation until the course or its equivalent is successfully completed or until some predetermined requirement or condition has been met.

Failure to remove the probationary status within three terms will result in the student being required to withdraw from the program.

Students who are placed on academic probation may, on the recommendation of the department or faculty, be deemed ineligible to receive scholarship and/or Teaching Assistantships until probationary conditions have been cleared.

Required to Withdraw

Where a student has received an unsatisfactory progress report and the remedial period has expired, the program will advise the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies that the student is required to withdraw. A statement outlining the recommendation and the chronology of events leading to the recommendation (including evaluation reports) is submitted to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The dean will communicate the decision to the student in writing.

The student will be given an opportunity to voluntarily withdraw from the program. The withdrawal request must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies within 10 calendar days from the date of the letter to the student from the dean.

A student who is required to withdraw may request reconsideration of that decision to the Graduate Student Appeal Committee if there is new information to present.