Academic Probation

Academic probation is a serious matter. Students who do not clear academic probation by the end of the next semester (fall or spring) of enrollment will be subject to dismissal by the College of Letters & Science. It is very important for students to meet with a College Adviser to understand their academic status and make sure they are aware of the steps they should take to return to good academic standing.

Effective Spring 2016, the regulations governing Academic Probation and dismissal in the College of Letters & Science have changed. As a result, students can be placed on probation due to the impact of deficient grades, or by failing to complete any letter graded coursework.

These changes have direct practical implications:

  • Students must enroll in and pass letter-graded coursework each semester in order to earn sufficient grade points to achieve good academic standing.
  • A student who receives all incomplete grades, takes all courses on a passed/not passed basis, earns all IPs, or a combination of passed/not passed, incomplete, NR and IP grades will fail to achieve a sufficient GPA and will be placed on probation. Even if the student earns all passes, since no grade points are earned, the student will have a 0.0 GPA and will be placed on probation.

There are numerous scenarios that may arise as a result of the amended Academic Senate regulations. Please meet with a College Adviser if you have questions about your situation.

Types of Academic Probation

1.5 Term Probation

  • A student is placed on 1.5 Term Probation at the end of a fall or spring semester if the student fails to achieve at least a grade-point average of 1.5 for that semester. To clear 1.5 term probation (return to good academic standing) a minimum 2.0 term (semester) and 2.0 cumulative UC GPA must be achieved by the end of the next semester of enrollment (probationary term).

2.0 Academic Probation

  • A student is placed on 2.0 Academic Probation at the end of a fall or spring semester if the student fails to achieve at least an overall UC grade-point average of 2.0. To clear overall probation (return to good academic standing), a minimum 2.0 term (semester) and a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA must be achieved by the end of the next semester of enrollment (probationary term).

To Clear Academic Probation, Take the Following Steps

1) Meet with a College Adviser 

  • Discuss and understand your academic status and the requirements to clear probation. It is not possible to clear academic probation with Summer Session grades.
  • Develop a feasible and strategic course schedule for your probationary term
    • Course Planning for Probationary term
      • All courses must be taken for a letter grade. Courses offered only on a Passed/Not Passed basis are permitted.
      • Students must be enrolled full time in a minimum of 13 units. For permitted exceptions, review Course Load Limits.

2) Attend a College of Letters & Science Reach for Success workshop. See our events page for more details.

3) Check in with your College Adviser after you have received midterm grades.

4) Attend a College of Letters & Science Save Your Semester Workshop. See our events page for more details.

Note: official grades are not posted until several weeks after the close of the semester, and consequently there is a delay in letting you know if you have cleared probation. To determine your status as soon as possible, ask your instructors for final grades.

Students Who Believe They Will Not Clear Probation, Take the Following Steps

Students who do not clear probation with their probationary term grades are “Subject to Dismissal.” Students who are subject to dismissal are reviewed by the Dismissal Review Committee and are either dismissed from the University or continued on probation. Please review more information below. 

1) Meet with College Adviser as soon as possible to talk about options and next steps

  • Discuss and understand what “Subject to Dismissal” means
  • Discuss writing a “Continue on Probation (COP)” letter to the Dismissal Review Committee (DRC) requesting an additional semester to clear probation. Please note that submitting a COP letter does not guarantee an additional term to clear probation.

Continue On Probation (COP) Letters should include:

  • Student ID number
  • Why you were unable to clear probation, including any exceptional circumstances outside of your control.
  • Any pertinent issues you have not previously shared with a College Adviser.
  • Steps you have taken to clear academic probation, including resources used.
  • What you would do to clear academic probation if granted another term.
  • The courses planned for the continued on probation semester.
  • If you have senior standing (90 or more units), attach a program plan signed by your undergraduate major adviser (UMA) or the adviser of your intended major.

For Fall 2019, Continued on Probation Letters are due Friday December 20th and can be turned in to 206 Evans or 156 Dwinelle. 

2) Review the Dismissal Review Committee process below.

Dismissal Review Committee (DRC) Process

What We Do: Once final grades are posted, the Dismissal Review Committee (DRC) reviews student records and makes a final  determination about dismissal. The Committee consists of L&S Advising Deans and the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Advising.

Comprehensive Review: In addition to considering academic performance indicators such as GPA, the DRC comprehensive review includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Declaration of Major
  • Past academic performance
  • Prior contact with the Office of Undergraduate Advising and/or other advising units, including completion of the online Reach For Success workshop or participation in an in-person Reach for Success workshop
  • Personal circumstances
  • College Adviser recommendation
  • Student COP letter, if provided

How Students are Notified
The Dean of the College of Letters & Science notifies students of dismissal and continue on probation decisions by email within four weeks of official posting of grades.

Students who are Dismissed

  • Students who wish to resume their studies at Berkeley will need to complete terms to apply for readmission and appeal for readmission to the Deans Conference. Review Dismissal for more detailed information.
  • Students may decide to pursue their education at another institution or pursue other interests.

Appeals of a DRC decision to Dismiss

  • There is no appeal of the dismissal decision, however readmission after dismissal is a possibility. Review info on Dismissal.