Undergraduate Advising Center Your Gateway to Graduation

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Mandatory Academic Probation Advising:

Probation & Subject to Disqualification

What is academic probation?

Undergraduate students will be placed on probation when the cumulative GPA or SF State GPA falls below 2.0 (C).
In the beginning of each semester, all undergraduate students on probation or subject to disqualification will receive an em ail from the Registrar’s Office notifying them that they are on academic probation. The em ail will be sent to the students’ SF State em ail Students must schedule advising appointments with their major advisers before the deadline stated in the Registrar's em ail in order to avoid an administrative hold on their registration for the next semester. The steps outlined on the letter must also be followed.
Students who have been on continuous probation or subject to disqualification for three (3) continuous semesters may be administratively disqualified at the end of their third semester. This excludes summer enrollment. Both the cumulative and SF State GPA must be raised to 2.0 minimum no later than by the end of the third semester in order to avoid administrative disqualification from SF State.

What is subject to disqualification?

An undergraduate student on probation is subject to disqualification when the cumulative or SF State GPA falls below the following standards:

  • Freshman (0-29 units completed)……...…1.50 and below
  • Sophomore (30-59 units completed) …… 1.70 and below
  • Junior (60-89 units completed) ………… 1.85 and below
  • Senior (90+ units completed)…………… 1.95 and below

In the beginning of summer (June), all undergraduate students on subject to disqualification status will receive an em ail from the Registrar’s Office notifying they are subject to being disqualified from the university. They will be required to meet with their declared major department and be reinstated by a deadline (typically in mid July).
If the department agrees to recommend reinstatement, the student will be reinstated but will need to continue to meet the agreed terms of the contract in order to continue until grades improve to a satisfactory level. Terms of the contract will be recorded on the Academic Standing Petition.
Lack of academic progress and/or not meeting the terms of the contract, may result in disqualification from SFSU. In addition, if a student is not reinstated by the July deadline, then disqualification from the university will result. Even if reinstated, however, students who have been on continuous probation and/or subject to disqualification for three (3) continuous semesters may be administratively disqualified at the end of their third semester. This excludes summer enrollment.

Maximum number of units

Undergraduate students on academic probation may enroll in a maximum of 13 units per semester for spring and fall semesters during which they are on academic probation. Individual exceptions to this limit may be granted with approval from the student's department chair and college dean.

Dropping vs. Withdrawing from courses

A student may drop classes via Gator Reg until the posted drop deadline. After the drop deadline passes, students must file for a withdrawal (using the withdrawal petition). It is the sole responsibility of the student to drop classes before the posted deadline. The drop deadline for each semester is posted on the Registrar’s website and on the My SF State portal.
Withdrawal from the University (individual classes or semester) after the drop deadline, must be petitioned using the withdrawal petition available through the Registrar’s Office and website. Individual course withdrawals must be approved and signed by the instructor, Chair, and Dean (if applicable). Entire semester withdrawals will need documentation (i.e. doctor's note) and can be forwarded to the Registrar's Office without instructor/chair signatures. A "W" grade will be received on the transcript for approved withdrawals. “W” grade will not affect the GPA computations.
It is the sole responsibility of the student to withdraw from classes before the deadline posted on the Registrar’s website and the My SF State portal. Professors are not responsible for dropping withdrawing students from classes.

Undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 18 semester units of courses taken in matriculation status at SF State. Students who withdraw from an entire semester, due to serious and compelling reasons, will receive "WM" grades. "WM" grades do not affect the GPA computation and will not count towards the 18-unit withdraw limit.

Repeat policy

An undergraduate student who has received a grade of “C” or higher may not repeat a course unless the course is described in the Bulletin as repeatable for credit. When an undergraduate student chooses to repeat a course in which the grade was “F, WU, or IC”, all units attempted and all grade points will be included in the student's cumulative totals. (Units earned toward graduation include courses receiving passing grades only.) When an undergraduate student chooses to repeat a course in which the grade was passing, all units attempted and all grade points earned will be used in the calculation of the student's grade point average, but the units earned will be applied to the calculation of total units earned only once.
 A student cannot repeat a course that has a grade of “I” (Incomplete) unless the “I” grade has been converted to a grade. (Variable topic courses are excluded only when topics vary.)
An undergraduate student cannot repeat any courses once they have repeated 24 units of SF State units, unless the course is described in the Bulletin as repeatable for credit. Note: courses repeated as a result of a student withdrawing from a full semester of coursework do not count towards the 24-unit limit on course repeats.
Exceptions to this policy require the consent of the department chair in which the course is offered and the college dean of that college.

Here are the websites to the repeat policy:



Where to go for advising

Declared Majors - Major Department or College based Student Resource Center

Liberal Studies Major - Liberal Studies Office

Undeclared EOP - EOP Program Office

Undeclared - Undergraduate Advising Center

What to bring to your advising appointment

Please bring SF State unofficial transcripts, DARS, ASE (if applicable) and the Academic Standing Petition (if instructed) when meeting with an advisor. SF State unofficial transcripts and DARS are both available to print from the My SF State student portal. The ASE can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office in the Student Services Building. The Academic Standing Petition can be printed from the Registrar’s website.

Calculating grade point deficiency

To calculate your grade point deficiency, you will need your SF State unofficial transcripts. You can find it on your My SF State student portal.
1. Identify the lowest GPA—“All college” or “SFSU”.
2. Multiply UA (units attempted) X 2.
3. The number you get is the number of grade points you will need to have to be at 2.0
4. Take your current grade points (GP) and subtract the number you got from multiplying UA X 2.
5. You will end up with a negative number; this is the grade point deficiency.



FALL 2010


13.0 10.0 18.8 13.0 10.0 18.8 13.0 10.0 18.8
  1.44     1.44     1.44  

ALL COLLEGE GPA = 1.44 and SFSU GPA = 1.44

Either GPA below 2.0 would mean Academic Probation.

1. Note that "ALL COLLEGE GPA" and "SFSU GPA" are both the same in this example
2. 13.0 (units attempted) x 2 = 26.0 (target grade points)
3. 18.8 (actual grade points) - 26.0 (target grade points) = -7.2
4. -7.2 is the grade point deficiency
5. Fall 2010 was the student’s 1st semester on probation
6. The deficiency would be made up by earning 3 B’s in 3 unit courses (see chart below).

Grade point chart

Use the following chart to estimate what grades you’ll need to return to good academic standing.

  Course Units
Letter Grade 5 unit 4 unit 3 unit 2 unit 1 unit
A +10 +8 +6 +5 +2
A- +8.5 +6.8 +5.1 +3.4 +1.7
B+ +6.5 +5.2 +3.9 +2.6 +1.3
B +5 +4 +3 +2 +1
B- +3.5 +2.8 +2.1 +1.4 +0.7
C+ +1.5 +1.2 +0.9 +0.6 +0.3
C +0 +0 +0 +0 +0
C- -1.5 -1.2 -0.9 -0.6 -0.3
D+ -3.5 -2.8 -2.1 -1.4 -0.7
D -5 -4 -3 -2 -1
D- -6.5 -5.2 -3.9 -2.6 -1.3
F -10 -8 -6 -4 -2
WU -10 -8 -6 -4 -2


GPA calculators






In order to improve the GPA to the 2.0 minimum, positive grades must be earned. Positive grades are: A, A-, B+, B, B-, and C+.
“C” grade is a neutral grade and it will not negatively nor positively affect the GPA.
Negative grades are: C-, D+, D, D-, F, WU, and IC. Negative grades will further lower the GPA. A “WU”(unauthorized withdrawal) is calculated as a “F” grade in the GPA computations. This grade is earned when a student does not properly withdraw from a course and stops attending the course. An “IC” grade (incomplete charge) is earned when a student who received an incomplete “I” does not complete the required course work within the allowed time. It is calculated as a “F” grade in the GPA computations.
CR/NC grades are not calculated in the GPA.

Self-reflection questionnaire

Here are some self-reflection questions that may assist you with finding the factors that may be affecting your academics.

Did you fall on probation during your first semester at SFSU?

Do you know what is academic probation?

Which of the following factors do you think have contributed to your academic difficulties?

  • Taking too many units
  • Test anxiety or poor test taking skills
  • Working too many hours
  • Unsure of university rules/procedures
  • Poor study skills
  • Permanent or temporary disability
  • Personal issues
  • Issues with alcohol, tobacco, and/or drugs
  • Health problems
  • Financial difficulties
  • Housing problems
  • Received wrong grade(s)
  • Poor time management
  • Unsure of academic/career goals
  • Wrong major
  • Lack of family support
  • First time in college
  • Learning Disability
  • Homesick
  • Relationship problems
  • Partying too much
  • Family obligations
  • Roommate problems
  • Transportation problems/Long commute

Examine your proficiency in the following areas

  • Note taking from class lectures
  • Memorizing course material
  • Answering essay questions
  • Writing research papers
  • Studying (underlining, outlining, summarizing textbook material)
  • Reading textbook material
  • Working out mathematical computations
  • Test taking techniques

A few more questions to ask yourself:

  1. How many hours per week do you work during the semester?
  2. How long is your commute to the university?
  3. When and where do you study?
  4. How many hours do you study per day?
  5. Do you have personal problems that are affecting your academic?
  6. Are you the first person in your family to go to college?
  7. What factors are leading to your academic difficulties
  8. What do you expect will change in your current “situation”?
  9. What are you doing now to help improve your grades?
  10. Are there other people who are significantly a part of your academic difficulties? Who are they and what role do they play?
  11. What are some of your strengths?
  12. What are your long-term goals?

Tips for Success

Step #1: “Analyze - How, why, what”

Answer the questions from the self-reflection questionnaire above. The answers will help analyze the factors affecting your academics. The answers will also help you identify the resources to assist you on your road to academic success.

Step #2: “Help!”

There are a variety of campus resources available to help you succeed academically and personally. Services are confidential and free of cost. Find the campus resources that best match your needs. There is a list below of campus resources available for all students.

Step #3: “Study time”

Keep in mind that you must study 2-3 hours per week for every 1 unit of coursework.
Example: 3 unit course = 6-9 hours per week of study time
A typical 12 unit load= 24-36 hours per week of study time outside of class hours.

Step #4: “Find your balance” (work, school, and life).

Take into consideration the following when finding your balance between school and life:

  • How many hours per week do you work?
  • How many units do you plan to enroll in?
  • How many hours per week of study time will you need?
  • How long is your commute time?
  • Other commitments-- family/friends obligations, volunteer time, internship, clubs/organizations, hobbies, extra curricular activities, etc...

Don’t forget you need to also add sleep time. There are 24 hours in a day. If you add up everything and it’s is more than 24 hours, then you need to scale back on some things.

Finding the balance between school and life is very important to not only academic success but to personal well-being as well.

Step #5: “Choose your units wisely”

If working full time, it is recommended to take 6-9 units.
If working part time, it is recommend to take 9-13 units (less work hours= more units)
Undergraduate students on academic probation may enroll in a maximum of 13 units per semester for spring and fall semesters during which they are on academic probation.
Contact Financial Aid if you have questions regarding the possible effect of units on aid.

Campus Resources

The following is a list of some campus resources where you can obtain assistance. Please check the university website for hours, telephone number, and further information. All services are free and confidential.

• Advising Center - ADM 211

•Associated Students Children Center - located across from Mary Park Hall

• Campus Academic Resource Program (CARP)
tutoring and study skill workshops - HSS 346

• Career Center - SSB 206

• Counseling & Psychological Services - SSB 208

• Disability Programs and Resource Center - SSB 110

• Financial Aid - One Stop (SSB)

• Individual subject tutoring - information available on the website: http://www.sfsu.edu/~lac/tutorsubject.htm

• Learning Assistance Center (LAC) tutoring - HSS 348

• Prevention Education Programs/CEASE - SSB 205

• Student Health Center - Health Center

• The SAFE Place - SSB 205

• University Police Department - North State Drive

• University Housing - Mary Ward Hall

• Your professors - see your syllabus for office hours and location


If you were disqualified and are considering returning to the university, please make an appointment with the Advising Center. Appointments can be made by calling 415-338-2103. We are open Monday- Friday 8:30 am- 4:30 pm. If you have further questions that were not addressed, please call the Advising Center for an appointment.


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