Penn State Graduate School Penn State Penn State Graduate School

Assessment Policies

GCAC-404 Satisfactory Scholarship

Purpose: to define minimum standards of acceptable academic performance in graduate classes.

Academic Goal: to ensure that students acquire the necessary formal knowledge that will allow them to successfully complete the requirements of their degree program.

Scope: all graduate students.



Dissertation Committee Chair: Graduate Faculty member(s) responsible for assuring that all Graduate Council standards and requirements relative to the Ph.D. degree are met and that any conditions set by the student’s Dissertation Committee are fulfilled.

Policy Statement

  1. A minimum grade-point average of 3.00 for work done at the University is required to maintain good academic standing and for all academic benchmarks, including admission to the qualifying examination, the comprehensive examination, and the final oral examination, and for graduation.
  2. A graduate student who fails to maintain satisfactory scholarship or to make acceptable progress in a degree program may be dropped from the University.
    1. One or more failing grades or a cumulative grade-point average below 3.00 for any semester or session or combination of semesters and/or sessions may be considered as evidence of failure to maintain satisfactory scholarship.


Termination of a graduate student for unsatisfactory scholarship may be initiated by the graduate program or by the chair of the student’s doctoral committee. (See GCAC-803 Procedures for Termination of the Degree Program of a Graduate Student for Unsatisfactory Scholarship).

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