Academic Standards 

Students who are making satisfactory progress toward the degree are allowed to continue their studies at Franklin & Marshall College. Satisfactory progress toward the degree is defined as meeting the following minimum class standing and academic performance standards:

 

Academic Progress 

Students are normally expected to complete four course credits each semester and to complete course work required for the Bachelor of Arts degree within eight semesters. A review is made at the end of each regular semester to determine the class standing of every student. For enrollment in the sophomore class, a student must have earned seven course credits; in the junior class, 15 course credits; in the senior class, 23 course credits; and for graduation, 32 course credits.

While unusual circumstances may prevent some students from proceeding on this schedule, the College is unwilling to extend the time indefinitely. Therefore, sophomore status must be attained in a maximum of three semesters; junior status in a maximum of six semesters; senior status in a maximum of nine semesters; and graduation within a maximum of 12 semesters. All requirements for graduation must be completed within a maximum of eight calendar years from initial matriculation. Students who fail to meet the minimum requirements of academic progress will be placed on academic suspension for a period of one semester. Students with unusual circumstances that prevent them from meeting these requirements may petition the Committee on Academic Status for an extension.

Students may view end of semester grades on their transcripts through Inside F&M.

 

Academic Performance 

Students must achieve the following minimum cumulative grade point averages as a function of the number of course credits earned:     

Course Credits Earned
at F&M
Minimum CGPA
First Semester 1.00
0 to 4 1.70
more than 4 to 8 1.70
more than 8 to 12 1.90
more than 12 to 16 1.90
more than 16 to 20 2.00
more than 20 2.00

 

Students who do not achieve a semester grade point average of at least 2.00 will be placed on “semester advisory” status. Students who do not achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 will be placed on “cumulative advisory” status. Students who do not achieve either a semester or cumulative grade point average of 2.00 will be placed on “semester and cumulative advisory” status. Students on “advisory” status will be informed of this in writing, and a College House Dean will meet with these students to discuss academic concerns. Students should consider these meetings to be mandatory.

 

Academic Suspension 

Students will be placed on Academic Suspension if:
  • They fail to meet the minimum cumulative grade point average for the appropriate credits earned (unless in the just completed semester they earned a semester grade point average of 2.40 or higher for at least three course credits);
  • They fail to meet the minimum requirements for class standing; OR
  • They fail all courses attempted in any one regular semester.

Suspended students may submit an appeal for a rescission of the suspension to the Committee on Academic Status.

First suspensions are for a period of one academic semester, and they include the summer period between the end of the semester at which they receive the suspension and their eligible date of return. Students receiving a suspension at the end of a fall semester are eligible to resume their studies at the beginning of the next fall semester. Students receiving a suspension at the end of a spring semester are eligible to resume their studies at the beginning of the next spring semester.

This period of suspension allows students time to reflect upon the sources of their academic difficulties and return to the College better prepared to meet the academic expectations of the faculty. Students placed on suspension should choose carefully the activities they pursue during the period of suspension because they will be expected to explain and justify those choices as part of the procedure for returning from a suspension. Additionally, students are expected to enroll in at least one course at another institution during the period of suspension. Successful completion of at least one course to prove demonstrated readiness is required to return to F&M1.

Subsequent suspensions are for a period of two academic semesters, and include summer period(s) from the beginning of the suspension to the eligible date of return. Subsequent suspensions place in doubt a student’s willingness and ability to meet the academic standards of the College. This longer period of time should be used to examine seriously whether the student should continue at the College. During a subsequent suspension, students are expected to enroll in at least one course at another institution during the period of suspension. Successful completion of at least one course to prove demonstrated readiness is required to return to F&M1.

 
Approved Courses for Successful Completion

Students are encouraged to enroll in a course at an accredited institution to best re-engage in an academic setting and demonstrate readiness for the academic rigor of F&M. If an accredited course is not available or is not feasible, students may also enroll in a course through Coursera2 and provide the certificate of completion with their re-entry materials.

One course taken during the period of suspension may be applied as transfer credit to F&M. All current course transfer policies through the Office of the Registrar apply, and students must receive approval for the transfer credit prior to completing the course.

 
Process for Return

Students who wish to return from an academic suspension must write a letter to the Committee on Academic Status requesting permission to return. This letter must be submitted by May 1 for students wishing to return in the Fall, and by December 1 for students wishing to return in the Spring3. Prior to submission of this letter, students are expected to consult with their College House Dean.

1 Successful completion is achieved with a C or higher on the official transcript or certificate of completion from the course taken.

2 To register for a Coursera course, please visit www.coursera.org. It is strongly recommended that a student enroll in a course through Coursera that best matches their academic interests or major of study.

3 In cases where a student receives notice of academic suspension after the deadline to register for a course at another institution, students may be approved to return to F&M with the contingency that they show the successful completion of a course prior to their arrival to campus.  For example, if a student receives notice of academic suspension in January, and is unable to register for and complete a course prior to the May 1st deadline for return, the student should submit all required materials to the Committee on Academic Status by the deadline, and provide information on the expected course for completion forthcoming. The Committee on Academic Status will then make a decision for return contingent upon successful completion.