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Graduate Probation and Disqualification Reinstatement

Definition:It is the policy of California State University San Marcos to place graduate students on academic or administrative probation when their overall work is less than satisfactory, as reflected in a deficient cumulative grade point average, or other failure to make adequate academic progress. Graduate students are dismissed from the university through academic or administrative disqualification when the conditions needed to achieve good standing are not met in a timely fashion. Consideration for reinstatement is provided through a petition process.
Authority:Executive Order 1038.
Scope:Students admitted to Graduate Standing: Conditionally Classified; Post baccalaureate Standing; Classified; and Graduate Standing: Classified. Students admitted to Post baccalaureate Standing: Unclassified will be governed by the undergraduate Probation, Disqualification and Reinstatement Policy.
Responsible Division:Academic Affairs
Approval Date:08/15/2016
Originally Implemented:04/03/2003
Signature Page/PDF:View Signatures for Graduate Probation and Disqualification Reinstatement Policy



  1. A student will be placed on academic probation if, during any academic term, the student fails to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in all units attempted subsequent to admission to the program.
  2. A student may also be placed on administrative probation by the Dean of Graduate Studies for any of the following reasons (see Section IV. for exclusions): 
    1. Withdrawal from all or a substantial portion of a program of studies in two successive terms or in any three terms. (Note: A student whose withdrawal is directly associated with a chronic or recurring medical condition or its treatment is not to be subject to administrative probation for such withdrawal).
    2. Repeated failure to progress toward the stated degree objective or other program objective, including that resulting from assignment of 15 units of No Credit, when such failure appears to be due to circumstances within the control of the student.
    3. Failure to comply, after due notice, with an academic requirement or regulation, as defined by campus policy, which is routine for all students or a defined group of students (examples: failure to complete a required examination, failure to complete a required practicum, failure to comply with professional standards appropriate to the field of study, failure to complete a specified number of units as a condition for receiving student financial aid or making satisfactory progress in the academic program).
  3. The student shall be advised of probation status promptly, and shall be provided with the conditions for removal from probation and the circumstances that would lead to disqualification, should probation not be removed.  Notification shall occur through one of the following actions, as appropriate:
    1. Students whose GPA places them on academic probation shall be informed in writing by the department/program’s graduate coordinator, or designee, prior to the beginning of the next term (with a copy provided to the Dean of Graduate Studies). 
    2. Students shall be placed on administrative probation by the Dean of Graduate Studies, following consultation with the program/department. The probationary student shall be informed in writing by the graduate dean (with a copy provided to the department/ program).

    The Dean of Graduate Studies shall inform Registration and Records when students have been placed on or removed from administrative probationary status so that student records can be updated.

  4. When a student is placed on academic or administrative-academic probation, they must work with the program coordinator to develop a plan for remediation, including a timeline for completion. In the case of administrative probation, the remediation plan must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies, who will send a letter to the student documenting the plan. 
  5. Without the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies, a student cannot be advanced to candidacy if they are on either academic or administrative probation.


  1. A student who has been placed on administrative probation may be disqualified from further attendance by the Dean of Graduate Studies (see Section IV. for exclusions) if:
    1. The conditions in the remediation plan (or removal of administrative probation) are not met within the period specified; or
    2. The student becomes subject to academic probation while on administrative probation; or
    3. The student becomes subject to administrative probation for the same or similar reason for which they have been placed on administrative probation previously, although not currently in such status.

    When such action is taken the student shall receive written notification including an explanation of the basis for the action.

  2. In addition, the Dean of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the graduate program coordinator, may disqualify a student who at any time during enrollment has demonstrated behavior so contrary to the standards of the profession for which the student is preparing as to render them unfit for the profession. In such cases, disqualification will occur immediately upon notice to the student, which shall include an explanation of the basis for the action, and the campus may require the student to discontinue enrollment as of the date of the notification.
  3. Disqualification may be either from further registration in a particular program or from further enrollment at the campus, as determined by the Dean of Graduate Studies. A student disqualified for academic deficiency may not enroll in any regular session of the campus without permission from the appropriate campus authority, and may be denied admission to other educational programs operated or sponsored by the campus.
  4. In the event that a student fails the thesis/project defense, the student may repeat the thesis/project defense once. Failure at the second thesis/project defense will result in disqualification from a program. The thesis/project committee will specify the time period and/or conditions of the repeated defense.
  5. A student may repeat a comprehensive examination once. Failure of the second comprehensive examination results in disqualification from a program. The comprehensive exam committee will specify the time period and/or conditions of the repeated examination.
  6. Students who are disqualified at the end of an enrollment period should be notified by the Dean of Graduate Studies before the beginning of the next consecutive regular enrollment period. Students disqualified at the beginning of a summer enrollment break should be notified at least one month before the start of the fall term. In cases where a student ordinarily would be disqualified at the end of a term, save for the fact that it is not possible to make timely notification, the student may be advised that the disqualification is to be effective at the end of the next term. Such notification should include any conditions that, if met, would result in permission to continue in enrollment. Failure to notify students does not create the right of a student to continue enrollment.


If the student is disqualified, either academically or administratively, they may petition for reinstatement. Reinstatement must be based upon evidence that the causes of previous low achievement have been removed. Reinstatement will be approved only if the student is able to provide compelling evidence of their ability to complete the degree. If the candidate is disqualified a second time, reinstatement will normally not be considered.

Master’s students should submit a petition requesting reinstatement to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The petition, along with a recommendation from the student’s graduate coordinator, will be forwarded to the reinstatement subcommittee of the Graduate Studies Committee. The subcommittee will make recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Studies, who has final authority to approve reinstatement. The size of the reinstatement subcommittee may vary, depending on the volume of applications, but shall have one member representing each college at a minimum. The subcommittee must evaluate the probable impact of any medical condition on previous unsatisfactory performance. If the student is approved for reinstatement, the Dean of Graduate Studies will send a letter granting reinstatement that specifies the conditions and time frame for achieving good standing. Students must achieve good standing to advance to candidacy and to be eligible to graduate.


Administrative probation, disqualification and reinstatement for students in College of Education, Health, and Human Services professionally-accredited graduate and teacher credential programs are handled by a separate process inside the College and are not governed by this document. Note that this exclusion pertains only to administrative probation, disqualification and reinstatement arising under section I.B.3.