Student Affairs - Policies


Academic Dismissal
Academic Policy Waivers
Academic Probation
Academic Standing
Academic Suspension
Credit Elimination Policy
Dean's List
Emergency Loans
President's List
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Withdrawing from Fitchburg State

Emergency Student Loans

Students may apply for emergency student loans for non-university, unanticipated expenses. The interest-free loans are available for up to $100 and must be repaid within two months. All requests are reviewed on an individual basis.

New Student and Family Orientation Programs

The orientation program at Fitchburg State University is designed to assist students in making the transition to university. The orientation program addresses new students' needs from a holistic point of view, taking into consideration the intellectual, emotional, physical, social and spiritual dimensions of the student. The program is divided into two parts. The summer program focuses on testing, academic advising and registration for classes. The fall program consists of a variety of programs and activities designed to make students aware of the broad range of services available to them, introduce them to campus life and help them develop a feeling and identity with Fitchburg State University.

Complementing the orientation program for students is the family orientation program geared to providing family members of students with valuable information about the University, as well as tips for easing students' and parents' transition to Fitchburg State University.

Student Academic Standing

All courses completed at Fitchburg State University determine current academic standing. Credits transferred from another institution are applied to a student’s total number of credits earned, but grades earned from transferred credits are not calculated into the cumulative GPA. The office also coordinates the review, listing and notification of students placed on probation, suspension or dismissal based on academic performance. Appeals regarding academic standing are addressed to the dean.

Good Academic Standing

To achieve good academic standing, students must:

  • Maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Meet any additional requirements of the major which have been approved by the All-College committee and are consistent with university policy.
  • At the end of each term, the office coordinates the listing and notification of students named to the President's List and Dean's List.

President’s List

Honors students for consistently high academic achievement. Students are named to the President’s List when they have attained a semester average of 3.75 or higher for three successive semesters while maintaining full-time status. Incompletes do not count toward the President’s List.

Dean’s List

Honors students who have attained an average of 3.2 or better for the semester while maintain full-time status. Incompletes do not count toward the Dean’s List.


If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 at the end of any semester, that student will be placed on probation. To avoid suspension, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • A student on probation who has attempted fewer than 33 semester hours and who has maintained a cumulative GPA of 1.6 or higher for two semesters may enroll for a third semester to improve academic standing.
  • A student on probation who has attempted 33 to 59 semester hours and who has maintained a cumulative GPA of 1.8 or higher for four semesters may enroll for a fifth semester to improve academic standing.

Students on probation must:

  • Meet with their academic advisors before the start of the second week of each semester to review current course load and arrange periodic meetings through the semester.
  • Contact the Academic Advising Center within the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Utilize the many resources the University offers, including faculty, Counseling Services, academic support, Expanding Horizons, Career Services, and other support systems, as needed.

Students placed on probation for the first time will remain eligible to:

  • Hold elected or appointed office
  • Serve on campus committees
  • Participate on athletic teams (provided academic progress meets the criteria in Section 1)

Any additional probation will disqualify a student from eligibility for these activities. Students who voluntarily withdraw from the University while on probation will remain on probation if they are readmitted. Students who maintain the University’s academic standards for probation must also meet the financial aid and athletic eligibility requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress. (Financial Aid and Athletics offices have additional academic requirements for probationary students. Students should consult the appropriate office to determine their eligibility.)


Any student who earns a grade point average of 1.0 or lower in their first semester of full-time study at Fitchburg State University will be suspended from the University. In all other cases, students will be suspended if they have spent at least one semester on probation and do not meet the following GPA and credit criteria:

  • A student who has attempted fewer than 33 semester hours and has a cumulative GPA below 1.6 after two semesters.
  • A student who has attempted 33-59 semester hours and has a cumulative GPA below 1.8 after four semesters.
  • A student who has attempted 60 credits and has less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Suspended students are not eligible to enroll in any credit course in any division of Fitchburg State University for at least one semester.

Following suspension, students must submit a letter requesting re-admission before the deadline established by the registrar. Students who are readmitted after a suspension do so under contract with the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. Suspension status is not changed by a voluntary withdrawal.


Once students have been readmitted after a suspension, they must meet probationary standards and do so under contract with the dean of student and academic life to avoid dismissal. Dismissal status results in permanent dismissal from all divisions of Fitchburg State University. A dismissed student may not enroll in any credit courses in any division of the University for a period of five years.

Credit Elimination Policy

The Credit Elimination Policy applies to students who leave the University and desire to return after five or more calendar years. Such students may eliminate all or part of previously earned credits from their transcripts, in units of one semester or more. When a particular semester of credit is designated to be eliminated, all credits from this semester must be eliminated.

This policy requires that:

  • Credit elimination may only occur once
  • A request for credit elimination must be in writing
  • The dean of student and academic life must approve the request

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requests

Each year, the financial aid office reviews credit and grade point average compliance relative to financial aid regulations. Letters are forwarded to students not in compliance with current regulations. Financial aid compliance SAP waiver request are reviewed by the dean.

Academic Policy Waiver Requests

Requests or appeals of academic policies identified in the University catalog and issues or concerns related to classes or department polices are addressed in the Office of Student Affairs.

Withdrawing from Fitchburg State University

Students wishing to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the University should begin the process at the Office Student Affairs. Students will need to meet with the Student Affairs staff to discuss options for returning and to complete necessary paperwork. If a student is called to active military duty, they should contact the Office of Student Affairs immediately in order to expedite the withdrawal process. For more information on the process, refer to the "Withdrawal from the University" section of the Student Handbook or the Fitchburg State University Catalog.

Sexual Assault Protocol

This protocol defines and coordinates the efforts of various campus departments in order to provide a caring and effective institutional response to the student who reports having been sexually assaulted. Such definition and coordination is intended to make the institutional response “more than the sum of its parts” for the benefit of the survivor of sexual assault and the community at large.