Academic Standing

Academic standing is used to refer to the academic status assigned to students after the completion of a Fall or Spring semester. Summer and Intersession terms do not factor into academic standing.

Read below for definitions and required actions for each status.

The official university policy on academic standing can be found in the catalogue.

Good Academic Standing

Students who earn a term grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above with at least 12 credits are considered to be in good academic standing.

Dean’s List

Additionally, students will be placed on the Dean’s List for academic excellence if they earn a term GPA of 3.5 or above while completing a minimum of 14 credits (at least 12 credits of which were taken for a letter grade). Students with a utilized reduced course load accommodation from Student Disability Services (SDS) will be on the Dean’s List if they earn a 3.5 term GPA or above while completing 8-11 credits (at least 7 credits of which were taken for a letter grade). A notation of “Dean’s List” is made on the student’s academic record each time the achievement is earned. Letters acknowledging the accomplishment are sent to the student’s permanent address by the Office of Engineering Advising (OEA).

Academic Probation

Students who earn less than 12 credits or earn a term GPA below 2.0 are placed on academic probation. OEA sends a letter informing the student of their status. The stipulations of academic probation are sent to the student in January (for Fall performance) or June (for Spring performance).

A WSE student on academic probation is subject to the following terms:

  • Enroll in a maximum of 14 credits, or 4 courses, during the probationary semester.
  • Earn at least 12 credits and a 2.0 semester GPA at the end of the probationary term.
  • Participate in the Study Consulting Program, if appropriate.
  • Meet with their professional academic advisor at least three times during the probationary semester.
  • Recuse self from any leadership role within a student organization.

Academic Suspension

Academic suspension is the academic standing that removes a student from active student status and registration. It is not meant to be a harsh practice, but it is in place so that JHU students can live up to their full academic potential by taking time away to reflect and address the factors that negatively impacted their academic performance.

Students who fall into either of the following categories will be academically suspended:

  • A student on academic probation who has not met the terms of probation will be subject to academic suspension from the university for a minimum of one semester and a summer.
  • A student whose term GPA falls below 1.0 or earns fewer than 6 credits may be suspended without having been on academic probation the previous semester.

Please see the university catalogue for the full academic suspension policy.

Period of Suspension

If a student receives academic suspension for the first time, they will be away from the University for a minimum of one semester (not counting Summer or Intersession).

If a student has been suspended previously for academic reasons, the mandatory time away from the University is extended to a minimum of one full year.

If a student has been academically suspended twice, a third time would result in permanent dismissal from the university.

Affected Services

University Services

The suspension status is shared with several offices, and as a result the student will not be able to access the below services. For specific questions, the student should contact the relevant office directly.

  • Registrar’s Office: Cancels the student’s registration for the next semester and authorizes a refund of tuition paid for that semester (in accordance with policy).
  • Student Financial Support: Suspends financial aid and work-study aid to the student.
  • Housing Office: Cancels the student’s housing contract if the student resides in university housing.
  • Office of International Services: Performs duties as required by U.S. federal regulations regarding persons not eligible to study at the university.
  • LEED: Students are not eligible to participate in or hold leadership positions within student organizations.
  • University Experiential Learning (if applicable): Suspended students are not eligible to hold a student worker position during the suspension period. Students should be in touch with their work supervisor and University Experiential Learning.

During suspension, students retain access to the following university services:

  • Academic Advising: The student’s assigned academic advisor is available to meet with them while they are suspended. The goal is to provide continued support and coaching for successful reinstatement.
  • Public Facing Spaces: Students can access the library and other public facing spaces on campus.

Non-University Services

Some services or benefits that are outside of the university may be affected by the suspension status, including but not limited to:

  • health insurance
  • auto insurance
  • repayment of student loans

Students should review these and any other services or benefits that are potentially dependent upon full-time student status.

Suspension Appeals


Students who have been informed that they are academically suspended may submit an appeal to the decision. Before submitting an appeal, students must meet with their academic advisor to discuss the likelihood of the appeal being granted. The strongest appeals typically include the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of high engagement throughout the academic probation period.
  • Use of all available resources.
  • An extenuating circumstance that was beyond the student’s control and is high impact with limited in continuity.


If the student discussed with their academic advisor to proceed with the appeal, they must complete the Academic Suspension Appeal Form. The Academic Suspension Appeal Form includes the following prompts:

  • Describe any extenuating circumstances that impacted academic performance.
  • Describe actions/interventions/resources that were used in response to the challenges faced.
  • Describe the necessary steps that are needed to return to good academic standing next semester. Indicate how the planned approach differs from the approach from this semester.
  • Provide alternative plans in the event that the appeal is not granted (e.g., pursuit of academic coursework at other institutions, employment, volunteering, treatment for health concerns, etc.).
Supporting Material

Although supporting documentation is not required for the appeal, students may also submit the following:

  • letters of support from academic sources, such as instructor, TA, tutor, advisor
  • an incomplete grade contract
  • letters from a healthcare provider
  • documents confirming personal or family emergency, etc.


Students suspended after a Fall semester must submit their appeal to return for the Spring semester by noon on the second Wednesday in January.

Students suspended after a Spring semester must submit their appeal to return for the Fall semester by noon on the second Friday in June.


After the suspension appeal has been submitted to OEA, it will be reviewed by the Academic Review Committee (ARC). The ARC will determine if the suspension appeal will be granted or denied. If the appeal is granted, the student will be allowed to continue on academic probation for the next semester. If the appeal is denied, then the parameters of the academic suspension will be upheld. The student will be notified in writing of the outcome of the appeal.

Reinstatement Requests


An engineering major who has been academically suspended and wishes to return to JHU must submit a request to the Office of Engineering Advising (OEA). Students who have been academically suspended once or twice are eligible to apply for reinstatement. Reinstatement to the University is neither automatic nor guaranteed.

Students who have been academically suspended for a third time are classified as academically dismissed and are ineligible for reinstatement.


A Reinstatement Request Form must be submitted by an academically suspended student who would like to be considered for reinstatement. Upon receipt of the reinstatement request, the OEA Academic Review Committee (ARC) will review the reinstatement request and the student will be notified in writing of the outcome of the request.

The Reinstatement Request Form includes the following prompts and supplemental information requirements:

Reflective Writing

The academically suspended student will provide a description of:

  • How they have spent their time away from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Events and/or conditions that led to unsatisfactory performance.
  • How the time away from full-time academic pursuits helped address the factors that led to the previous academic performance.
  • Whether or not suggestions outlined in the suspension letter were used.
  • Strategies that will be implemented and resources that will be utilized if reinstated.
Semester-by-Semester Plan

Minimally, students will submit an academic plan for at least two semesters. The plan will provide a further understanding of the curriculum in the student’s major in preparation for graduation. The plan should consider prerequisites and workload demands. If the student is changing their major, the semester-by-semester plan will need to be reviewed and signed by either the new department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) or the student’s academic advisor.

Supplemental Materials

Although supplemental materials are not required for reinstatement, they are strongly encouraged to support the request. Students should consider submitting:

  • an official transcript of any approved external coursework taken while suspended
    (course progress information from instructors and/or unofficial transcripts can be submitted until official transcripts are ready)
  • letters of support from an employer or supervisor
  • letters from a healthcare provider


Students suspended after a Fall semester must submit their application to return for the next Fall semester by noon on the second Friday in June.

Students suspended after a Spring semester must submit their application to return for the next Spring semester by noon on the second Friday in November.


After the reinstatement request has been submitted to OEA, it will be reviewed by the Academic Review Committee (ARC). The ARC will determine if the reinstatement request will be granted or denied. If the reinstatement request is granted, the student will be allowed to return on academic probation the next semester. If the reinstatement request is denied, the student will be given suggestions for what to address before submitting a future request. The student will be notified in writing of the outcome of the reinstatement request.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do while I’m away? What will increase my chances of being reinstated?

Carefully consider how to use your time away to increase your chances of reinstatement. There is no single set of rules that must be followed while away because the circumstances that led to suspension vary from student to student. However, there should be a connection between the challenges you faced and the developmental or corrective action you take. Communicate with your academic advisor during your time away if you have questions.

Reflect on your suspension

What prevented you from being academically successful? For many students, there is a combination of factors. Be thorough and honest in your assessment.

Develop and implement a plan

This plan should address the issues you have identified in your reflection. Some common practices include interning, working, seeking counseling, volunteering, etc. Your plan should be unique and tailored to address any challenges you identified during reflection.

For most students, taking classes at another institution should be part of the plan. Ideally, there should be a connection between your course and intended academic goal. The intention behind this is to demonstrate the interventions implemented in your plan allowing for success in an academic setting. Grades of “B” or better (not B- or below) are expected in classes completed elsewhere to this.

You have multiple options for coursework during your suspension:

  • Take classes at a not-for-profit institution (ex: community, state, or private school). These courses are traditional and carry credit. It might be possible to transfer these credits back to JHU. Consult the catalogue regarding policies surrounding transfer credits. It is highly advisable that you work with your academic advisor to seek pre-approval prior to enrolling in courses at another institution.
  • Complete coursework through a platform such as Coursera or edX. These platforms are free or low-cost, but are not credit-bearing and are thus not eligible for transfer of credit.

What do I do if my request for reinstatement is denied?

If the Academic Review Committee (ARC) does not feel that your request for reinstatement is strong, they may offer suggestions for improvement (e.g., taking a course at another institution, speaking with a healthcare professional, etc.). If you follow the suggestions, the likelihood of reinstatement in a future semester will increase. At that time, you will need to submit a new application for reinstatement.

Am I allowed to change my major upon reinstatement?

Yes, changing your major if you’re reinstated is allowed. It is quite common that while away from JHU, some students realize that their academic difficulty was significantly influenced by their choice of major. Researching and exploring another major while on suspension and sharing that in your reinstatement letter is one way to demonstrate that you have been reflective about your situation. You should submit a graduation plan reflecting the requirements for your new major.

Can my financial aid be reinstated?

Yes, but you must first successfully appeal your financial aid suspension status. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal form can be found on the Student Financial Support website. This appeal is separate and in addition to the OEA Reinstatement Request form.

What are my housing options if I’m reinstated?

Students returning as a 2nd semester first-year student or as a sophomore should plan on residing on-campus to complete the two-year on-campus residency requirement.

Students returning as upperclassmen should plan on securing off-campus accommodations and should contact the Off-Campus Housing Office to discuss housing options. They can be reached at 410-516-7961 or [email protected].