Jul 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Progress to Degree and Academic Standing

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Catalog Search

Office of the Registrar

Administration Building
Phone: 209-228-7178
Email: registrar@ucmerced.edu
Web: registrar.ucmerced.edu



Undergraduate Normal Progress to Degree

Senate Regulation: Part II, Section 1.

UC Merced undergraduate degree programs are designed to be completed in eight semesters or four academic years. To meet the normal progress requirement, undergraduate students are expected to enroll in and pass an average of 15 units per semester, completing the 120 units necessary for graduation in four years. The Registrar’s Office and the appropriate Dean will ensure that students are making normal progress towards their degrees. Extensions of enrollment beyond 9 terms require the approval of the student’s School. In order to remain in good standing, students must meet the minimum progress requirements of the campus.

Undergraduate Probation, Dismissal, and Minimum Progress

A. Academic Probation

Senate Regulation: Part II, Section 3. A.

An undergraduate student is placed on academic probation if one of the following occurs:

  1. The student’s semester grade point average is less than 2.0, or
  2. The student’s cumulative University of California grade point average is less than 2.0.

Probation Status: Academic review occurs at the end of each academic semester. When a student is placed on academic probation, the university notifies the student, and the student’s official transcript states “Academic Probation” for the affected semester. While on academic probation, the student is under the supervision of his/her School or advising unit.

Removal from Declared Major: A student on probation may be removed from a declared major or changed to Undeclared due to failure to meet the particular standards or fulfill specific requirements that the student’s School may impose. If the student is removed from a declared major or changed to Undeclared, the student may apply to be reinstated to a School as follows:

Lower Division Students (fewer than 60 units earned at the end of the semester in which the student applies) must meet these requirements:

  1. Cumulative University of California grade point average of at least 2.0
  2. Current semester grade point average of at least 2.0
  3. Major grade point average of 2.0-2.5 (minimum varies by School)
  4. Completion of all lower division major courses with grades of C- or higher

Upper Division Students (greater than 60 units earned at the end of the semester in which the student applies) must meet the requirements listed above for Lower Division students and must also complete 8-16 units (minimum varies by School) of upper division major requirements.

Return to Good Standing: Once a student has met grade point average standards listed above, the student’s academic status returns to regular academic standing.

B. Academic Dismissal

Senate Regulation: Part II, Section 3. B.

An undergraduate student is subject to academic dismissal from the university if one of the following occurs:

  1. The student has been on academic probation for two or more semesters and the student’s cumulative grade point average is less than 2.0, or
  2. The student’s semester grade point average is less than 1.5 and the student’s cumulative grade point average is less than 2.0.

Academic Dismissal Appeals: A student not previously on probation who earns a semester grade point average below 1.5 is offered the opportunity to appeal dismissal. The student who is subject to academic dismissal and does not complete the appeal process as prescribed is automatically dismissed. The student whose appeal is approved returns on probation and is under the supervision of the appropriate School or advising unit.

Dismissal Status: When a student is academically dismissed, the university notifies the student, and the student’s official transcript states “Academic Dismissal” for the affected semester.

Note: A student who is academically dismissed may return after fulfilling reinstatement requirements.

C. Minimum Progress

Senate Regulation: Part II, Section 3. C.

An undergraduate student is subject to administrative probation if the student does not complete a minimum of 24 University of California units during an academic year, including summer.

Return to Good Standing: Once the student has completed 24 units during a subsequent academic year, the student’s minimum progress status returns to good standing.

Note: Minimum unit completion does not apply to part-time students or to students who have a Dean’s approval to carry fewer units than the minimum progress load (reasons may include medical disability, employment, a serious personal problem, a recent death in the immediate family, the primary responsibility for the care of a family, or a serious accident involving the student).

Graduate Satisfactory Progress, Unsatisfactory Progress, and Academic Disqualification

A. Satisfactory Progress

A graduate student is expected to maintain satisfactory progress toward an approved academic objective as defined by the faculty of the program, and in accordance with policies of the Graduate Council and the University. Satisfactory progress is determined on the basis of both the student’s recent academic record and overall performance. Student records should be reviewed with special attention to the following criteria:

  1. GPA - the student must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
  2. Normal Time to Degree – the student must advance to candidacy and complete the degree within the limitations established by the Graduate Council.
  3. Grade Reports - all I, W, U, or NR grades should be reviewed and appropriate action taken as needed. Accumulation of no more than 8 units of combined Incomplete, Unsatisfactory, C or lower grades at any one time is allowed.
  4. P/NP - no courses graded “Pass” are to be included as part of the advanced degree program, nor are they to be considered as satisfying academic criteria for University administered fellowships and academic appointments/employment.
  5. Enrollment Units - students must be enrolled for at least 8 graduate or upper-division units of credit each semester, including credit for supervised teaching and research, unless part-time status or a Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP) has been approved in advance by the Graduate Dean. In cases of approved part-time status, enrollment in seven (7) or fewer units of credit toward the degree is expected each semester.
  6. Distribution of units - the number of upper-division and graduate-level units of credit completed toward degree requirements each semester should be at least eight and no more than 16 units, unless an exception has been approved in advance.
  7. Residency - time in residence prior to advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. or professional doctorate degree should be within acceptable limits (ordinarily, no more than four years).

Notices of potential unsatisfactory progress should be sent in writing to the student; a copy should also be retained in the Graduate Group files and another copy sent to the Graduate Dean. The written communication should include specific details on areas that require improvement, provide an outline for future expectations of academic progress, and set meeting dates to maintain continuity in advisement.

B. Unsatisfactory Progress

A graduate student who has not demonstrated satisfactory academic progress is not eligible for any academic appointment/employment and may not receive fellowship support or other awards. Criteria for determining unsatisfactory progress towards degree are outlined below.

  1. An overall grade point average below 3.0; or
  2. A grade point average below 3.0 in two successive semesters; or
  3. Fewer than 8 units completed and applicable toward the advanced degree requirements in the last two semesters; or
  4. Failure to establish a GPA prior to the beginning of the third semester; or
  5. Failure to complete required courses or examinations satisfactorily within the period specified by the graduate program; or
  6. Failure to pass a required examination in two attempts; or
  7. Failure to progress academically within the Normal Time to Degree framework specified for the student’s graduate program; or
  8. The appropriate faculty committee’s evaluation that there has not been satisfactory progress toward completion of the thesis or dissertation.

C. Academic Disqualification

Graduate students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress must be officially disqualified from the university in writing by UCM’s Graduate Dean after consultation with the student’s Graduate Group faculty. However, in those cases where the student and the Graduate Group mutually agree that the student will terminate his or her graduate student status (e.g., a decision to end graduate study with a Master’s Degree or a decision to withdraw from graduate study for other reasons), then the Graduate Group and/or student may independently notify the other of this mutual agreement. In all such cases, the Graduate Division should receive a copy of this documentation between the graduate group and graduate student.

Upon recommendation of academic disqualification, the student’s academic record is reviewed carefully by the Graduate Dean in consultation with the student’s faculty graduate advisor. Unless there are indications of procedural error or other substantive mitigating factors to explain the student’s unsatisfactory record, the Graduate Dean will notify the student of the impending action in writing, and will provide a reasonable opportunity for the student to alert the Graduate Dean as to erroneous information or academic records, to submit other relevant information or comments in writing, or to request a second review of their academic performance.

Appeals: Students will be given 30 days (from the date of the Graduate Dean’s letter notifying them of the impending disqualification action) to respond in writing to the recommendation for disqualification. Student appeals will be considered only if based upon appropriate cause, such as: (1) procedural error; (2) judgments based on non-academic criteria; (3) apparent personal bias; (4) specific mitigating circumstances affecting academic performance; or (5) discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or handicap not pertaining to required academic performance. Following this period of time (30 days), if the student does not respond, a formal/final notice of academic disqualification will be sent to the student by the Graduate Dean.

Following final notice of disqualification, the student may appeal to the Graduate Dean only on the basis of procedural error. A graduate student who has been disqualified will not be allowed to register again without approval of the Graduate Group and the Graduate Dean.


Reinstatement is the act of restoring active-student status to former students who have withdrawn from the University, had their student matriculation interrupted by a lapse of their student status (for failure to pay fees, failure to satisfy the entry level writing requirement, failure to enroll in future semesters, or failure to graduate), or who left the University in academic difficulty (academic probation, subject to academic dismissal, or academically dismissed). Undergraduate students who wish to return to the University of California, Merced must file an application for reinstatement with the Office of the Registrar by the deadlines listed below.

Reinstatement Filing Period:
      Fall Semester –November - May 1
      Spring Semester – May - November 1
      Summer Term- December - February 1

Students should begin the process of reinstatement at least six weeks before the deadline. Submitting the application, along with the nonrefundable application fee of $70.00 as early as possible will provide enough time to review the application and have a reinstated student register before new incoming students are scheduled to register for classes. Students who do not enroll in the semester to which they are reinstated must file a new reinstatement application and pay the application fee to return in a future semester.

Transfer with Scholastic Deficiencies

To transfer from one campus of the University to another, or from one School to another on the same campus, a student who has been academically disqualified or is on academic probation must obtain the approval of the dean to whose jurisdiction the student seeks to transfer.

Withdrawal from the University

Senate Regulation: Part I, Section 3.

Students who find that they cannot attend the University for a semester in which they have enrolled may cancel their registration only if instruction for that semester has not yet begun. To do so, they must formally request a cancellation of their registration from the Office of the Registrar.

If instruction has already begun and students find it necessary to stop attending all classes, they must formally request withdrawal from the University. When a completed withdrawal form is approved by the Dean of the School with which the student is affiliated (after the third week of instruction), a W notation will be assigned for each course in which the student has been enrolled. Students will not be eligible to re-enroll until they have been reinstated. Before considering a complete withdrawal, students are urged to consult with an academic advisor and the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, if appropriate, to consider the full implications of this action.

Please see the refund policies for specific details on refund rules. Students who fail to submit the required paperwork for cancellation/withdrawal will receive F, NP or U grades, as appropriate, for all courses in which they are enrolled for that term.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Catalog Search