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Progress, standing, and grades

Progress, standing, and grades

Progress & standing

All students are expected to make consistent progress toward a degree. Full‑time students must complete graduation requirements within five calendar years. Satisfactory progress is determined by two factors: the number of units completed each year and the grade-point average (GPA).

Transfer students and other students in certain circumstances will be allowed some additional time for completing degree requirements.

Class standing (sophomore, junior, etc.) is determined by the number of units completed, not by the number of years in college. For example, a student would be considered a sophomore if he or she has completed at least eight but fewer than 16 regular term units.

Detailed information on classification of students and academic progress can be found in the Catalog under Academic Policy and Information.

Information about your individual class standing, GPA, and academic progress can be obtained from your advisor or the Records Office.

You will also find a useful link to a GPA calculator at the Records page.

If you believe an error has been made in the calculation or recording of a final course grade, see your professor. For additional information, see the Grade Appeal Policy below.

When a student's grades fall below the required standard (1.00 GPA) for any one term, or when the student is otherwise not making satisfactory progress, the Provost may place the student on academic probation.

Placement on academic probation alerts the student of the need to seek help from the Academic Resource Centerand to improve study habits. It also alerts the academic advisor to the student's situation. Students on probation are restricted from holding any student office, participating in intercollegiate athletics, or otherwise publicly representing the College. Such restrictions are intended to allow students to focus on improving their academic performance.

If you are placed on academic probation, you should speak with your advisor immediately to develop a plan for improving your work. If your situation doesn't improve, you risk suspension from the College. Specific questions can be directed to Assistant Provost Martha Ann Stevenson,


    Grade Appeal Policy

    Birmingham-Southern College supports the academic freedom of faculty members in assigning students a final grade. If a student believes an error has been made in the calculation or recording of a final grade, he or she should immediately alert the professor. Beyond such errors, formal appeals of final grades are granted only when there is clear and convincing evidence that the final grade was "arbitrary and capricious, irrational," or "made in bad faith" [Susan M. V. New York Law School, 556 N.E. 2nd 1104, 1107 (1990), 76 N.Y. 2nd 241, 557 N.Y.S. 2nd 297]. Students should understand that an allegation that a final grade was arbitrary and capricious, irrational or made in bad faith is a serious charge and should not be made unadvisedly.

    If a student wishes to appeal a final grade, he or she must contact the professor no later than 30 calendar days after the beginning of the next regular term. If this consultation fails to resolve the issue, the student may contact the appropriate department chair, who will then contact the professor concerned. If the complaint remains unsettled, the student may contact the appropriate area chair next.  If the matter is still unresolved, the student may file a written appeal with the Provost on a form provided by the Office of Academic Affairs.

    After reviewing the appeal, the Provost, at his or her discretion, may deny the appeal or may request that the Faculty Advisory Committee select a three-person committee from the full-time faculty of the College. Two members of this committee must come from the department involved, and the third will come from outside the department. The committee will determine its own procedures and review the case with the following stipulation: the burden of proof for demonstrating a breach of standards rests with the student, and the student must provide documentation of his or her attempts to resolve the issue through previous consultations.

    When the review is complete, the committee will notify the Provost of its decision. The Provost will have the final decision in determining whether a change of grade is necessary. The Provost will inform the student in writing of the decision and send copies of this same letter to the committee, the faculty member, the appropriate department chair, and the appropriate area chair. The entire grade appeal process is normally finalized by the end of the next regular term after the term of the grade under appeal.

    Download Grade Appeal Form