Academic Standing/Satisfactory Academic Progress

Effective Date: 7/18/2016
Updated: June 5, 2019

Responsible Area: Student Services


MEM and MF students have to meet specific credit and grade requirements in order to continue in their program and retain their financial aid. The Nicholas School has a policy regarding academic status and central financial aid requires a policy regarding satisfactory academic progress for students receiving Title IV financial aid.


Academic Standards for MEM/MF Students: Probation and Dismissal Students enrolled in the Nicholas School of the Environment are required to earn at least 48 credits in order to earn the Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Forestry (MF) degree (students enrolled in a dual degree program must earn at least 36 credits on their Nicholas School transcript in order to earn their MEM or MF.)

Academic status is reviewed at the end of every semester.

Any of the three situations will result in probationary status for the following semester:

  1. failing one or more courses;
  2. two or more C’s (C-, C, C+); or
  3. failing to maintain a cumulative average of at least B- (2.7).

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Title IV Financial Aid

Federal regulations require that, in order to be eligible for assistance from any Federal Title IV student aid program, including but not limited to the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the GradPLUS loan, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress.

For the purpose of Title IV financial aid eligibility only, a student enrolled in the Master of Environmental Management and/or Master of Forestry degree in the Nicholas School of the Environment as a full-time degree-seeking student must meet the following standards of satisfactory academic progress:

  1. The student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least a B- (2.7) or higher after completing their first semester and at the end of each subsequent semester (fall and spring semesters; does not include summer terms one and two).
  2. A student in either the MEM or the MF must earn their degree before earning 72 credits (150% of the standard minimum 48 credits). A student in the dual MEM/MF must earn at least 72 credits in order to graduate and successfully complete the degree requirements before earning 108 credits. A student in a dual degree program must complete successfully at least 36 credits and earn their degree before earning 54 credits on their Nicholas School transcript. Students must successfully complete all of their degree requirements before obtaining 150% of the credits needed to graduate from each program as outlined.
  3. The student must earn satisfactory grades in at least 67% of their cumulative credits. Satisfactory grades in the Nicholas School are A, B, C (including + and -), CR and P.


A complete statement and procedures to ensure compliance may be found on the Nicholas School website,