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Academic Programs

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Academic Difficulty

When a student's cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0, they are considered to be in academic difficulty. This can lead to academic probation, special action probation, or dismissal. If you feel that you are in academic difficulty (even if your cumulative GPA is above 2.0), you should see your academic advisor as soon as possible to discuss the issues that may be affecting your academic performance.

Expand the topics below for more information.

Academic Dismissal

Any student in academic difficulty is at risk of being dismissed from the university. There is no particular cumulative GPA or number of deficiency points that warrants a dismissal. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and given serious thought by the college office. Dismissed students will be notified of their status by e-mail with an attached letter.

Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation when their cumulative grade-point average is below 2.0. The CFAES Academic Affairs Office will notify students of their probation status and will list the conditions of probation. Immediately following being placed on academic probation, students are blocked from self-registration, so they should plan to meet with an advisor before their registration appointment begins to discuss course selection and strategies for academic success. After this meeting occurs, an academic advisor can request that a registration lock be removed. If a student achieves a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in the following semester, they are removed from probation. However, academic probation remains on an academic record for the term it was assigned.

Grade Forgiveness

Effective autumn semester 2015: Students can petition to repeat a course and, if approved, use the grade of this course to replace the first in the calculation of the student’s cumulative OSU GPA. There are conditions that must be met in order to submit a petition: 1) The student must have earned a letter grade (A-E) in the course to be forgiven, 2) The student must not have previously repeated the course to be forgiven, and 3) The student must not have already used the Grade Forgiveness rule for three or more courses. The petition to use the Grade Forgiveness rule must be submitted online no later than the 10th Friday of the term (or the 5th Friday of a 7-week course) in which they will repeat the course.  Please see for more information and to access the online petition.

Fresh start

Returning students who have a cumulative GPA under 2.0 or who have been dismissed from the university may want to petition to use Fresh Start. This will eliminate any deficiency points that you may have earned previously and will let you restart at Ohio State will a clean cumulative GPA (0.00). If you have not been enrolled at the university for 5 or more years, you may petition for the Fresh Start Rule. While all courses will remain on your permanent record, only courses in which you received a C- or higher will be counted for credit. Other coursework will not be counted for credit, towards any requirement, or toward graduation. You will return to Ohio State with a recalculated cumulative GPA of 0.00. You must complete a minimum of 2 semesters and 30 semester hours after using the Fresh Start Rule before you are eligible to graduate. Meet with a CFAES Academic Counselor for more information. Keep in mind that if you are considering applying to graduate or professional schools, or even to other colleges at Ohio State, their admissions processes will look at all of your grades and may recalculate the original grade(s) into your total.

reinstatement petition process

After being academically dismissed from the university, students can petition for reinstatement to the university after waiting 2 semesters. Reinstatement is not guaranteed, and the desire to return alone is not sufficient support for a petition. Petitioning students need to demonstrate they are now ready to succeed if allowed to return to the university. It is advised to take academic coursework at another institution during your time away from Ohio State to demonstrate that you are capable of succeeding in quality college-level work. See a CFAES Academic Counselor if you are interested in attending another institution to help guide your course decisions for transfer back to Ohio State. It is recommended that you review the petition for reinstatement.

Special action probation

Students may be placed on special-action probation, even with a cumulative GPA above 2.0, when a student's college is concerned, by a review of grades and coursework, that they are not making satisfactory progress toward a degree. A college office will inform students of this status, as well as the conditions to avoid academic dismissal.