Grades: Probation


If you accumulate a certain number of D and/or F/U grades at the end of a semester, you may be placed on Academic Probation for the following semester. See the section on end-of-term grades for a detailed listing of grade combinations and outcomes. The semester of probation is designed to serve as a "wake-up" call. It is notice that your current academic plan, goals or study routines are not working and need to be evaluated and perhaps changed.   

Students with D/F/U grades in the fall will be placed on probation in the spring. Students with D/F/U grades in the spring will be placed on probation in the fall. Students on academic probation are expected to remain in a full course load during their semester of probation and will be permitted to withdraw to an underload by their academic dean only in compelling circumstances. If you petition for and are permitted to withdraw from a course to an underload during your semester of probation, your probationary status will stop for that semester and will resume in the next semester. Probationary information is not placed on your official transcript. 


If your semester academic record warrants probation you will receive notification from your academic dean. The terms of probation stipulate that you must:

  • Meet with your academic dean no later than the third day of classes of the probationary semester. 
  • Acknowledge your probation in writing by completing and signing an "Academic Agreement of Probation" form.  Your dean will give you the form when you meet. 
  • Enroll in four and only four full credit (1.0 credit) courses for the semester of probation (i.e., a fall semester, a spring semester, or a summer where you enroll in two full credit courses in summer term I and two full credit courses in summer term II) and have the courses approved by your academic dean.
  • At the end of the probationary semester, if you maintain a C (2.0) average or you have no grade lower than a C- for the probationary semester, you will clear probation.  However, if you are unable to achieve a 2.0 grade average for the semester and fail to clear probation, you will be dismissed from Duke for two semesters. Regardless of probation, you must still meet all continuation requirements.
  • For the Spring 2020 probationary semester with courses defaulting to S/U,  the following policy has been put into place: 
    Four (4) S grades student is cleared from probation 
    Three (3) S grades and one (1) U grade or W, probation is extended for another semester
    Two (2) or fewer S grades and Two ( 2) or more U grades, student is dismissed for not meeting semester continuation

If placed on probation, we strongly encourage you to take some time to review all aspects of your academic and social life and institute changes whereever appropriate so that you may be successful here.  To this end, we urge you to confer with your academic dean, advisor, instructor, a counselor at CAPS, or with a member of the staff of the Academic Resource Center, as appropriate, early in the semester of probation.

See also: