Academic Standing, Probation, and Dismissal

Good academic standing is maintained by meeting the standards for credits attempted and for grade point average. A student must attempt a minimum of 12 credits in the Fall and Spring semesters  and 3 credits each Wintersession.  Courses graded Audit (AU) and Withdrawn (W) do not count toward the attempted minimum credit loads.  Students must also earn a semester grade-point average at or above the minimum standard of 2.00. In order to graduate, the minimum cumulative grade-point average required is 2.00.

The Academic Standing Committee reviews the academic performance of all students at the end of each term. Students are expected to meet minimum academic standards, not only for each term, but also cumulatively. Any student attempting fewer than the required minimum number of credits, or earning a grade-point average of less than the published standard, will be subject to Academic Probation.  Two successive semesters or three non-consecutive semesters of substandard performance will normally result in dismissal of the student from the College.

In addition, the Academic Standing Committee may decide at any time that a student should be dismissed from the College for academic reasons.  This decision may be made upon there commendation of the student’s Division Dean and Department Head.

Once a student is placed on probation, he or she will remain in that status until the end of the next semester, at which time the Academic Standing Committee will review the student’s academic record.

For purposes of academic review by the Academic Standing Committee, a grade of I (for incomplete) is computed in the grade point average as an F. Students may be subject to conditional academic probation until the I grade is made up by completion of required work.

Foundation Evaluation: At the end of the first semester and at any time during the second semester of the student’s Foundation year, there may be a review of any student whose performance indicates a probable inability to meet the requirements of the College.  After review by the Foundation faculty, Foundation Dean, and a member of the Academic Standing Committee, the student may be academically dismissed.  A student who desires to return to RISD after being dismissed from Foundation Studies must apply through the Admissions Office for readmittance.

Foundation Studies courses are prerequisites to program courses. A student who receives an F or W in Studio: Drawing, Studio: Design, or Studio: Spatial Dynamics must make up that course in one of the following ways: (a)  Summer Foundation Studies at RISD or (b) retake the course in the Division of Foundation Studies within 12 months.  Foundation Studies studio requirements and substitutions must be approved by the Dean of Foundation Studies in order for a student to move on to sophomore status.  Such a provisional approval will be given if an I, F or W is present, with a final approval necessary once the course is completed.

Any other student who fails a required Foundation Studies course must repeat that course within 12 months after the end of the academic year in which the failure was recorded.

 Academic standing committee

The Academic Standing Committee, along with the student’s department head, reviews the academic performance of all students at the end of the Fall and Spring terms. This committee also hears petitions from students seeking exceptions from deadlines or policies (e.g. late course adds
or drops, attending with a reduced course load, walking at commencement when degree requirements are not yet met). This committee meets regularly during the academic year and students may file a Exception to Academic Policy Form through the Office of Student Affairs. The Academic Standing Committee is chaired by the Associate Provost for Student Affairs and consists of one faculty member elected by the Instruction Committee from its membership, one faculty member elected by the Faculty, the Registrar, an Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and the Coordinator of Academic Advising.

 Advanced standing

In limited circumstances in some departments, advanced standing may be granted on the basis of a portfolio review done by the student’s department head at the student’s request. The portfolio review usually occurs at the end of the first semester of study at RISD. A student may be advanced from one level to another based on this review, and the student will be waived from the lower level course. However, credit is not granted and the student must make up the credit from the missing lower level course by taking an elective. Students should check with their department to learn whether a portfolio review is offered.