Academic Standards and Degree Requirements

Academic Requirements

In order to earn a degree in the graduate program in which a student is enrolled, he or she must complete all program and departmental requirements in a satisfactory manner.

A student must attain a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.000 or higher with no more than 8 semester hours below the grade of B– in all courses applied toward that degree and exclusive of any prerequisite courses required of students admitted provisionally to their program. A student must also earn a grade of C or higher in all required core courses. Please note that individual programs may have additional requirements. 

Repeating Courses

The Graduate School of Engineering allows students to repeat up to 8 semester hours of course work beyond stated minimum degree requirements in order to attain the required 3.000 GPA for graduation. In certain unusual circumstances students may petition to substitute one course for another course that they have already taken, as long as the subject matter of both courses is substantially similar. Substitution requests must be approved by the student’s program/department, Graduate School of Engineering, and the Office of the Registrar.

Within the above limitations for extra or repeated courses, a student must repeat any required core course in which he or she earns a grade below C. Individual programs may have additional requirements.

Students must obtain approval from their academic advisor and the Graduate School of Engineering prior to repeating a course.

Prerequisite Courses/Undergraduate Courses

Students are not awarded credit toward graduate degree requirements for prerequisite courses unless expressly stated by the student’s academic department. Students may occasionally be permitted by their advisor to take undergraduate courses. However, undergraduate courses do not count toward a graduate degree and may affect a student’s eligibility to receive federal financial aid. Undergraduate courses do not count toward the graduate-level course load requirement for full-time students. 

Degree Conferral

A degree is awarded at the end of the term (fall, spring, or summer) in which the final requirement for the degree is satisfied. 

Academic Probation

Student’s Academic Standing

Academic standing at Northeastern University is determined by a student’s cumulative GPA. All graduate students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher each term to remain in good academic standing and to progress toward graduation. Students falling below a cumulative GPA of 3.000 are placed on academic probation for each academic term in which the cumulative GPA is below 3.000. This will be noted on the student’s unofficial transcript.

Academic Probation Policy

Academic probation is a period of time when a student must address and remediate academic deficiencies.

A student placed on academic probation will receive a written notification by the Graduate School of Engineering (hereafter referred to as the graduate school). The student’s academic advisor will also receive notification of the student’s probationary status. An Academic Probation Action Plan to clear the deficiency must be developed by the student and the student’s academic advisor. It is the student’s responsibility to complete an action plan (with input from the advisor) that documents how the deficiency will be remediated. This action plan must be signed by the academic advisor and the student, and a copy must be submitted to the graduate school as soon as possible and no later than seven business days from the start of the next academic term. If the action plan is not received by this deadline, the graduate school will cancel the student’s course registration(s). Failure to file a complete and meaningful action plan may be cause for dismissal from the program. The graduate school reserves the right to reject or change the action plan.

Dismissal from Program

A student (part-time or full-time) placed on academic probation for a cumulative GPA of less than 3.000 will have one academic term to raise the cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.000. Students whose cumulative GPA is below 3.000 for two consecutive terms in which they took courses for credit (excluding Career Management for Engineers (ENCP 6000), or Introduction to Cooperative Education (ENCP 6100), if taken) will automatically be dismissed from their degree program at the end of the second term. Students in this situation may submit an Academic Dismissal Appeal Plan to the graduate school to request a final one-term extension. In this case, the student may submit an appeal to the associate dean of the graduate school as per the university appeals process.

Students being dismissed from their program will receive a written notification from the Graduate School of Engineering.

Appeals Process

A student may appeal a dismissal from his or her program of study due to failure to achieve academic standards set forth in this academic probation policy. To initiate an appeal, the student must send a written request to the associate dean of the graduate school detailing the reasons the student is appealing the dismissal. The written request must be signed by the student, and the appeal must be received by the Graduate School of Engineering within thirty business days from the day the student received written notification of dismissal. The graduate school will respond to the appeal within ten business days of the date of receipt.