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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Academic Difficulty

What is Academic Difficulty?

Students who fall below a 2.0 cumulative grade point average are considered to be in academic difficulty. Being in academic difficulty can lead to being placed on probation or dismissal from the university.

Students may experience a difficult semester due to a variety of circumstances. A sudden illness can quickly cause you to fall behind in your course work. Individual course work loads can also cause a student to fall behind. It’s important you address any and all issues you are experiencing as soon as possible. Your academic advisor can help you sort through what is causing your academic difficulty, come up with strategies to improve your current situation and make decisions about whether remaining in a course is beneficial. For a list of helpful learning resources, please also see: .

Academic Probation

All SENR students with a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 are reviewed individually every term.  Students placed on academic probation will receive a letter from SENR notifying them of their academic standing. Students on academic probation are in jeopardy of being dismissed and need to create a plan for improvement. You will need to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your academic progress and schedule your classes for the following semester.  After one semester on probation, a student becomes eligible for academic dismissal from the university.

Special Action Probation is used for students who have an above 2.0 GPA but who are not making sufficient academic progress because they are not completing enough courses; these students have earned two or more of the following grades in one term: E, EN, U or UEN.   Students with Incompletes are also reviewed; if the alternate grade earned (if no work is completed) would result in a failing grade, Special Action Probation may be posted in these circumstances as well.  Students on Special Action Probation are required to meet the same conditions for continued enrollment as students on regular Academic Probation, and likewise are also eligible to be dismissed after one term.

Deficiency Points

Deficiency points are equal to the number of credit points needed to have a 2.0 GPA (any student with a GPA < 2.0 has some number of deficiency points).

  • We use Deficiency Points as a gauge of how far away a student is from achieving a 2.0 GPA. CUMULATIVE GPA is what counts (can earn DP for the semester, but academic decisions are based only on the Cumulative GPA).
  • A good rule of thumb is 2 DP earned per credit hour for grades C- or below, when below a 2.0 GPA.  Consequently, a 3-credit hour E earns 6 DP, and a 3-credit hour A would remove 6.
  • Deficiency Points Formula: Number of Deficiency Pts= (2.0 x Credit Hrs. Attempted) - Total Credit Points

DP example:
Credit Hours Attempted = 17
Total Credit Points Earned = 32
Credit Points Needed to Have a 2.0 GPA:  2.0  X  17  =  34
Number of Deficiency Points for Semester: 34 - 32 = 2

Calculating what semester GPA is needed to raise your cumulative GPA:

Ex) Cum GPA = 135.4 pts / 74 hrs = 1.83 (12.6 DPs)... If enrolled in 15 hours next semester, what semester GPA is necessary to raise the cumulative GPA to 2.0?

  1. 74 hrs + 15 hrs = 89 hrs
  2. 89 hrs x 2.0 (target cum GPA) = 178.0 pts
  3. 178.0 pts (target) – 135.4 pts (actual) = 42.6 pts (needed)
  4. 42.6 pts / 15 hrs = 2.85 sem GPA
Academic Dismissal

Once placed on Academic Probation, a student is eligible to be dismissed from the university if they do not meet the conditions of their probation as stated in their probation letter.  The decision to dismiss a student from the university is not made lightly, but rather only after serious consideration of the student’s circumstances and chances for academic improvement.   A dismissal should be seen not as a punishment, but as an action on the part of the university to protect a student’s future ability to return and earn their degree.    Students who are dismissed will be notified of their status by letter as well as by OSU email.

Petitioning for Reinstatement

Students who have been dismissed from The Ohio State University and wish to return to complete their degree in the School of Environment and Natural Resources may petition for reinstatement. A student must meet with an academic advisor before completing the Petition for Reinstatement. A student will be notified by letter of the decision on their reinstatement petition.

Deadlines to apply for reinstatement are as follows:

Fall Semester June 1
Spring Semester October 1
Summer Term February 1

For more information of the reinstatement process, please see: