FAQs

Academic Standing

What is academic standing?

Academic standing reflects students’ progress towards earning their degrees. Every January and June, the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) reviews students’ progress by comparing their semester level and number of courses passed.

Students who are behind on the number of passed courses they need for their semester level, are not in good academic standing and can be placed on academic warning, serious warning, or academic suspension.

Does this “academic standing” = grades? (For example, if you had a B when you left Brown, does it mean that your grade can’t go lower?)

No. Academic standing is not the same as grades. Academic standing is an internal record of your total of passed courses correlated with your semester level. Whether you are in "good standing," "academic warning," or "serious warning" does not show up on external transcripts. As such, individual grades you are earning can improve, stay the same or be lower than when in-person classes ended on March 17, 2020. 

What happens if I get an incomplete?

The Committee on Academic Standing will work with you and your professor to help you finish/recover a course. Faculty and students work out the deadline for completing incomplete coursework, up to a year from the end of the course. Most are finished in the few weeks after the semester or in the summer. 

What does “no student’s academic standing will be adversely affected by their coursework this Spring 2020 semester” mean?

Since each student's academic record is reviewed on an individual basis, the COVID-19 guidelines ensure that every student's academic standing (i.e., good standing, academic warning or serious warning) at the beginning of the Fall 2020 term will be at or above their standing at the start of the Spring 2020 term.

These guidelines were established by the Committee on Academic Standing in light of the significant disruption caused by COVID-19 and to promote academic continuity. 

If someone is planning to graduate in May 2020, but due to extenuating circumstances, they do not complete a course, will they still graduate on time?

Students need to pass a minimum of 30 courses credits to meet degree requirements. Students with fewer than 30 earned credits will not be eligible to receive their diplomas in May 2020. Students can make up additional needed credits in the summer or in a subsequent fall or spring in transfer, for example, to earn their final credit(s). 

Does the special Academic Standing policy for Spring 2020 mean that professors can’t NC / "fail" people?

No. Students can still NC courses under this policy. Of course, as is currently the case, NC (no credit or not completed) notations do not appear on students' external transcripts.