Academic Standards

Academic Classification Standards/Satisfactory Progress

Academic classification after the freshman year is defined as a level of academic accomplishment in terms of semester hours earned.

To Achieve Standing As 

Minimum Semester Hours Required 







Academic Honors 

Honors and Dean’s Lists 
To be eligible for the honors or Dean’s List, which are compiled at the end of each official grading period, a student must be a degree candidate and must have earned a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit for the preceding grading period. Of that total, at least nine semester hours must have been on a regular-graded basis. There can be no grades below C or incomplete or missing grades. Only work completed at Mary Baldwin is applicable. In addition to meeting the above requirements, the following grade point averages must have been attained during the preceding grading period: 

  • Honors List: 3.75 or better, 
  • Dean’s List: 3.50–3.74 

Baldwin Honors Scholars 
A student who has achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in at least 24 semester hours of graded work at Mary Baldwin University will be invited to apply to the Baldwin Honors Scholars Program. Students accepted into the honors program are expected to pursue an Honors Degree (requirements listed below). Students may also enter the honors program as freshmen on the basis of SAT scores, overall high school records, written applications, and interviews. To continue in the program, all Baldwin Honors Scholars are required to sustain their academic excellence. 

Freshmen must achieve a minimum 3.25 in the first semester, a 3.3 cumulative GPA after the second semester, a 3.4 after the third semester, and a 3.5 cumulative GPA in subsequent semesters. All other Baldwin Honors Scholars must maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA. 

Honors Degree 
The Honors Degree is awarded to a Baldwin Honor Scholar upon successful completion of all phases of the Honors Program. Applications for candidacy for the Honors Degree must be submitted to the Honor Scholars Committee by November 1 of the Student’s senior year (March 1 for January graduates). To be eligible as a candidate for the Honors Degree, a student must be designated as an Honor Scholar for at least three semesters, complete one year of foreign language at Mary Baldwin University (or have completed four years in High School)and currently hold a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and must have earned nine semester hours of Honors credit through Honors courses and/or Honors contracts. Upon application, the student must submit a proposal for an independent honors project or thesis. The project or thesis must be subject to close supervision of a faculty member and must be approved by an interdisciplinary examining committee. Final approval for award of the Honors Degree is made by the registrar on the recommendation of the Baldwin Honors Scholars Committee. Students who complete an Honors Degree will have the citation “Honors Degree” inscribed on their transcripts. 

Rank in Class 
Rank in class is determined by grade point average. Grade points are given only for work done on the regular graded basis. The university does not officially rank students. 

Senior Requirement with Distinction 
Students whose work for the senior requirement shows exceptional merit as judged by the members of discipline(s) involved will have the citation “With Distinction” inscribed on their transcripts. 

Graduation with Latin Honors 
The honors designations of summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude will be inscribed on the diplomas and transcripts of students of outstanding achievement in accordance with criteria established by the faculty. 

Students who have earned greater than or equal to 50 credit hours but less than 63 credit hours at MBU: 

  • Summa cum laude: Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.94 
  • Magna cum laude: Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.88 but less than 3.94 
  • Cum laude: Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.7 but less than 3.88 

Students who have earned 63 or more credit hours at MBU: 

  • Summa cum laude: Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.9 
  • Magna cum laude: Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.8 but less than 3.9 
  • Cum laude: Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.6 but less than 3.8 

Academic Probation 

Students may be placed on academic probation if their GPA falls below the below levels: 

Minimum Cumulative GPA

Mid-year, first-time college students 1.50
End of first year/freshman standing 1.65
Sophomore standing (for all those other than students completing their first year) 1.75
Junior standing 1.95
Senior standing 2.00

Probation Procedures and Rules: 

  • A student on probation (and dependent student’s parents, where applicable) is notified in writing of the improvements necessary. 
  • Undergraduate students and PBTL students on academic probation may take no more than 13 semester hours of credit in a semester, excluding May Term. Physical education is excluded from these limits. 
  • Undergraduate students on probation are required to meet with their advisor and the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Student Success (or designee) periodically to review progress and may be required to meet other special provisions. 

Academic Suspension and Dismissal 

Students may be suspended if their GPAs fall below the standards listed below. Except as specified below, undergraduate residential and PBTL students must also have been on probation for one term immediately preceding suspension and have failed to meet the requirements outlined during the term of probation. Except as specified below, MBU Online students must have been on academic probation for one full year without showing significant improvement. A student who is suspended may not re-enroll before a year has elapsed. After one year the student desiring to re-enroll must apply through the Admissions office and must provide evidence that the problems that led to suspension have been mastered. Readmission is not automatic. 

Students may appeal a suspension decision and subsequent to a student’s appeal the university may, at its sole discretion, allow the student to return on probation. 

Suspension Below Cumulative GPA: 

End freshman year 1.50
End sophomore year 1.65
End junior year 1.85

Immediate Suspension 
Students whose semester GPA is 1.0 or below may be subject to immediate suspension, without having spent the usual period on probation. Such suspensions may be for one semester or a full year. This rule applies to students at all levels. 

Summary Suspension: Pending action of the Judicial Board, Honor Council, other administrative body, or civil courts, the status of a student should not be altered or her right to be present on campus and to attend classes suspended except for reasons relating to the safety and well-being of students, faculty, or university property. If such a threat to safety and well-being exists, the dean of students may summarily suspend the student until resolution by the appropriate body is achieved. 

Dismissal: A student readmitted following a suspension will be dismissed if the student’s work requires academic probation and the student has made unacceptable progress toward raising her or his GPA to the required levels. Dismissal means that Mary Baldwin University will not consider the student for readmission.