Academic Standing


Academic standing refers to a student's status or position within an academic institution, in relation to their academic performance and progress towards completing their degree or program. In order to stay in their program of choice and continue their studies, students are required to keep earning satisfactory grades in order to meet the required GPA for their program.

Minimum GPA to maintain good academic standing:

  • 3.0 for Bachelor of Science Honors in Food Science 
  • 3.0 for Bachelor of Science Honors in Nutrition
  • 3.0 for Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science - Dietetics Specialization
  • 2.7 for Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science - Food Science and Technology Specialization
  • 2.0 for all other programs in ALES


The average of your grades is called your Grade Point Average, or GPA. After all your grades have been submitted and approved, two to three weeks after your last final exam, you can find your GPA for the academic year on your unofficial transcript in Bear Tracks.  This is the GPA used to determine Academic Standing each year.


  • If you have final grades in fewer than 9 units in Fall and Winter, then your academic standing will be assessed at the end of the next academic year, if you have final grades in 9 units or more.
  • If you have any pending deferred exams or IN (Incomplete) grades when the academic standing is assessed, your assessment will be deferred. Your assessment will be done when all of your final grades have been approved.


After the Winter term the Undergraduate Student Services office uses your GPA for the academic year to assess your academic standing. You will get the results of the assessment in late May or early June by email and/or in Bear Tracks. There are four Academic Standing categories: 

  1. First Class Standing - Student may continue their program and will receive a letter of congratulations from the Dean of ALES.
  2. Satisfactory Standing - Student may continue their program,
  3. Marginal Standing -  Student may continue on Academic Warning for the next academic year and must achieve a 2.0 or greater GPA.
  4. Unsatisfactory Standing - Student may not continue in their program and are required to withdraw (RTW).


  • If you are registered in Fall courses only, then your academic standing is assessed in January.


If you have not met the GPA requirement for your program you will receive a personalized letter in your Bear Tracks Official Correspondence or ualberta email in late May or early June. 

It is very important that you thoroughly read your letter as it outlines what academic requirements you have not met, what academic standing category you have been placed in, and the consequences or conditions of your academic standing.

ALES undergraduate students have the right to appeal an academic standing decision that results in the student being required to withdraw (RTW) from their undergraduate program, as outlined by the University Calendar ( Questions about the appeal process and relevant Faculty and university regulations should be directed to the ALES Student Services Office, at 



If you have resolved the issues that impacted your academic performance and are eager to continue your studies without interruption, we encourage you to appeal.

A successful appeal will not remove the academic standing remarks from your transcript. The initial remark will remain. What an appeal can change, is the consequences or conditions of that academic standing and how you can proceed with your studies. Generally this means continuing your studies under probation. The terms of probation vary from student to student, but often include a reduced course load, completing a study plan each month and mandatory meetings with a Student Advisor. 

Fresh Start

If you are ready to continue your studies and you are offered the opportunity to apply to Fresh Start, we strongly recommend that you continue your studies as a student in Fresh Start.The Fresh Start program offers students additional support aimed at enhancing their academic skills across all subjects and will give you a strong foundation for the rest of your studies.


If you choose not to appeal, you may still continue your studies through Open Studies or another institution and satisfy either of the following conditions:  

  • Complete 18 transferable units to the University of Alberta with an AGPA of 2.7 or 
  • Complete 24 or more transferable units to the University of Alberta with a AGPA of 2.0 towards the  program of your choice 

Open Studies students can take up to six credits in each term (normally two courses) and up to an overall maximum of 30 units of course weight. There are limitations to the courses available through Open Studies, however they are offered from a wide variety of subject areas and disciplines. In most cases ALES student are able to find courses which contribute to the their program, so that they are still making progress while improving their grades.

Browse Open Studies course listings »



The deadline to submit an appeal is included in your Academic Standing letter.

You must submit your appeal to the Associate Dean (Academic) through the Appeals Submission Form. Appeal letters will not be accepted. Supporting documents should be submitted to ALES Student Services by email to before the due date given in your letter.

Your appeal should show a clear understanding of the challenges you faced and present a realistic plan for moving forward and improving your academic standing. It is crucial to include all pertinent details regarding your circumstances and appeal; however, please share only what you are comfortable sharing. If the Associate Dean requires more information, they may ask for it.

In the appeal form, you must complete 3 written sections and answer the following questions: 

  1. Please outline the reasons and extenuating circumstances for the unsatisfactory academic standing.
  2. What measures have you already taken to ensure future academic success? When did you realize there was a problem? What did you do to try to improve? Why did it not work?
  3. What is your plan to improve academic performance if allowed to remain in your academic program?

Note: To maintain fairness in the appeals process, each section is limited to 3000 characters (including spaces), approximately 500 words. Please ensure your response adheres to this character limit.  

Questions about the appeal process and relevant Faculty and university regulations should be directed to the ALES Student Services Office, at Student Service Staff are not authorized to speculate on the probability of an appeal's outcome. In order to maintain impartiality, Student Service Staff are also prohibited from providing guidance on the content of the appeal. They may offer general information about the appeals process and necessary documentation.

Assistance with the content and submission of appeals is available from the Office of the Student Ombuds ( Students are strongly advised to consult with the Student Ombuds prior to submission of their appeal.



The Associate Dean will consider your appeal and make a decision. You will receive a decision letter in through your ualberta email account.

The Associate Dean may set conditions for granting your appeal, such as a limit on the number of courses you may take. You are responsible for following these conditions. 


If the Associate Dean denies your appeal, you have the right to appeal the denial or the new conditions to the Faculty of ALES Academic Appeals Committee (AAC). Details on how to do that will be included in the Associate Dean’s decision letter. 

The committee can uphold the original decision, change the conditions, or deny your appeal. If their decision is not acceptable you will be provided with information on how to appeal to the GFC Academic Appeals Committee.


  1. Undergraduate Student Academic Appeal Procedures - Appeal of Academic Standing
  2. Office of the Student Ombuds - contact for support and information about appeals.
  3. Student Service Centre - contact for questions about how a Requirement to Withdraw affects your tuition and fees.
  4. International Student Services - contact for questions about how a Requirement to Withdraw affects your visa or study permit.