Economics

Academic Standing and Appeals

Academic Standing

Students are required to maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA to retain their status as a graduate student.  If a student fails (C or less) one of the core courses, the department may allow the student to retake the course to achieve a passing grade in order to complete the program.  This applies to core courses only.  For non-core courses, the student may be permitted retake the course or take another course in lieu.  Students will have only one opportunity to retake a course.

If, in the opinion of the Graduate Program Committee, a student’s first term grades are so low that there is no reasonable prospect to achieve an overall GPA of 2.7 by the end of the second term, the Committee will notify the student in writing as soon as possible.  If the student opts not to withdraw from the program, the Committee will retain a copy of the letter sent to the student for use in any later appeals process.  In such a case, the student’s funding will be terminated after the first term.

  • GPA between 2.5 and 2.69 – At any time after the first 2 terms, if a student’s GPA falls between 2.5 and 2.69, they may be considered for a period of academic probation.  Should the Department’s recommendation of a period of academic probation be approved by FGSR, the student will be required to complete specified courses and raise their overall GPA to the required 2.7.  Failure to achieve this target will result in an immediate recommendation of program termination to FGSR with FGSR appeals processes in effect.

    If the Department does not recommend a period of academic probation, or the student does not request one, a recommendation will be forwarded to FGSR to terminate the student’s program.  In this case, the student will be advised of the pending recommendation prior to it being forwarded to FGSR. The student has 2 options:
    • The student can voluntarily withdraw from the program before the recommendation is made to FGSR        OR
    • The student will have a two week period during which they can appeal the decision to recommend termination to the Department of Economics Graduate Appeal Committee.

    Once the termination request has been forwarded to and approved by FGSR, the student’s transcript will reflect this decision.

  • GAP below 2.5 – The Department will recommend termination of the student’s graduate program to FGSR for any student whose overall GPA falls below 2.5.  The student will be advised of the pending recommendation prior to it being forwarded to FGSR. The student has 2 options:
    • The student can voluntarily withdraw from the program before the recommendation is made to FGSR     OR
    • The student will have a two week period during which they can appeal the decision to recommend termination to the Department of Economics Graduate Appeal Committee.

Once the termination request has been forwarded to and approved by FGSR, the student’s transcript will reflect this decision. 

Appeals Process

Students wishing to appeal the Department’s decision to terminate their program to FGSR may do so to the Department Graduate Appeals Committee (GAC).  The GAC is an ad hoc committee consisting of three department members, including one member from the Graduate Program Committee.  The members of the GAC will be selected by the Department Chair from a list of Economics faculty who has previously taught in the graduate program.

To make an appeal, the student should state in writing the grounds for their appeal and provide any applicable documentation.  Generally, statements to the effect that a student “will do better if given another chance” will have little effect unless some evidence is provided to substantiate the claim.  Grounds for appeal that are more likely to be successful include:

a)  Unusual personal hardship.
b)  A serious error in establishing the student's program by the Graduate Program Committee, or
c)  Inequitable treatment by the Graduate Program Committee and/or one or more instructors

The decision of the ad hoc committee will be regarded as final for the purposes of the Department.

  • Appeal denied:  The student can immediately withdraw voluntarily from the graduate program.  If they do not, the program termination recommendation will proceed to FGSR after which time the decision will be subject to the appeals process available through FGSR.
  • Appeal upheld:  The Department will recommend to FGSR that the student be allowed to continue under academic probation, for a specified period, undertaking specified courses, with the objective of raising their overall GPA to the required 2.7.
    • The courses specified for completion during the period of academic probation will not be subject to negotiation or further appeal within the Department, and will include any compulsory courses offered for which the student previously obtained a grad of C (2.0) or lower.
    • Failure to achieve the overall GPA target of 2.7 or higher will result in an immediate recommendation of program termination to FGSR, with only the FGSR appeals processes in effect.  No further extensions will be recommended by the Department to FGSR in the event that the student fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.7 after the period of academic probation.
       

Despite the Department’s recommendation, FGSR may not allow academic probation.