Academic Standing

Undergraduate Dean’s List
Academic Probation
Academic Suspension & Dismissal
Academic Integrity
Procedure for Handling Violations of Academic Integrity


Undergraduate Dean’s List

Full-time students receiving a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in any individual quarter and receiving no grade of N, U, or Y will be placed on the Dean’s List for that quarter.

Academic Probation

Academic probation constitutes notice of unsatisfactory academic performance and is a warning that minimum standards for graduation are not being met. In most cases, two or more grades below C (including C-, U, and Y grades) in any one quarter, or a drop in the minimum cumulative GPA, is grounds for probationary status. Academic probation status is not part of the official academic record. Unless a student demonstrates significant academic improvement during the period of probation, a student may be dismissed from the University. The conditions resulting in academic probation, removal from academic probation, and dismissal are listed in Northwestern University’s Undergraduate Catalog. The Academic Review Committee reviews academic progress of students on probation and candidates for probation. The Committee consists of three to five faculty members and is convened by the assistant dean for student affairs.

Academic Suspension & Dismissal

When it appears that a student is not making satisfactory degree progress, the student may be suspended or excluded from the University by vote of the Academic Review Committee. In the event that a student is dismissed, the student may submit a written appeal to the assistant dean for student affairs or DGS no later than 10 days from the date of dismissal. The committee will review the appeal and inform the student of a final decision within 14 days. In the event of a dismissal, the official transcript may be marked “Dismissed for Academic Performance.” Terms of a suspension are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Academic Integrity

A student who is in violation of academic integrity guidelines is subject to penalties ranging from reprimand to failure of a course to suspension or exclusion from the University. It is the responsibility of the faculty to review and report all suspected violations of academic integrity. A complete statement of the University’s principles regarding academic integrity can be obtained from the Provost’s Office. For further details on the academic integrity policy and guidelines, consult the Undergraduate Catalog or the Student Handbook.

Instructors may require students to submit their work electronically in addition to or in place of printed form. All student work may be analyzed electronically for violations of the University's academic integrity guidelines and may also be included in a database for the purpose of testing for plagiarized content. Students should be careful when using websites as sources for scholarly papers. Always ask course instructors about their individual policies for using the web as a legitimate source.

Procedure for Handling Violations of Academic Integrity

In line with Northwestern University policy, the Bienen School of Music will deal with cases of alleged violations of academic integrity in the following manner:

  • If a faculty member suspects that a student has been involved in a violation of the academic integrity guidelines, the allegation should be reported immediately to the Office of Student Affairs. All cases must be referred within one month of the date of the alleged incident or within one month of the date the faculty member becomes aware of it, whichever is later. However, no action shall be taken on any case if more than one year has elapsed since the alleged incident.
  • The faculty member will review the evidence with the assistant dean and if, in the opinion of the assistant dean, there is sufficient evidence to merit a charge, the assistant dean will invite the student in to discuss the case. If after this meeting the assistant dean feels the charge is still valid, the student and instructor are informed and the instructor is allowed to determine how the violation will affect the course grade. If a student’s home school is the one in which the course is taught, the assistant dean determines a sanction, which ranges from a letter of reprimand to suspension for one or more quarters, exclusion, marking the transcript, revocation of an awarded degree, or other.
  • If the student is in another school at the university, the assistant dean passes the materials and a summary of the case to the appropriate administrator in the home school to determine a sanction.
  • The student may appeal the finding and/or the sanction to the appropriate administrator within ten days of the determination of that sanction. During the time of appeal, any possible grade change and/or sanction is held in abeyance. At any point in the process, students are not allowed to change the grading basis or drop the course in which the alleged violation occurred.
  • The student may further appeal to the provost on one of two possible grounds: there was a procedural error at some point in the process; or, the sanction is manifestly at variance with the finding. The provost considers the appeal, and renders a final decision.
  • When Bienen School of Music students are accused of an academic integrity violation by another school within the University, the other school determines whether a violation has occurred and determines the grade to be received. The case is then referred to the Office of Student Affairs in the Bienen School of Music, which may decide further action.