Academic Standing

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. The Dean's List is not published. 

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 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.

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:

Procedure for Handling Violations of Academic Integrity


All proven cases of academic dishonesty should be penalized as appropriate under the circumstances. Sanctions other than a reduced or failing grade should be imposed by the school in which the student is enrolled. The imposition of any sanction other than a private reprimand should include a statement of reasons supporting its severity. A student may appeal any finding or sanction as specified by the school holding jurisdiction. Sanctions may include but are not limited to:

  1. Reduced or failing grade.
  2. A letter of reprimand and warning.
  3. A defined period of suspension, up to one year. Ineligibility for certain awards, honors and special programs.
  4. Revocation of an awarded degree.
  5. Permanent exclusion from the University (noted on an official transcript).
  6. Any combination of the above.