Guidelines for Program Probation and Disqualification

 This policy provides guidance to students in the Undergraduate Public Health (UGPH) program about the requirements to continue progression through the Undergraduate program in the department.  It provides additional guidance on University Policy S10-6.

Supporting Student Success

We view probation and disqualification as a process that serves to warn students about unacceptable performance in Public Health courses and encourages students to seek academic support early if needed.  Probation and disqualification in UGPH can provide a mechanism to compel struggling students to recognize areas for improvement, successfully negotiate hurdles, and get on track.  Alternatively, such policies can help students realize early in their academic careers that they should be exploring other majors and possible careers prior to spending a great deal of time and money pursuing a major that is a poor fit.  Although it may seem harsh to disqualify students from their major, students will be well served by such departmental policies.  Well-designed and well-implemented policies for probation and disqualification in the major will be beneficial as an early warning system for our students and will enhance retention and graduation rates.

It is our professional and ethical imperative to hold our students accountable to minimum standards of academic performance fit for future (often) public servants.  We do not serve our client communities well by populating our institutions and organizations with those who do not demonstrate the minimum required skills for such work. 


The Basic Principles


Probation in the Major and Disqualification From UGPH

Despite maintaining an SJSU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, students’ academic performances in the UGPH program may fall below the minimum standards required by the program.  While the student maintains the minimum GPA required for the University, they are subject to probation and disqualification from the PH major.

1.  Probation in the Major

Students are subject to probation if they do not successfully complete any required course(s) in Public Health with a “C” or better.  These courses are outlined in the university catalog and on the SJSU PHR website.

If a student is placed on probation, the student will be notified in writing by the UGPH program, providing the student with the conditions for release from probation and the circumstances that would lead to disqualification, should probation not be discharged.  Students will be advised to meet with the faculty advising coordinator to discuss their situation and design a plan to retake the course.

Students will be required to complete remedial steps to be removed from Probation.  

2.  Disqualification From the Major

If students on probation in the major fail to successfully pass the required course for the second time, they will be disqualified from the major. 

 Students disqualified under this policy will be notified in writing that they are no longer eligible to continue in the major and that their major will be changed to undeclared at the end of the semester.  Notification will include a referral of the student to AARS or the CHHS Student Success Center for educational counseling.

A student may appeal this status to the UGPH Program Coordinator, the PHR Chair, and/or the Associate Dean of CHHS.

3.  Reinstatement to the Major after Major Disqualification

Once a student is disqualified for not passing a required course two times, reinstatement to the major will not normally be allowed.

Following a disqualification from the major, reinstatement to the major may include course grades or GPA requirements higher than the standard thresholds.  In effect, students seeking such reinstatements are being admitted to the major again and may be held to higher standards than are required to complete a degree.  This is especially appropriate for impacted majors such as ours that already apply supplemental criteria for admission of new students to the major.

4.  Reinstatement to the Major after University Disqualification

If a student is disqualified from the University and successfully petitions for re-enrollment, there is a possibility to be reinstated to the program.

To be considered for reinstatement to the program following disqualification from the University, students must consult with the faculty advising coordinator and/or UGPH program coordinator. Students must demonstrate that they are ready to resume rigorous academic work and design a plan that addresses any academic or curricular problems.  Students may be reinstated to the major upon successful completion of the study plan and application to the major.

5. Petitions

In cases of error or extenuating circumstances, students, upon receiving notice of probation or disqualification, may petition to the department chair to appeal such action.  In the case of a negative decision in response to the petition, students may appeal to the Academic Disqualification and Reinstatement Review Committee (ADRRC).  After review of the petition, the ADRRC will make a recommendation to the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies to confirm or rescind the action.


Additional Guidelines


a) Good Standing —> Probation —> Disqualification

In general, it is not possible to go directly from good standing to disqualification from the program.  In other words, at least one semester of probation is required prior to disqualification.  The underlying premise is that students will be placed on notice prior to disqualification. 


b) Multiple attempts to pass a course

Students are restricted to two attempts of any course offered by the department.  Special situations include the following:

  1. Approved course drops or semester withdrawals (W or WB grades on the unofficial transcript) are considered to be without prejudice and should not be counted as an attempt at a course if the major program restricts the number of attempts for a course (see University Policy S09-7).
  2.  If the course in question is offered by another department, UG PH may consider only the first two attempts in determining probation or disqualification status. Clearly, UGPH cannot restrict the number of times a student enrolls for a course offered by another department, but it is permitted to ignore the grade from a third attempt to pass a class with a C or better.


c) Minimum course grade or GPA requirements

UGPH requires individual course grades to be a “C or better” for undergraduates.  Notes related to these general guidelines include the following:

  1.  Admission requirements and degree requirements are different.  Admission to an impacted degree program may include supplemental criteria such as a GPA greater than the 2.0 threshold.  However, once a student is admitted to a major, the degree requirements must be limited to “C or better” for undergraduates (Title 5).


UGPH may consider University Probation or Disqualification as a factor in determining Probation or Disqualification in the major.