Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Issues and University Policies FAQs

  1. How many credits do I need to be a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior?
  2. How do I calculate my grade point average (GPA)?
  3. Can I repeat a course?
  4. What is Academic Probation?
  5. What is Academic Dismissal?
  6. How do I appeal my dismissal with the Academic Advising Center?

1. How many credits do I need to be a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior?
Undergraduate students are classified as follows:

Freshmen, 0-29 semester hours of credit earned
Sophomores, 30-59 semester hours of credit earned
Juniors, 60-89 semester hours of credit earned
Seniors, 90 or more semester hours earned

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2. How do I calculate my grade point average (GPA)?
The grade point system is used to determine academic standing and to award honors. To compute the GPA, the total number of grade points earned is divided by the total number of the GPA hours attempted at NIU (those for which grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, or F are recorded), as in the following example.

Course Credit
Grade
Points Per Hour
Total Grade Points
3
A-
3.67
(3 x 3.67) 11.01
3
B+
3.33
(3 x 3.33) 9.99
3
C
2.00
(3 x 2) 6.00
3
D
1.00
(3 x 1) 3.00
3
F
0.00
(3 x 0) 0
15 total hr
n/a
30 pts/15 cr hrs
=2.000 GPA
A = 4.00 B+ = 3.33 C+ = 2.33 D = 1.00 F = 0.00
A- = 3.67 B = 3.00 C = 2.00
B- = 2.67

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3. Can I repeat a course?
A student my repeat a course in which a grade of D or F was received. The grade which the student earns in the repeat will replace the original grade in the GPA calculation, but both grades will always appear on the student’s official transcript. For more information about this policy consult the Undergraduate Catalog or speak with an academic advisor.

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4. What is Academic Probation?
First-semester freshmen whose GPA falls below 1.6 for all work attempted at NIU will be placed on probation. All other undergraduate students failing to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 for all work attempted at NIU will also be placed on probation. Students placed on probation are required to schedule an appointment for a probation interview with the dean (or the dean’s delegate) of their major college. Students without a major and college affiliation will meet with a staff member in the Academic Advising Center. For more information about this policy consult the Undergraduate Catalog or speak with an academic advisor.

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5. What is Academic Dismissal?
Students failing to remove academic probation after one enrollment by attaining a cumulative GPA in NIU courses of at least 2.00 will become candidates for academic dismissal from the university. Students failing all of the courses for which they are registered for a single semester, including summer session, will become candidates for academic dismissal from the university. For more information about this policy consult the Undergraduate Catalog or speak with an academic advisor.

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