Contact the Registrar’s office with the most up-to-date information about Academic Standing and Policies.

Academic Progress

Making academic progress is very important for all students, especially international students who come to America on an F or J student visa. To maintain an F-1 or J-1 immigration status, the regulations require students to make academic progress towards a degree and towards graduation. An international student that fails to progress academically may have difficulties renewing their visa, transferring, or completing their program by the end date on their I-20 or DS-2019.

Please read this page completely if you are an international student on academic warning, probation, or suspension. More information and resources can be found in the Registrar’s office or the Academic Advising and Learning Center.

Academic Standing Terms and Explanations

The following terms and information relate to undergraduate students. Graduate students need to maintain a GPA of 3.00 and to contact their department for more information about poor academic standing and policies.

Good Academic Standing

A student is doing satisfactory work when a GPA of 2.00 or better is maintained and substantial progress is made toward completion of graduation requirements.

Academic Warning

A student whose GPA drops below a 2.00 in any term of the academic year receives an academic warning. If the GPA the following term and the cumulative WOU GPA are 2.00 or better, the student is removed from warning. A student who receives an academic warning is required to meet with an academic advisor in the Academic Advising and Learning Center to discuss strategies for success.

What it means for international students: International students may be required to meet with an international student advisor to discuss services for student success on campus.

Academic Probation

A student on academic warning whose GPA in any term of the academic year is below 2.00 is placed on academic probation. If the GPA the following term and the cumulative WOU GPA are 2.00 or better, the student is removed from probation. Students placed on academic probation are required to meet with an academic advisor in the Academic Advising and Learning Center to develop a plan for academic success.

What it means for international students: International students are required to meet with an international student advisor to discuss the negative effect this may have on a student’s immigration status. If an international student is on academic probation or suspension, they are no longer eligible to extend the program end date on their I-20 or DS-2019. If additional time is needed to complete the program, the student will be required to apply for immigration reinstatement (the original immigration record will not be extended and will be terminated) or exit the United States and reapply for a new I-20 or DS-2019 and visa to resume studies.

To complete by the program end date, a student should consider enrolling in more than the minimum number of credits to be considered full time (register for over 12 credits as an undergraduate student, or 9 credits as a graduate student). A student may also think about taking additional classes during the summer term, online or concurrently at a nearby university.

Students that continue to do poorly, should plan to have a back up plan in case he or she is suspended from WOU. The student should apply to local community colleges to prepare for the option of transferring if suspended and if they are not academically reinstated.

Academic Suspension

A probationary student whose GPA for any term of the academic year is below 2.00 will be suspended and will not be permitted to register again without the consent of the registrar. The procedure for applying for readmission begins in the Registrar’s Office. To be readmitted, suspended students are required to enroll in and successfully complete the university’s learning seminar.

What it means for international students: International students are required to meet with an international student advisor to discuss what options are available for suspended international students. An academically suspended student will not be eligible to register at WOU for 1 term. If a student is suspended a 2nd time they will not be eligible to register at WOU for 1 year.

International students which are academically suspended will need to do one of the following within one week of grades coming out (winter break, spring break, or early summer break):

  • Students may apply for a “Petition for Reinstatement” in the Registrar’s office. Please contact the Registrar’s office or see the more detailed information below.
  • Students may transfer to a different school. The student must first get admitted to a different school or program and show the ISSA office the acceptance letter and financial guarantee if applicable for the new school. The SEVIS record will remain active as long as the transfer is done in a timely manner.
  • Students may withdraw from Western Oregon University and exit the U.S. within 14 days. The student’s immigration record will be terminated.
  • Student’s who take no action will have their SEVIS record terminated and will be out of immigration status. Students who remain in the U.S. will be here illegally.

Petition for Reinstatement for Suspended Students

The petition for reinstatement form can be found in the Registrar’s office. The petition has you explain your circumstances as to why you are not making academic progress such as, but not limited to, an injury or illness to you or death of a relative, or extreme difficulties in understanding English or the American university system. You may be required to provide appropriate documentation (e.g. note from doctor or professor). You will also need to explain the steps you will take to prevent this problem from reoccurring and steps you will take to improve your grades.


International Student Academic Support

Services include the following:

  • English Tutoring
  • Academic Advising & Support
  • Providing technology for language acquisition support (smartpens, e-dictionaries, translators)
  • Providing course-specific support for selected classes with significant international student enrollment


Academic Success Class

If you are on Academic Warning or Probation, the Academic Advising and Learning Center (AALC) highly recommends Academic Success. This two credit course is designed to build skills that will help you achieve success in college. Contact 503-838-8428 to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor in the AALC office in APS 401. Space is limited.

Topics covered include:

  • Time Management
  • Study Skills
  • Test Taking
  • Stress Management
  • Campus Resources
  • Overcoming Procrastination

Options for Students doing Poorly in Class(es)

Ask Professor about Grades and Extra Credit Opportunities

Students that are doing poorly in courses first should discuss their options with the course instructor. Students that meet with their professors may be able to sort out a way to revise a poorly written paper, opt for extra credit, find a tutor for the class, or get advice to do better in the future.

Ask Professor about getting an ‘I’ or Incomplete Grade for the Course

A grade of ‘I’ may be assigned when the quality of work is satisfactory but an essential requirement of the course has not been completed for reasons acceptable to the instructor. To change an incomplete to a letter grade, the student must complete the work within 12 months. Getting an incomplete will not forfeit the course tuition but the student must be doing satisfactory work in the class to be considered for this option.

Withdrawal from a Course

Timing of when you plan to withdraw from a course is essential in regards to the amount of tuition which will be refunded, and the grade that will show (or not be shown) on the transcript. Please see the academic calendar for these important dates.

There are various reasons a student would be eligible to drop a course: they would remain at a full course load, they are concurrently enrolled and the total number of credits taken would be a full course load, or the student is eligible for a reduced course load.

Remaining Enrolled Full Time: If an undergraduate international student is enrolled in 12 or more credits (9 credits if for a graduate student), if the class they wish to drop will keep their credit load over 12 credits then they are eligible to drop the class (e.g. An undergraduate student enrolled in 14 credits wishes to drop a 2 credit class and be enrolled for 12 credits would be eligible to withdraw from a course).

Concurrent Enrollment: If the student is concurrently enrolled at a different school and if by dropping they class they will remain over 12 credits they are also eligible to withdraw from a course as long as they provide proof of their concurrent enrollment.

Reduced Course Load: The student may be eligible to drop below a full time course load if they qualify for a Reduced Course Load. Review the RCL form or talk to an international student advisor. The following reasons may qualify for a reduced course load if:

  • The student is having initial difficulty (their first term in their program) with English language, reading requirements or American teaching methods, or has been placed in the improper course level.
  • The student has completed formal course work and is preparing for a comprehensive exam or submission of thesis.
  • The student needs less than a full course load to finish the degree program this term.
  • The student has a medical reason for needing to be registered less than full-time. Medical documentation is required. It should have the student’s name, the dates and recommendation for reduced course load and a licensed medical or clinical psychologist’s signature and contact information.

If withdrawing or dropping a course will put the international student at under 12 credits, it is highly recommended they not drop the course. However, if the student persists in dropping the course, the international student’s SEVIS immigration record will be terminated and the student will be out of status. Depending on the circumstances, the student may be eligible to apply for reinstatement or may be required to depart the U.S. immediately.

To withdraw from a course or from WOU, international students must complete the required paperwork (add drop form or withdrawal form) available from the Registrar’s Office and obtain the required signatures including a signature from an international student advisor.

Withdrawal from the University

If a student wishes to withdraw from WOU and drop all of their classes, they will need to have a meeting with an international student advisor. Withdrawing from the university ends the student’s SEVIS record and the student will have 14 days to leave the United States. More information can be found on the Departing WOU page or by contacting the OIED office.

Repeat Course Work

If a student does poorly in a course, they may be eligible to repeat a course to improve their grade. Only the most recent credits and grade will be computed in the Grade Point Average regardless of earlier grades. This option could significantly increase a student’s GPA. Courses taken on an audit, pass no credit, or satisfactory no credit basis may not be repeated. Ask the Registrar’s office for more information.

Satisfactory-No Credit Grading Option

An undergraduate student may choose to take elective courses on a satisfactory-no credit basis. Electives are courses other than those used to fulfill the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum requirements and the declared major or minor requirements. Students taking a course on a satisfactory-no credit basis must declare their intent during the registration process.


Students who are struggling and fail a class or who are on academic warning or probation should know that there are many resources on campus which are here to aid students in getting good grades, and in student success. Do not feel afraid to ask a professor, or staff member on campus for assistance in understanding your options and resources on campus. We want you to succeed and to do well while studying at Western and in the United States!

Please contact the Office of International Education & Development or Registrar’s office with any questions!




International Office

(503) 838-8425 | or e-mail:  | Location: Maaske Hall 106
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