Auburn Policies

Important Auburn Policies

The Auburn Bulletin is an invaluable resource and the official source of academic information, policy, and requirements for Auburn University. The Bulletin has all the rules that define and control the student's academic life. Reading them, knowing them, and asking if the student does not understand can save money, time, grade points, and overall pain and suffering. If the student has questions about any of the information listed in the bulletin, he/she should contact his/her academic advisor.

Through the fifth day of classes (one week) each fall and spring semester, students can attempt to add themselves through AU Access. After the fifth class day, students who wish to add should contact the department which offers the course. Although the university technically allows adds until the 15th class day, departments have their own "cut-off" day of adding students to courses. It is strongly recommended that students attempt to add a class during the first week of classes. After that, the departments may not allow you to add.

Sometimes dropping a class is necessary and a good idea. However, rules are strict and any pattern of dropping reflects poorly on the student. Students may need to maintain a schedule with 12 or more credit hours to be a full-time student, covered by their parent's health insurance, receive financial aid, and receive scholarship awards. Students may drop courses online through AU Access.

  • First 15 days - Classes dropped on or before the 15th class day (this date is on your academic calendar and is set by the university) never appear on your transcript. This is the best time to drop if necessary. Drop online through AU Access. Be aware that courses dropped between days 6 and 15 (Fall and Spring) or days 3 and 5 (Summer) will be charged $100 PER COURSE.
  • 16th day (August 26 - November 1) - Courses dropped during this time will get a "W" ("Withdrew") for the class on his/her transcript. "Ws" do not affect the student's GPA. No refunds are available for courses dropped during this time. Drop online through AU Access.
  • After November 1 - Courses MAY NOT be dropped except in extreme circumstances with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs' permission. Examples include serious illness and unexpected personal emergencies. Documentation is required for all attempts to drop after mid-semester. "I'm failing," "I'm changing my major," and similar reasons will not get the student permission to drop. Even with permission, dropping may negatively affect the student's GPA. Please make those decisions before mid-semester. See assigned academic advisor with questions about this.

Students cannot repeat a course in which a "C" or better was previously earned without written permission from the Associate Dean. A student may repeat courses in which a "D" or "F" was earned. Here is some important information that all students should know concerning repeating courses at Auburn:

  • Students may repeat a course in which you earned a "D" or "F" one time without permission. If a "D" or "F" is earned for a second time, the student will need approval from the Associate Dean to repeat the course for the third time.
  • Students do not have to use a GAP in order to repeat the course.
  • If a GAP is not used for the first grade, both grades will be used in calculating the overall GPA.
  • A course may be repeated in which a "C" or better was earned ONLY if the Associate Dean has granted written permission OR the course is designated as repeatable. See assigned academic advisor to ask for Associate Dean's permission.
  • Degree credit is granted for any class one time, unless it is designated as repeatable in the AU Bulletin.
  • If your student has financial aid, there have been some changes in the number of times courses can be repeated. Contact the Financial Aid office prior to retaking any course more than once.

Grade Definitions:

Final passing grades are:

A = superior
B = good
C = acceptable
D = passing (must have a "C" or better in ENGL1100 and 1120)
S = satisfactory

Final failing grades are:

F = failure
FA = failure for excessive absences
U = unsatisfactory

Other final grades:

W = withdrawal
IN = incomplete
NR = no grade reported

To calculate a grade point average, multiply the credit hours times the grade points to determine the quality points for each class (a grade of "A" is worth four grade points, a "B" is three, "C" is two, "D" is one, and "F" is zero). Then divide the total quality points by the total credit hours to determine the grade point average.

Sample Grade Report
Course Credit Hours Grade Quality Points
Biology 1020 4 A (4 points) 16 (4 x 4 = 16)
English 1100 3 B (3 points) 9 (3 x 3 = 9)
History 1010 3 C (2 points) 6 (3 x 2 = 6)
Math 1610 4 C (2 points) 8 (4 x 2 = 8)
U1000: AU Experience 1 B (3 points) 3 (1 x 3 = 3)
Total 15 Hours 42 Quality Points
(16 + 9 + 6 + 8 + 3 = 42)
42 Quality Points divided by 15 Credit Hours = 2.8 GPA

In order to receive a degree from Auburn University the student must have:

  • 2.0 GPA on all Auburn course work
  • 2.0 GPA on the best attempt in all courses in your major 

Note: This is a "C" average - not a "C" in every class. However, professional schools typically will not accept "D's" for their admission requirements.

The Grade Adjustment Policy (GAP) can be a great help to students in serious academic trouble. However, much misinformation about the GAP is circulated around campus. Here are the basics on the policy and our recommendations about how to use it.

  • Students may use the GAP a maximum of 3 times on grades of "D," "F," "FA," or "U."
  • The grades come out of the calculation of your overall GPA.
  • The original grades still appear on your transcript.
  • If the course is required for graduation, the course must be repeated at Auburn. If the course is not required, it does not have to be repeated.

Although there are advantages to using the GAP in the right circumstances, for the average Auburn student, the GAP is of little use.

  • Adjusted GPAs are not honored by most professional or graduate schools. If your student is planning to apply to those schools, he/she must report all grades, including gapped grades, into the overall GPA.
  • Honor societies, honors graduation, scholarships, and certain programs or majors (outside of COSAM), do not consider gapped grades. The complete body of work at Auburn determines eligibility for those programs.

COSAM recommends a GAP be used when:

  • It will help a student stay off suspension.
  • It will allow transfer into another major or take certain classes at Auburn.

We DO NOT recommend using a GAP when:

  • A student has made a "D" and has not yet repeated the course. In general, credit has been earned for the course which will be lost when gapped.
  • A student wants to join or be an officer in an organization that has a minimum GPA. Those groups have minimum GPAs in order to encourage students to get their academic lives under control before committing to time away from studies. Academic career should be the number one priority.

Finally, although the GAP will provide a second chance at staying off suspension, it is no substitute for good academic habits. Students who are on academic warning need to review their study habits, test taking skills, choice of major, and other factors that impact academic performance. Auburn has lots of help for students in trouble. Contact the COSAM Office of Student Services (334-844-4269) or Academic Support (334-844-5972) for more information.

In order to facilitate the adjustment of students to the rigors of Auburn University course work, faculty teaching core courses must record in Banner an early alert grade for all students enrolled in those classes one week prior to midterm. This process will allow students to seek tutoring or take other action before the drop deadline. If students have any questions about their early alert grades, they are encouraged to talk to their academic advisor about their options.

The Office of the Registrar has created proxy access that allows students to grant permission to individuals, including parents, for academic information. This includes access to view a student's detailed and/or week-at-a-glance schedule, as well as their mid-term and final grades. The access must be initiated by the student through their AU Access. For more information, you may contact the Office of the Registrar at

Academic Warning status is imposed at the end of any term for which the student's cumulative GPA on Auburn course work is below 2.0. Academic Warning means that you are on probation and you are in danger of being suspended at the end of the term.

To avoid being suspended, you must have a 2.2 for the most recent term or:

  • Freshmen must have a 1.5 overall GPA
  • Sophomores must have a 1.8
  • Juniors must have a 1.9
  • Seniors must have a 1.97

First suspension is for 1 semester, 2nd suspension is for 2 semesters, and 3rd suspension is expulsion from Auburn. Summers do not count as semesters for suspension. Students may appeal to come back from suspension early, but must meet some requirements in order to do so. If a student wishes to appeal, they must meet with his/her academic advisor as soon as possible. The student will not receive credit at Auburn for courses taken at other schools while on suspension from Auburn.

A student may not resign from school to avoid suspension. If a student resigns (drop all your courses) after mid-semester and is currently on academic warning, he/she may still be suspended. Please see assigned academic advisor to discuss the individual situation and the potential consequences of resigning.

If courses are taken at another institution, the student will have transfer credit, which will need to be evaluated by his/her academic advisor. If the courses are taken at a two-year institution in the state of Alabama, the academic advisor will be very familiar with those courses and how they transfer to Auburn. Typically, academic advisors will need to do a little further investigation on courses at institutions other than Alabama community colleges. When academic advisors evaluate course work from any other institution, they need course descriptions for those courses. Then, they will compare the course descriptions there to the course descriptions here at Auburn. If there are any questions at that point, an academic advisor will contact a member of the department here at Auburn that houses the course in question. Be prepared for an academic advisor to ask for a syllabus or further information regarding a course that is particularly difficult to evaluate. Academic advisors, along with the appropriate department, are responsible for awarding transfer credit. Please contact your academic advisor if you have questions about how credit has been applied.

If a student is transferring from a two-year school, the maximum number of hours allowed is half the total required for the degree, or 64 hours, whichever is fewer. For most degrees in COSAM, 60 hours will result in the completion of half the degree and therefore, the maximum number of hours that transfer. Students should be careful in planning his/her transfer to Auburn before reaching the maximum number of hours allowed. When a student transfers course work to Auburn that counts towards courses required for his/her degree, the transfer GPA and the Auburn GPA are kept separate from each other. Therefore, the transfer GPA does not affect the Auburn GPA. HOWEVER, if the student is planning to apply to professional programs or graduate schools, please keep in mind that ALL grades are important and those programs will take all college course work and grades into account.

All Auburn students have the capability of checking their academic record for their transfer credits. They can do this by logging into AU Access, clicking on the My Academics tab, then on the Student Menu icon, then selecting Academic Transcript. All of academic credit will be listed, including any transfer credit. This is especially helpful for students who are awaiting a transcript to arrive from another institution.

A COSAM student may take courses at another institution over the summer or any other single term, provided he/she is not suspended from Auburn. In order to receive credit for these courses, a Transient Student Form must be completed. Transient forms are available online through AU Access (My Academics tab). If information about the courses and/or the transient school is not available then contact an academic advisor. Students may be asked to provide a course description for a course which is not available through the online transient form service so that it may be evaluated before determining whether or not it will transfer. It is important to remember that after the course is completed at the other institution, the student will need to request a transcript from that school to be sent to Auburn, to receive credit.

Here are some other important things to remember with transient work:

  • Grades from other schools will not affect your Auburn GPA for academic action such as honors, warning, or suspension.
  • However, grades from other schools WILL be reported to professional schools, graduate schools, employers, or anyone else who sees student transcripts. Grades are always important.
  • Students may not take courses at another school that have been gapped at Auburn.
  • Students should carefully consider where to take particularly important courses, such as those that are crucial to professional school admissions tests, sequences that will be finished at Auburn, and foundational courses. Students should be preparing for what's to come, not just "getting it out of the way."

It is not uncommon for a COSAM student to have taken dual enrollment during his/her high school career. If a student took classes at a local college while in high school, he/she should contact that institution and request a copy of the final transcript be sent to the Auburn University Admission Processing Office. Additionally, he/she will want to refer to the "Transfer Credit" section of the COSAM Student Manual to understand how transfer credit will affect his/her curriculum.

Both double majors and concurrent degrees are possible, but the requirements can be complicated. A student who is interested in pursuing either route should contact his/her assigned academic advisor for more information.