Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for Graduates

To be eligible for federal, state, and University financial aid programs, students are required to make satisfactory academic progress. These standards are separate and distinct from the University’s Academic Degree Requirements and Policies as stated in the University Bulletin.

These guidelines are in accordance with those required by federal regulations for recipients of a federal grant, work, and loan programs, including the Federal Graduate Parent (PLUS) Loan. These standards also apply to state aid or state-funded financial aid programs in accordance with the State of California.

Recipients of LMU tuition benefits who are not receiving any other federal, state, or University funds are not bound by these guidelines.

Graduate students must:

  • Maintain a minimum semester and cumulative grade point average of 3.00
  • If enrolled full-time, complete a minimum of 3 units per semester
  • Not exceed the maximum timeframe to complete a graduate degree of five (5) years

Please note:  LMU Financial Aid is required to report incidents of sexual or interpersonal misconduct disclosed through this form to the Department of Public Safety. If you have experienced any form of sexual or interpersonal misconduct and would like to speak confidentially with a counselor, please visit the LMU Cares site for more information on confidential counseling resources.

  • Grades of F, NC, AU, and W do not count in calculating the minimum grade point average. Grades of I (Incomplete) or IP temporarily will not be counted until the final grade is posted. Students must comply with the requirements to convert an incomplete to a permanent grade according to the requirements in the University Bulletin. Students who do not receive a passing grade in any coursework, i.e., all F’s or a combination of F’s and W’s may be required to return all or a portion of their financial aid if it is determined that the student stopped attending without notifying the University. Official documentation will be requested to determine when the student last participated in an academically related activity and financial aid will be returned according to federal, state, and institutional policies. This may result in the student owing a balance to the University. Please see Leave of Absence and Withdrawal for additional information.

  • Students who withdraw from all coursework or take a leave of absence before the start of a term and later enroll in a subsequent term retain the SAP status held during their last term of enrollment.

  • Transfer students are evaluated based on the number of units accepted at admission to determine their maximum time frame to receive financial aid.

  • A student who receives federal financial aid (Title IV funds) must follow Repeat Coursework rules in order to be considered as meeting enrollment requirements for financial aid eligibility and satisfactory academic progress. The federal regulations are listed below:

    • A student may repeat a previously passed course once
    • A student may repeat a failed course until the student passes the course
    • A student who passes a course but does not meet the grade requirement established by the college or school may only repeat the course one time
    • A student who earns a passing grade in a course and chooses to retake the course a second time earning a grade of "F" or "W" may not take the course a third time
    • A student may repeat a course as an independent study, special topics, film genre, etc., as long as the subject matter is different for each course and the institution awards new credit each time
  • Students must complete their degree within five years of starting their program.

    Important: The maximum time frame to complete degree requirements does not override institutional, federal, or state financial aid programs that have a maximum period of eligibility.

    Students should refer to the Academic Degree Requirements and Policies section of the University Bulletin for information on the recommended course load required to complete their degree requirements in five (5) years.

  • Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards are the same for all categories of students within each graduate program. SAP assessment does not differ if a student is full-time or part-time. All periods of enrollment will be included in the measurement of SAP. Semesters in which the student enrolls but is not receiving Federal financial aid are included in the measurement. 

    All students who have received financial aid are reviewed for satisfactory academic progress at the end of each term of enrollment. Graduate students who apply for financial aid for the first time must have demonstrated earlier progress to receive financial aid.

  • Students enrolled for the summer are reviewed after the end of the second summer session. Students failing to meet these requirements for the first time receive a “SAP Warning” Notice. Students are eligible for financial aid for their next term of enrollment while on Warning status.

  • If the student does not meet the minimum requirements after their next term of enrollment they are not eligible to receive financial aid. Students may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must detail why the student could not meet minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements and the steps being taken to meet the minimum requirements and regain eligibility. It must also contain an academic plan approved by your advisor. 

    If the appeal is approved the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation for one term. Students who cannot meet the minimum requirements within one term are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to prepare an academic contract that outlines the terms and period that will allow the student to meet the minimum requirements.

  • Students who are academically disqualified from the University and subsequently readmitted must complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to apply for financial aid.