Faculty oversee scholastic standards through the Faculty Council Committee on Scholastic Standards. Students can inquire about scholastic standards at: studentsuccess_scholasticstandards@mail.colostate.edu.



Good Standing - Minimum Cumulative GPA

In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA) of 2.000 on a 4.000 scale is required at CSU. All grades earned in regular credit courses, including those taken through CSU Online or the CSU Summer Session, will count toward the CUM GPA. For students who have been granted a Fresh Start, all grades earned prior to the Fresh Start will not count toward the student’s CUM GPA.

Academic Standing 

Students with a cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA) lower than a 2.000 will begin the academic standing process for one or two regular semesters (fall and spring). The first fall/spring semester that a student has a CUM GPA lower than a 2.000 will be their "academic watch" semester. If a student continues into a second fall/spring semester with a CUM GPA below 2.000, that semester will be their "academic dismissal warning" semester. Grades earned in regular credit courses through the Division of Continuing Education or the CSU summer session will count toward the CUM GPA regardless of when those classes are taken. At any time that the CUM GPA is raised to a 2.000 or higher, the student will return to good academic standing.

Students who withdraw from all CSU courses during the semester or attend another institution will continue in the academic standing process when they return. Note that transfer credit grades are not computed within the CUM GPA earned at CSU, so these grades can not improve the CSU GPA. (Faculty Council approved minutes Dec. 6, 2022)

Academic Dismissal

Students in the academic standing process who do not raise their CUM GPA to a 2.000 or higher after two regular semesters (fall and spring) will be dismissed from CSU. Students who have been academically dismissed from CSU have three options to seek readmission.

First, they may take classes through the GUEST program, through the CSU Summer Session, or through the Division of Continuing Education. They can return to CSU when their CUM GPA is 2.000 or higher.

The second option available to students who have been academically dismissed is to enroll at another regionally accredited institution and meet the requirements to be admitted as a transfer student to CSU. Upon transferring back to CSU, students will have two semesters following re-enrollment to raise their CUM GPA earned at CSU to 2.000 or higher. Transfer credits are not computed within the CUM GPA earned at CSU. Students who have raised the CUM GPA to 2.000 or higher or who apply as students transferring from another institution may apply for readmission to the University.

A third option is to return to CSU through the Fresh Start Process (see information below).

Appeal of Academic Dismissal

Students may appeal academic dismissal. An online appeal may be submitted for consideration by the Faculty Council Committee on Scholastic Standards. All appeals must be submitted in accordance with written instructions.

All appeals of academic dismissal will be acted upon by the Faculty Council Committee on Scholastic Standards no later than seven business days prior to the first day of classes for the next regular academic semester (either fall or spring).

A dismissal appeal that is granted allows the student to return immediately for the next regular semester (fall or spring). Dismissal appeals granted cannot carry forward to a future semester unless the student was approved (prior to dismissal) for a planned leave for the next regular semester. If a student withdraws during the dismissal appeal granted semester due to extenuating circumstances, the student must submit another appeal to dismissal that includes documentation of the extenuating circumstances or the student will be dismissed at the end of the dismissal appeal granted semester.

Academic Fresh Start

CSU undergraduate students may apply for an academic Fresh Start, a policy which allows students to establish a new GPA record. A student may be granted a Fresh Start only once during completion of their first undergraduate degree. 

An academic Fresh Start may be granted after at least one calendar year has elapsed since the student’s last term of enrollment as an admitted, degree-seeking student, regardless of the number of credits taken. If a student receives a Fresh Start, they must successfully complete at least 30 upper-division credits of course-work in residence (taken at CSU on campus or online) after the Fresh Start is granted to graduate.  

During the one-year interval away from their degree seeking program, a student may participate in CSU summer courses, continuing education courses, Undergraduate Planned Leave and/or as a GUEST student. Academic terms with a semester withdrawal PRIOR TO the census/add-drop deadline can count toward the interval required for a Fresh Start; academic terms with a semester withdrawal AFTER the census/add-drop deadline do not count toward the one-year interval required for a Fresh Start.  

To apply for an Academic Fresh Start, students must: 

  1. Submit a Returning Student Application to the Office of Admissions by the posted application date for the appropriate semester. 
  2. Write a personal statement that includes the following:
  • Reflection on their prior performance, experience and/or actions
  • Why they would like to return to CSU
  • Evidence of personal, professional and/or academic growth or development and other factors that support their successful return
  • Specific actions, supports and resources they plan to utilize to be successful upon return

Students have the option to submit support documentation with their application, such as a recommendation or updated transcript. Eligibility for an Academic Fresh Start does not guarantee readmission.

A student granted a Fresh Start and enrolled will have a demarcation on the permanent academic record to delineate the previous record from the new academic record achieved under the Fresh Start policy. Credits for those courses in which a grade of at least C- or S was awarded prior to the Fresh Start may be applied toward graduation requirements under the Fresh Start policy. 

Only grades earned after the Fresh Start demarcation will be computed in the new GPA. Students must complete at least 30 upper division credits of coursework in residence at CSU after Fresh Start is granted in order to graduate. Fresh Start may also have implications regarding other requirements for graduation and eligibility for Graduation with Distinction.  Students should consult with their department regarding their graduation requirements.

Dean's List

Students should contact their individual college(s) for Dean’s List qualifications. 

Graduation with Distinction

CSU recognizes outstanding scholarship by granting the baccalaureate degree “Cum Laude,” “Magna Cum Laude,” and “Summa Cum Laude” to those students in each college who have achieved unusually high academic excellence in their undergraduate programs. To be eligible for graduation with distinction, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum grade point average required for graduation with distinction and
  • Minimum of 60 credits completed at CSU. Students who have been granted Fresh Start must have completed 60 credits after the Fresh Start designation to qualify for graduation with distinction.

Transfer credits are not considered when determining a) candidacy for graduation with distinction or b) graduation with distinction.

The Current Breakdown of Acceptable GPAs for a Distinction Designation:

College Summa Cum Laude Magna Cum Laude Cum Laude
Agricultural Sciences 4.000 3.952 3.825
Business 3.996 3.924 3.818
Engineering 3.978 3.916 3.776
Health and Human Sciences 4.000 3.946 3.840
Liberal Arts 4.000 3.957 3.869
Natural Resources 4.000 3.954 3.842
Natural Sciences 4.000 3.962 3.888
Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 4.000 3.989 3.950

These minimum cumulative grade point averages will be reviewed every four years and may be changed if needed to maintain appropriate academic standards. Such changes will become effective the semester following approval by Faculty Council and publication in the General Catalog. The breakdown illustrated above will be applied starting with our Spring 2024 graduates. Each of the minimum grade point averages needed to graduate with distinction will be adjusted at the end of each four year period only if the percentage of students graduating with distinction in a distinction category and college have shown a statistically verifiable deviation from the target percentages of:

Summa Cum Laude 1%
Magna Cum Laude 3%
Cum Laude 6%

Candidates for graduation with distinction are recognized at the time of commencement. Candidacy is determined by a student's cumulative grade point average through the semester preceding graduation. “Candidacy” for graduation with distinction does not guarantee graduation with distinction. Graduation with distinction is based on the student’s cumulative grade point average at the time of graduation. The CSU GPA calculation is carried to the third decimal place and is not rounded.

Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree are eligible for distinction designation. To qualify for graduation with distinction, a minimum of 60 credits completed at CSU is required after the first degree. In determining the grade point average of the student, only grades earned after the first degree are considered.

Graduation as a University Honors Scholar

Students who complete the University Honors Program academic requirements and achieve at least a cumulative 3.500 grade point average earn the designation of University Honors Scholar. Scholars are recognized at graduation by the Honors Program and during the colleges’ commencement ceremonies. The University Honors Scholar designation appears on diplomas and transcripts.


Graduate students must maintain a 3.000 GPA to be in good standing with the University. Learn more in the Graduate and Professional Bulletin.