Undergraduate Catalog

Student Academic Progress

Academic Load

Students are required to adhere to the following guidelines with respect to academic load. The load figures are based on a regular 16-week semester. Summer session load should be prorated according to the same guidelines.

  1. Academic load for students in good standing:
    1. Minimum load for full-time status: 12 semester hours
    2. Normal or average load: 15–16 semester hours
    3. Maximum load (without approvals): 18 semester hours
    4. Maximum load for students with at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA (Students with a 2.50–2.99 cumulative GPA need approval of the college dean or designee): 19–21 semester hours
  2. Academic load for students not in good standing (including academic warning or probation):
    1. Minimum load for full-time status: 12 semester hours
    2. Maximum load (without approval of the Council on Admission, Graduation, and Academic Standards): 16 semester hours
    3. Maximum load—Summer session: 6 semester hours


The University-wide assessment program measures student progress toward educational goals, determines academic progress, improves teaching and learning, and evaluates institutional effectiveness. It assesses students at entrance, mid-career, and graduation to provide information on their academic achievement. Alumni are also surveyed to ascertain their perceptions of the effectiveness of their curriculum in preparing them for post-graduation study and/or work experience.

The plan of assessment of student learning includes the three academic components forming the undergraduate degree requirement: the General Education Curriculum distribution requirements, the development of baccalaureate-level skills, and the major. Program and curricular improvement is achieved through assessment of General Education and program majors. Individual student learning and progress is ascertained through assessment of baccalaureate skills and assessment in the major.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes in which they are enrolled. Instructors should exercise good judgment in considering excuses for absences, but it is the responsibility of students to confer with the instructor and to agree to any reasonable arrangements to compensate for their non-attendance.

Classification of Students

Students are classified by the number of semester hours earned as follows:

  • Freshman: Fewer than 30
  • Sophomore: 30–59
  • Junior: 60–89
  • Senior: 90 to completion of degree requirements

Early Warning Notification

Western Illinois University provides an early warning notification procedure to alert undergraduate students to poor academic performance in time for them to take corrective measures. Instructors are encouraged to identify students who are performing below C level work. These deficiencies are reported to the students so they can seek special help from instructors, academic advisors, or the University Counseling Center.

Eligibility to Represent the University

  1. Any student who is permitted to register for classes at Western Illinois University is eligible to participate in activities officially sanctioned by the University, subject to compliance with all eligibility rules established by the duly constituted authorities responsible for specific activities.
  2. Students who have been academically dismissed from the University and who appeal to the Council on Admission, Graduation, and Academic Standards (CAGAS) for reentry may be declared ineligible to participate in some or all Universitysanctioned activities until they achieve good academic standing. In such cases, the temporary ineligibility will become a part of the CAGAS stipulation for reentry. Any student who is unwilling to accept the stipulation will not be readmitted. Any student who violates the stipulation after reentry will be subject to immediate academic suspension.

Warning: Any student who is not in good academic standing should carefully weigh the amount of time and energy required for a given activity and should consider whether continued participation in such an activity will jeopardize his or her academic performance at the University.

First Year Experience (FYE)

The First-Year Experience (FYE) program is intended to create a positive transition to college and to encourage students who become more active and enthusiastic learners, both in and outside of the classroom. The FYE program incorporates the primary aspects of traditional students’ first college year: academic, co-curricular activities, and residence hall life.

Upon initial or re-entry full-time enrollment at Western Illinois University, students with 23 or fewer semester hours completed must enroll in and pass one FYE course. FYE courses are limited enrollment classes for first-year students only and are designated with the suffix “Y” in class schedules for each academic term.

Full-Time Student

A full-time student is one who is enrolled for a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit during any regular semester (Fall or Spring) or for six semester hours of credit during the Summer term.

Good Academic Standing

New freshmen and transfer students will be considered in good academic standing if regular admission standards are met. Students will be considered in good academic standing if they maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.

Scholarship Requirements

All students are expected to meet or exceed the grade point average of 2.00 to be in good academic standing.

Once transfer students have been admitted, only the semester hours earned at Western Illinois University are then used in calculating the grade point average. An exception to this policy is graduation with Academic Distinction. View more information about graduation with Academic Distinction.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Programs

An integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program provides the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to earn both degrees in five years. Typically, a baccalaureate degree requires four years to complete and a master’s degree requires an additional two years. However, the integrated degree programs are intended to be accomplished over a period of five years. Some advanced coursework (referred to as bridge courses, which carry a “B” designator following the course number) completed while the student is at the baccalaureate level will also be used to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree. In addition to allowing students to earn both degrees a year early, the integrated program may include additional opportunities to participate in a variety of experiential educational activities, such as a master’s project or thesis.

Admission to Integrated Degree Programs: Undergraduate students may apply for admission to an integrated program after completing 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework, of which a minimum of 30 semester hours must be completed at WIU. Integrated degree applicants must meet the cumulative grade point average and the grade point average for their major as specified by their integrated degree program. Admission must be granted by the School of Graduate Studies before a student will be allowed to enroll in graduate-level courses. Students may begin taking bridge courses after the completion of 90 semester hours, or when beginning their final two semesters (Fall and Spring) as demonstrated by a written degree completion plan. Students must have a minimum WIU cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and a minimum of 3.25 grade point average in the major or a minimum WIU cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and a minimum 3.3 grade point average in the last 30 credit hours taken at WIU to be considered for admission.

Academic Requirements: The work required for the integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program must be completed within six consecutive calendar years from the time of first enrollment in courses which are part of the integrated program. Upon completion of all requirements of the baccalaureate degree, such degree will be awarded. Subsequently, after completing the requirements of the master’s degree (including the bridge courses), such degree will be awarded. All grades of C or lower earned, including those taken for bridge (“B”) credit, count toward the six-hour C rule. Students in this program are not eligible for assistantship positions until the baccalaureate degree has been conferred. Students in an integrated program who do not complete the required bridge (“B”) courses prior to completion of their baccalaureate degree will be removed from the integrated program and must meet regular admission standards.

Penalties for Grade Point Average Deficiencies

All students who are on academic warning or probation must confer with their academic advisor during the term of warning or probation to facilitate progress toward achieving good standing.

A student who is in good academic standing who earns less than a 1.00 semester GPA resulting in less than a 2.00 cumulative GPA is automatically placed on probation.

Academic Warning

If, at the end of a grading period (semester or Summer term), a student’s cumulative grade point average in courses taken at the University falls below a 2.00, but not so low as to warrant academic probation, that student will be placed on academic warning. Students who are placed on academic warning status may enroll for no more than 16 hours in a regular semester and no more than 6 hours in a Summer term. Students may not enroll exclusively in S/U graded courses while on academic warning status. Academic warning students will be suspended if their semester grade point average is below 1.00.

Academic Probation

If, at the end of a grading period (semester or Summer term) on academic warning, a student’s cumulative grade point average in courses taken at the University falls below a 2.00, but not so low as to warrant academic suspension, that student will be placed on academic probation.

Students who are placed on a probationary status may enroll for no more than 16 hours in a regular semester and no more than 6 hours in a Summer term. Students may not enroll exclusively in S/U graded courses while on probationary status. Students on academic probation must achieve at least the following grade point average each grading period until good academic standing is reached or they will be academically suspended:

  1. Freshmen and sophomores MUST earn a minimum term GPA of 2.10.
  2. Juniors and seniors MUST earn a minimum term GPA of 2.25.
Academic Suspension

A student will be academically suspended if at the end of any grading period the student on academic probation fails to make satisfactory progress toward good academic standing as defined under Academic Probation above. 

In addition, any student who has a GPA of 0.00 (as a result of F, FN, FW, U, N, and/or XU) at the end of their first full-time semester of coursework will be academically suspended (statement added August 30, 2023).

Reinstatement Following Academic Suspension

Students suspended for poor scholarship must remain out of the University for at least one regular semester. After the inactive semester, students suspended for the first time will automatically be eligible for reinstatement and may re-enter the University at the beginning of a Fall or Spring semester or a Summer term, provided they indicate their intentions to do so prior to established deadlines by filing a reentry form. If they have attended another school, an official transcript from that school must be on file in the Office of the Registrar at the time of registration.

Reinstated students re-enter the University with the same cumulative GPA they had upon suspension and are placed on academic probation. This probationary status will continue as long as the student satisfies the conditions specified in the section on Academic Probation. Students failing to make satisfactory progress are dismissed and may not be reinstated a second time except by approval of the Council on Admission, Graduation, and Academic Standards (CAGAS).

New Start Policy

This policy is designed for former WIU students with a severe cumulative honor point deficiency who have not attended WIU for a minimum of three years.

  1. Former WIU students who have not attended WIU for at least three years may petition the Council on Admission, Graduation, and Academic Standards (CAGAS) to have prior grades excluded from subsequent grade point average calculations. Such appeals must be received and approved prior to the student’s reentry to WIU.
  2. All hours earned will count toward total hours for graduation.
  3. All students must have at least a C average in all WIU courses counted toward the major and the minor for graduation.

The New Start provision may be exercised only once, and all grades that a student has received at WIU will be used to determine class rank and honors. Any student under this policy must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours after returning to WIU to qualify for graduation. All courses taken and grades earned will appear on the transcript.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid

Students must meet all of the following satisfactory academic progress criteria for federal and state financial aid eligibility:

  1. Minimum Cumulative Pace (Credit Hour Completion Rate): Students must earn credit for at least 67% of the total cumulative hours attempted, including enrolled hours during which Title IV aid was not received. This includes transfer hours, incomplete grades, and withdrawal hours for all semesters.
  2. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): Students must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA at WIU (grades for transfer hours are not included).
  3. Maximum Time Frame: Students must graduate before exceeding 150% of hours required for degree. This includes all hours attempted: transfer hours, incomplete grades, and withdrawn hours for all terms, and includes terms in which Title IV aid was not received.

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for knowing degree requirements and enrolling in courses that will enable them to complete their degree programs. It is also their responsibility to know the University regulations for the standard of work required to continue in good academic standing. Degree requirements are presented in this publication. Additional details about requirements, procedures, and policies are available from the academic departments and advisors.

Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID)

After students have completed their composition sequence in the Department of English, they must complete the next academic portion of WIU’s writing program, a Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) requirement for their major. WID courses are designed to help students learn both the forms and values for the writing needed to be effective professionals in their fields.

All WID courses provide a variety of opportunities for writing development accompanied by instructional support, build in early opportunities for revision, require disciplinary writing throughout the course for a significant part of the course grade, and maintain a student-faculty ratio no greater than 25:1. For in-depth WID criteria and links to resources, please see wiu.edu/WID. Individual departmental WID requirements are specified in the curriculum for each academic program.