What are the Minimum Requirements for Doing Well in my Academics?

Good Academic Standing

Keep in mind the minimum requirements for remaining in good academic standing, and contact an advisor if you have concerns about your academic performance. 

Minimum Requirements

To remain in good academic standing, you must:

  • Earn at least 9 units each quarter.
  • Earn at least 36 units every three quarters (i.e., average at least 12 units/quarter).
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (C average).

Please note that the conditions listed above may be impacted by accommodations from the Office of Accessible Education (for example, a Reduced Course Load). See your Academic Advisor if you have questions about your particular situation.

Some students have additional requirements and restrictions that are not related to the requirements for academic progress: for example, international students, NCAA athletes, and students on outside fellowships usually cannot go below 12 units in a quarter. If you think you might earn fewer than 12 units, be sure to consult an Academic Advisor to discuss your individual case.

Common Confusions

Be aware of the difference between enrolling in units and earning units. All students need to enroll in at least 12 units at the beginning of every quarter. At the end of the quarter, when your transcript shows a passing grade for each course, then you have earned the units. You can earn units with any grade of D-minus or above, with a CR (Credit) grade, or with an S (Satisfactory) grade. NP (No Pass) and NC (No Credit) are failing grades that do not earn units. Be especially careful to consult an academic advisor about incompletes or repeating classes. Incompletes do not count as earned units until the final grade has been entered in Axess. Repeating classes can result in losing previously earned units and bring you under the 36 units every three quarters rule.

Depending on your individual situation, there may be different rules about enrolling and earning units, so be sure to consult advisors. You can read more about the university's academic progress policies in the Stanford Bulletin.

On Financial Aid?

Financial Aid also has separate rules for Satisfactory Academic Progress that students on financial aid should understand.