For College of Letters & Science undergraduate students who have been notified that the next step in their probation process is a one-year academic suspension.
L&S undergraduate students who have been on a probation status due to their grade-point average, and have a semester GPA under a certain level, will be placed on academic suspension. This means not enrolling in classes for at least the next three terms (e.g., Fall, Spring, and Summer).
Such students receive an email from the L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans’ Office after grades have been reported for the semester, noting the specific terms in which they will not be enrolled.
Why do I have to take a year off?
Academic suspension sounds scary. It may feel like a punishment, but it’s not. There are two main reasons for the College of Letters & Science to have this policy.
Upholding degree standards. — Universities can only award degrees to students who have met a certain standard of learning, measured in class grades. When a student is having a hard time meeting a minimum GPA, we hold off on future enrollment until the problem is resolved so the student doesn’t commit to more semesters when they are not learning at their best level.
Your well-being. — What’s most important is your emotional, social, financial, and mental and physical health. You’ve had challenges that have affected your academic progress. Most students in this situation benefit from taking a break from their studies to give themselves the time and space to understand those challenges, take steps to resolve them, and come back to the classroom stronger and more focused.
How to appeal your academic suspension
What does it mean to not be enrolled at UW–Madison for three terms?
Classes. — During your academic suspension, you won’t be eligible to take classes at UW–Madison. If you have already enrolled for classes in the next term, these will be administratively dropped before the start of the next term.
Campus services. — When you are not an active student, your access to campus services changes. Because policies can change, please contact the units offering services to confirm what might affect you, such as Housing, Financial Aid, Rec Sports, International Student Services, libraries, etc. You will still have access to your UW–Madison netID and Student Center.
- WiscMail, other software: kb.wisc.edu/80255
- University Health Services offers care management appointments to help you find affordable care in the community.
Transcript. — Your UW–Madison transcript (official student record) will have a notation with the date of your academic suspension.
Your academic suspension year: next steps
Your goal during this time is to identify the specific challenges that affected your learning, make a plan for how to resolve these, and follow that path.
- Talk with your academic advisor (find your advisor). They can help you explore an alternative degree plan, coordinate any class choices you might make at other schools with what will work best when you return to UW–Madison, and help you think about your bigger goals. You may meet with your advisor anytime while you are away from UW–Madison.
- Talk with others close to you: family, health-care providers, counselors, and friends.
Everyone’s situation is different. Some students choose to work for a year, or take classes elsewhere (note that some credits may transfer but not grades earned elsewhere), or find balance in other ways.
As you follow your path to resolving those challenges, you can think ahead to applying for readmission to UW–Madison.
Apply for readmission
Readmission is not guaranteed: it depends on your progress resolving the challenges that affected your academic performance in your last enrolled semesters.
You are not eligible to be readmitted until your three terms have passed, but please note the schedule for applying for readmission, below.
- Summer readmission: apply March 15 to May 13
- Fall readmission: apply March 15 to August 5 (you are strongly encouraged to have your readmission appointment with an L&S Academic Dean by May 13)
- Spring readmission: apply September 13 to November 15
Step 1: Complete the L&S Academic Suspension Readmission form.
Complete the fillable LS-Readmission-Form and then print up a copy to save for yourself and share with your academic advisor.
Step 2: Gather supporting documents
This is optional, but can be useful for students who have been in medical or counseling treatment, have resolved personal trauma or legal issues, have a different financial situation, and so on. All documents related to academic suspension are confidential and shared only with those immediately involved in your appeal.
Step 3: Talk with your academic advisor; get signature on your form
Review your academic plan with your advisor, to confirm that your goals are achievable.
Find your assigned advisor in MyUW’s Academic Navigator (find your advisors). Schedule a time to talk with them about the classes you’d like to take, your major, and how to get on-campus tutoring and learning support (if needed).
Bring your printed L&S Academic Suspension Readmission form and any supporting documents. Your advisor will add comments and will sign and date your form.
Step 4: Send your form to L&S Academic Deans
Is it complete? Signed by your academic advisor?
- Scan and send to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- OR deliver/mail to: 101 Ingraham Hall, Madison, WI 53706 (keep a copy for yourself).
Step 5: Talk with an L&S Academic Dean
After sending your form to our office, make an appointment by calling 608-262-0617.
Review the date ranges, listed above, when academic deans make appointments for specific readmission semesters.
Bring any supporting documents. If you completed classes at another college or university, bring the transcript covering that coursework.
If the L&S Academic Dean does not approve your readmission, together you will discuss next steps, based on your specific situation.
Step 6: Apply for admission as a reentry student
Once approved for readmission by an L&S Undergraduate Academic Dean, you need to apply through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. It’s a fairly simple process compared to your original application to UW–Madison.
Please note that this process also has deadlines for each term, listed on the Admissions page.
You will need to accept or decline your offer of admission. As long as you do not have any academic holds, your admission will be automatic and should be reflected in your Student Center within two business days of completion. Please carefully read the Admissions information to learn about your Admitted Student Checklist. Policy requires you to be readmitted into your previous major. If you plan to change majors, you can do that once you have been admitted.
Resources & Tools
"Be proactive. Despite external factors, ultimately no one is responsible for your academic performance except you. If you feel yourself slipping, ask for help rather than ignoring the problem, because it won't go away and you'll just feed bad habits."L&S student who has cleared probation