Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

According to the U.S. Department of Education, USF is required to maintain a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for financial aid purposes. This policy is specifically for financial aid, and it is separate from USF’s Undergraduate Student RegulationsGraduate Student Regulations, and Law Student Regulations.

In order for you to continue receiving federal student aid, you have to successfully complete coursework that is applied to an eligible degree or certificate program. You may have additional academic requirements if you have private, gift, or endowment scholarships from other organizations.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be measured at the end of every spring semester, after grades have been posted. If you are not meeting SAP, you will be notified via email and/or mail that your financial aid has been suspended. However, a student may be eligible for departmental scholarships under limited conditions.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements

To remain eligible for financial aid and other university funding, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • Undergraduate: Minimum 2.0 Cumulative GPA
    • Graduate (Masters and Doctorate): Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA
    • Law: Minimum 2.3 Cumulative GPA
  2. Completion Rate: Pass at least 67% of your attempted credits. Attempted credits are the courses you remain enrolled in after USF’s Census Date for that term (see the academic calendar). As long as you do not receive an F, I, IP, U, or W grade for that class, this counts as passing the class. If you receive an F, I, IP, U, or W  grade for that class, this counts only as an attempted credit. The rate is calculated by dividing the number of successfully completed credits by the number of attempted credits.
  3. Maximum Time Frame: Students must complete their degree in no more than 150% of the published length of their degree program.
Degree program maximum time frame
Undergraduate Uses credit hours as the standard measure. Complete your degree in no more than 150% of the published length of the program. This means you cannot attempt more than 192 credits (128 credit minimum requirement for undergraduates x 1.5 = 192).
Second Undergraduate Uses credit hours as the standard measure. Complete your second undergraduate degree in no more than 276 credits, including credits attempted towards your first undergraduate degree. An additional 84 credits will be allowed for a second undergraduate degree. First undergraduate degree students must not exceed 192 attempted cumulative credits, which are 150% of the minimum requirements to obtain an undergraduate degree.
Masters, Doctorate, and Law Uses calendar length as the standard measure. Complete your program by the time limit for your degree type as listed on USF Graduate Student Regulations or Law Academic Policies. This time limit starts from the beginning of the semester when you initially began your program and includes any period of unenrollment.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Webinar

"Satisfactory Academic Progress Webinar" Video Transcript


If your financial aid has been suspended because you are not meeting SAP, you have the ability to appeal the suspension and have your financial aid reinstated. Appeals must be based on extenuating circumstances that seriously impacted your academic performance. Learn more about the SAP Appeal process.

Incomplete (I)

If you received an I (Incomplete) in a course, it will be counted as an attempted credit, but not a passed class. While receiving an Incomplete in a course has no immediate adverse affect on your GPA, you should work with your professor to improve this grade. If/when the incomplete grade changes to a passing grade, it will be considered in your completion rate and your overall GPA. 

Withdrawal (W)

If you received a W (Withdrawal) in a course, it will be counted as an attempted credit, but not a passed class. Withdrawing from a course has no adverse effect on your overall GPA.

Repeating a Course

You may repeat a course, but you cannot receive an earned credit for the course more than once. When a course is taken more than once from USF, the second grade (first repeat) and all subsequent grades (repeats) are included in the calculation for attempted credits, grade points earned, and GPA. Grades reported as “Pass” (P), “Satisfactory” (S), “Credit” (CR), “Unsatisfactory” (U), and “Withdrawal” (W) are excluded from the overall GPA.

Non-Credit Remedial Courses

Non-credit courses and non-credit remedial courses are not used for SAP purposes. Non-credit courses are those that show as 0 units on both the Schedule of Classes and the Catalog.

Transfer Credits

Only credits you've earned from a previous institution that count towards your current degree program are counted as both attempted and successfully completed credits toward the completion rate. The grades from these courses will not be counted in your overall GPA per the University's academic policy. Learn more about courses taken at other academic institutions.

Joint Degrees and Multiple Degree Programs

The maximum time frame limits described above still apply to students in joint degree and/or multiple degree programs.

If you are a joint degree student or you are enrolled in multiple degree programs at different academic transcript levels (e.g. Law and MBA degrees or pursuing a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the same time), you will be evaluated for SAP based on each transcript level. If you fail to meet SAP on either academic transcript level, your financial aid will be suspended.

If you are in multiple programs at the same transcript level (e.g. pursuing two undergraduate degrees, or two graduate degrees at the same time), you will be evaluated based on all grades at that level, regardless of your current enrollment status in any of the programs. 

Double Majors and Minors

Attempting a double major and/or non-required minor(s) does not exempt you from the Maximum Time Frame component of SAP. This means you cannot attempt more than 192 credits.

Consortium Agreement

As the home school, USF will treat hours earned from a host school under an approved consortium agreement as transfer hours. Coursework will be applied to the SAP standards according to the transfer credit policy.