Academic Clemency

Undergraduate degree-seeking students who have reenrolled at the University of Maryland in pursuit of their initial baccalaureate degree are eligible, after a separation of at least five calendar years from the University (determined by the last day of the last attended semester), for academic clemency. Academic clemency is granted one time only, and subsequent requests will be denied.

Application for academic clemency must be filed with the Office of Undergraduate Studies (or designee) as soon as possible, and before the end of the first semester of the student's return to the University. Clemency will be recorded on the student's record following the completion of the student's first semester of reenrollment. Under clemency, up to 16 attempted credits of D+, D, D-, and F grades from courses previously completed at the University of Maryland will be removed from the calculation of the student's cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Attempted credits and grades for which clemency is granted will:

  1. remain on the student's transcript;
  2. not be used to satisfy degree requirements;
  3. be excluded from the student's cumulative GPA calculation;
  4. remain included in the calculation of Latin Honors; and
  5. adhere to the institution's repeat guidelines and be included in the student's repeat limits.

The granting of clemency is contingent upon the student's satisfactory completion of the initial semester of reenrollment, and will be recorded by the university at that time. If the student's first semester of registration upon reenrollment is canceled, or the student withdraws from the semester, clemency will not be granted (and the student will retain the option of filing for clemency in the future).

Implementation Steps

  1. Student applies for reenrollment.
  2. Faculty petition board reviews application.
  3. SSO confirms major with college or student develops a graduation plan for a new major.
  4. SSO reenrolls student and puts note in ERS that student is eligible for clemency.
  5. Student and advisor meet to register for classes.

    a. Advisor communicates to student that student is eligible for clemency.

    b. Student and advisor determine which courses will be included in the clemency process.

    c. Student and college advisor sign clemency form.

    d. Clemency form sent to registrar's office. Form must be filed once student registers for first semester back, or at the latest, by the end of the first semester.

    e. Once clemency is filed, student cannot change courses for clemency.

  6. Clemency is processed by Office of the Registrar once form is received but GPA will not reflect clemency until calculate is run.

Academic Clemency Eligibility Schedule Chart

Student's Last Term of Enrollment
Soonest Semester of Student's
Eligibility for Academic Clemency
201101
201608
201105
201608
201107
201608
201108
201701
201112
201701
201201
201708
201205
201708
201207
201708
201208
201801
201212
201801
201301
201808
201305
201808
201307
201808

Please see the printable chart.

Academic Clemecy FAQs


Eligibility for Academic Clemency

What are the requirements for Academic Clemency eligibility?

  • a. Were an undergraduate degree seeking student immediately prior to separation from the University.
  • b. Were separated from the University for at least five calendar years.
  • c. Have grades of D+, D, D-, and F.
  • d. Have reenrolled at the University in pursuit of initial baccalaureate degree.
  • e. Must satisfactorily complete the first semester of reenrollment, meaning enrollment was not withdrawn or canceled.

When is a student eligible for Clemency?

Undergraduate students who have reenrolled after at least five years of separation from the University are eligible for Academic Clemency. Students must have been in degree-seeking status, and be returning in pursuit of their initial baccalaureate degree to qualify for Academic Clemency.

What courses are eligible for Clemency?

Academic Clemency may be used for up to 16 attempted credits of D+, D, D-, and F grades from courses previously completed at the University. The grades from these courses will be removed from the calculation of the student's cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Are all previous completed courses eligible for Clemency?

Students may use Academic Clemency for eligible courses if they were in degree seeking status immediately prior to their separation from the University. Courses taken in non-degree seeking programs (e.g. Young Scholars, Dual Enrollment, Maryland Transfer Advantage Program, Science in the Evening) are also eligible for Academic Clemency if the student completed at least one semester in degree seeking status immediately prior to their separation from the University. However, students who were in non-degree seeking programs immediately prior to their separation from the University are not eligible for Academic Clemency.

Does Academic Clemency change the number of repeat credits allowable by the University?

No. Academic Clemency does not change the number of repeat credits a student is allowed to have. All repeated courses (and course attempts) are included in repeat credit totals.

Is Academic Clemency offered to transfer students?

All eligible degree-seeking students who have been separated from the University of Maryland for at least five years have the opportunity to use Academic Clemency upon reenrollment to the University. Degree-seeking transfer students who had completed at least one semester at the University, and reenroll after five years of separation from the University to complete their initial baccalaureate degree, are eligible for Academic Clemency.

Does Academic Clemency apply to transfer courses?

No. Academic Clemency may only be used for courses taken at the University of Maryland.

What defines "initial baccalaureate degree" for the purpose of eligibility for this policy?

For the purpose of Academic Clemency, "initial baccalaureate degree" is defined as the first degree completed at the University of Maryland.

What does "satisfactory completion" mean with regard to the Academic Clemency policy?

For the purpose of Academic Clemency, "satisfactory completion" is defined as the completion of the first semester of courses. Academic Clemency is vacated if a student withdraws from the semester, or cancels the first semester of registration.

Implementation of the Academic Clemency policy

How does the Academic Clemency Policy work?

When registering for courses for the first semester of reenrollment to the University, the advising colleges inform students about the option to use Academic Clemency. The students and their advisors complete and sign the Academic Clemency form, identifying the course(s) for which Academic Clemency is being requested. The student, the college advisor, and the Dean's designee sign the form, and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. This should be done during the first advising session, but no later than the last day of classes of the student's first semester of reenrollment. Once Academic Clemency has been processed by the Office of the Registrar, students cannot rescind, or otherwise modify, the request. Please review the implementation sheet.

What are some considerations students should take into account concerning Academic Clemency?

  • a. The loss of earned credits for courses for which they have been granted Academic Clemency (i.e. the courses with D+, D, and D- grades).
  • b. Since general education courses require a minimum grade of D-, loss of earned credits through Academic Clemency may also forfeit general education requirements.
  • c. Repeating a course for which Academic Clemency has been granted does not grant exceptions to the repeat policy. Please see Repeat Policy in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Do students need an exception to policy for Academic Clemency?

No. Students do not need an exception to policy for Academic Clemency. However, they must meet with an advisor to request Academic Clemency.

What is the deadline for requesting Academic Clemency?

Students should request Academic Clemency in consultation with their academic advisors as soon as possible upon their reenrollment to the University. The completed form should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the last day of classes of a student's first semester of reenrollment.

Can a student decide to use different courses for Academic Clemency after it has been processed?

Students may not change courses once Academic Clemency has been processed by the Office of the Registrar.

Reenrollment and Academic Clemency

Does the Faculty Review Board consider a student's eligibility for Academic Clemency in determining the student's reinstatement?

Yes. Academic Clemency and other factors are taken into consideration in determining if a student may return to the University.

Is a student still eligible for Academic Clemency if he/she withdraws, or cancels, the first semester of reenrollment?

If a student withdraws from, or cancels registration prior to, the first semester after reenrollment, Academic Clemency will not be processed. If the student returns in a future semester, the student will retain the option of filing for Academic Clemency.

Does Academic Clemency have an impact on a student's major selection and ability to enroll to a limited enrollment program?

Students must have the ability to meet the benchmark, or gateway, requirements for their desired major. All previous repeats are still counted in determining admission to a major.

Is Academic Clemency available to students whose only previous enrollment is as a non-degree seeking student (e.g. Young Scholars, dual enrollment while in high school, Science in the Evening, etc.)?

Students may only use Academic Clemency if they were in degree seeking status prior to their separation from the University. Students who were in non-degree seeking programs (e.g. Young Scholars, dual enrollment, Maryland Transfer Advantage Program, Science in the Evening) immediately prior to their separation from the University are not eligible for Academic Clemency.

If a student was enrolled in the Freshman Connection program (which occurs in the fall) for their first semester, but did not register for the spring semester, will that student be eligible for Academic Clemency after five years of separation from the University?

Students are eligible for Academic Clemency if they were in a degree-seeking program immediately prior to their separation from the University. The University considers students participating in Freshmen Connection as being in degree seeking status.

Academic record-related issues

If a grade in a course has already been removed from the student's cumulative GPA by virtue of the University's repeat policy, can the same grade be removed through Academic Clemency as well? For example, if a student received an F in her first attempt of a course in her first semester at the University, then repeated the course and earned a B. Can the student receive Academic Clemency for the first attempt of the course?

No. If a grade has already been removed from the cumulative GPA by virtue of the repeat policy, it cannot be removed a second time by the Academic Clemency policy. Please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar-help@umd.edu if you are unsure whether a repeated course is counting in the cumulative GPA calculation.

If both the initial and repeated attempts of a course are counted in a student's cumulative GPA based on the University's repeat policy, can Academic Clemency be used for the first attempt at the course? For example, if a student received an F in a course taken after his first 24 attempted credits (including transfer credits), then repeated the course and earned a B, can the student receive Academic Clemency for the first attempt of the course?

Yes. Since the F grade in this example has not been removed from the cumulative GPA calculation by virtue of the repeat policy, it is indeed eligible for Academic Clemency. Please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar-help@umd.edu if you are unsure whether a repeated course is counting in the cumulative GPA calculation.

If both the initial and repeated attempts of a course are counted in a student's cumulative GPA based on the University's repeat policy, can Academic Clemency be used for both courses? For example, if a student received an F in a course taken after the first 24 attempted credits (including transfer credits), then repeated the course and earned a D, can the student receive Academic Clemency for both attempts of the course?

Yes. Since neither grade has been removed from the cumulative GPA calculation by virtue of the repeat policy, both attempts of the course are eligible for Academic Clemency. Please be aware, however, that the credits for each attempt will count toward the 16 total credits permitted by the policy (e.g. two attempts at a three-credit course will consume six credits of Academic Clemency). Please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar-help@umd.edu if you are unsure whether a repeated course is counting in the cumulative GPA calculation.

A student takes a course in her first semester at the University and earns an F, then she repeats the course and earns a D. By virtue of the repeat policy, only the D is counting in the cumulative GPA. If the grade of D is removed through Academic Clemency, does the F from the original attempt begin to count in the cumulative GPA?

No. The historic record will remain the same.

When will Academic Clemency appear on the student's transcript and be reflected in the cumulative GPA?

The Academic Clemency notation will appear on the student's transcript at the completion of the first fall, or spring, semester following the student's reenrollment to the University. The GPA adjustment occurs when final grades for the semester are calculated.

How will Academic Clemency appear on the student's transcript?

Each course for which Academic Clemency was granted will appear on the transcript under the semester of the student's reenrollment to the University, with an Academic Clemency notation. Please be aware, however, that all previous courses and grades will remain on the student's transcript. Please see the sample student record for an example.

If a student needs to retake a course (for which Academic Clemency has been granted) for a third time, will this require an exception to the repeat policy?

Yes. All third attempts require an exception to the repeat policy from the student's advising college. All repeated courses (and course attempts) are included in the repeat credit total, including courses for which Academic Clemency has been granted.

Can a student use Academic Clemency for a course in which an XF was received?

Yes. For the purpose of Academic Clemency, an XF is treated like an F for cumulative GPA calculations. However, like all courses and grades for which Academic Clemency has been granted, both the course and the XF will remain on the student's transcript.

If a course was 4 credits when the student first attempted it, and now it is 3+1, will the student be allowed to split the course and use only 3 credits of Academic Clemency?

No. If the course was taken as 4-credit course, the determination to use Academic Clemency is for all 4 credits.

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