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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that students who receive federal assistance make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards completion of a degree.

All periods of enrollment (Summer, Fall, and Spring terms) are included in the measurement of SAP. The Committee on Admission (COA) assesses students’ academic progress each term for SAP. Students enrolling at Columbia Nursing for the first time are considered initially to meet SAP.

The maximum time frame for degree candidates is 150% of the number of credits required for the degree. The minimum pace of completion is 67% of attempted credits each term.


Degree Minimum Credits Required for Degree Maximum Credits that can be Attempted Maximum Timeframe Allowed
BS 60 80 6 terms
MS 45-61 (Depending on Specialty) 90 15 terms
DNP 40 60 15 terms
PhD 47 172 21 terms

In addition to a timely progression towards a degree, in order to be eligible for federal financial assistance a student must meet minimum SAP academic standards as listed in the “Grading and Required Standards” section of the Columbia Nursing Student Handbook.

Students that fail to meet SAP will be reviewed by COA and notified in writing of the committee’s decision related to their academic progression. All official communications are sent via email to the students’ Columbia University e-mail address. Students placed on academic probation are referred to their Program Director for academic advisement and corrective action options. Students that receive federal financial assistance will also receive notification of their financial aid eligibility from the Office of Financial Aid Office.

A student who fails to return to satisfactory progress in the next term will be dismissed from the school. View the “Academic Review and Probation” section of the Columbia Nursing Student Handbook for further information on the review process. View the “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)” section of the Columbia Nursing Student Handbook for further information.