Academic Forgiveness and Appeals Request

Before requesting Academic Forgiveness or submitting an Appeal, students are strongly urged to contact their Graduate Program Specialist to discuss which option would be best for their situations:

College of Education, Department of Kinesiology, and Department of Music:
Julie Maddox, Graduate Program Specialist
Room 322, Angle Hall
Phone: (256) 782-5327

College of Arts and Humanities (minus Department of Music), College of Business and Industry, College of Health Professions and Wellness (minus Department of Kinesiology), College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics:
LaRilda VanSandt, Senior Graduate Program Specialist 
Room 322, Angle Hall
Phone: (256) 782-5345


Occasionally, during a specific semester, students encounter personal, emotional, or financial hardships so devastating that performing academically at a level approximating their usual record of academic achievement becomes impossible. Typically, these students realize their situations in time to take the advisable course of action and withdraw from the university. If that is not done, however, and the student's grades for the semester are decidedly below that student's normal record, the student can petition for academic forgiveness. To demonstrate academic success, a student must successfully complete two or more semesters and have completed at least 12 graduate-level credit hours to be eligible for academic forgiveness. Please see the "Restrictions" section below. Academic forgiveness may be granted one time and is irreversible; it is applicable to undergraduate deficiency and graduate coursework.

There are two options for academic forgiveness:

  1. All coursework taken, even hours completed satisfactorily during the semester for which forgiveness is requested, will be disregarded in the grade point average and as hours earned toward graduation, OR
  2. The student may select only specific courses from one semester to be disregarded in the grade point average and as hours earned toward graduation.


  1. Students may petition for academic forgiveness for only one semester (any fall, spring, or summer term) already completed at the university. This policy was approved and became effective the Fall 2015 semester. Therefore, this policy applies only to those students whose enrollment in graduate courses and subsequent grades occurred in the Fall 2015 semester and thereafter.
  2. Graduate students have six years (ten years for doctoral students) from the time of initial enrollment in the graduate program to apply for academic forgiveness.
  3. Students applying for academic forgiveness must fill out the graduate-level JSU Application for Academic Forgiveness. Once the completed form and the student’s record have been reviewed and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Registrar’s Office will adjust the academic record and notify the student.
  4. Once granted, academic forgiveness cannot be reversed. Students should be aware that other graduate and professional schools may compute the grade point average to include all hours attempted when considering applicants for admission.


This Academic Forgiveness option is not available to any Nursing graduate students in any of the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in Nursing, and Graduate Certificate programs because of the nature of their programs. (Please review the Graduate Certificate Disclosure information.)

Academic Appeals

When a student has been removed from graduate study for failing to meet scholastic or other degree requirements, the student may appeal for readmission. Once the student initiates the appeals process, it may take at least one semester for resolution. The following appeal procedure is available for students who have been declared ineligible to continue as graduate students:

  1. The student may submit a written request for readmission to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The written request should address the reasons why it would receive favorable action.
  2. The written request may be a letter sent through the mail, an e-mail from an official JSU email address, or a letter scanned and sent as an attachment from a non-JSU e-mail address.
  3. Upon receipt of the written request, the Dean of Graduate Studies will consult the Department Chair and Advisor of the student’s major to reach a decision on whether or not the student’s appeal will be granted.  The student will be notified of this decision via e-mail.
  4. If the student’s appeal is not granted, the student may submit a written request to the Dean of Graduate Studies for a meeting with an Appeals Committee. (Please see #2 for the format the written request may take.)
  5. Upon receipt of the written request, the Dean of Graduate Studies will schedule the meeting of the Appeals Committee and notify the student of its date, time, and location.
  6. The Appeals Committee will be appointed by the Dean and will be composed of members from the graduate faculty. The committee will be chaired by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  7. The committee will be provided with all available documents, including the student’s written request for appeal and the student’s undergraduate and graduate course history.
  8. The student will be afforded the opportunity to attend the Appeals Committee meeting and to provide additional, relevant information in support of his or her request for readmission. This is an administrative hearing and is limited to the committee members, the Dean of Graduate Studies, and the student.
  9. The student will be notified of the decision made by the Appeals Committee in writing within 14 working days from the date of the meeting with the Appeals Committee. The final decision rests with the committee and is not open to further appeal.