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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Academic Requirements for Federal Financial Aid

The Department of Education requires schools to monitor a student's academic progress in order for the student to remain eligible for federal financial aid. Students are expected to meet the standards outlined below in Drexel's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. All components of the policy must be met each year in order for a student to remain eligible for federal financial assistance for the following academic year.

Academic progress is checked at the end of each academic year (Drexel's academic year is measured from September to September for quarter programs and August to August for semester programs). Failure to meet the minimum completion percentage (of attempted vs. completed credit hours) or maintain the minimum GPA will result in the cancellation of all federal financial aid for the upcoming year. If there were extenuating circumstances which lead to the student's failure, they may submit an appeal up to two weeks from the date they are notified.

Students who fail SAP are ineligible for all forms of federal financial aid including:

Recipients of the PA State Grant must also follow academic progress guidelines set by the Pennsylvania State Grant Program. Drexel University has designed a SAP policy that meets the requirements of both federal and state agencies; however, you can also review the PA State Grant Program's SAP policies.

SAP does not impact Drexel scholarships or grants; however, many scholarships do have GPA and enrollment requirements. Students with private loans should contact their lender to determine any academic requirements.

How To View Your SAP Status

Drexel will notify you via email if it has been determined that you are failing SAP. You can also view your status online at any point throughout the year, when you:

  • Log in to DrexelOne.
  • Select the Billing + Financial Aid tab.
  • In the Outstanding Financial Aid Requirements channel, select the "View Your Financial Aid Requirements History in BannerWeb" link.
  • Choose the appropriate academic year from the drop-down menu and select "Submit."
  • Select the Academic Progress tab.
  • Your calculated SAP status will be listed in the Satisfactory Academic Progress section on the right-hand side. Please note that your SAP information will not be appear until all final grades for your first year have been calculated.

SAP Requirements

GPA Requirements

Student Level Minimum Cumulative GPA
Undergraduate 2.0
Graduate 3.0
Law (JD) Students 2.2

Please note: GPA requirements for merit scholarships may differ from SAP GPA requirements. See information about merit scholarship requirements.

Completion Percentage

You must complete the appropriate percent of all courses attempted since the start of your enrollment in your current academic level (undergraduate, graduate, or professional). The completion percentage is calculated by dividing total hours earned by total hours attempted.

It is also important to understand how specific grades and/or course types count toward your completion percentage. The following grades count as attempted but not completed courses: Incomplete (INC), No Grade Reported (NGR), Withdraw (W), F or a Fail in a pass/fail course, and No credit in a credit/no credit course.

Both transfer and advanced placement credits count as attempted and completed courses. Co-op placement does not count as either attempted or completed courses.

The required completion percentages are detailed in the chart below.

Number of Earned Credits Cumulative Completion Percent

0-89.5 Credits
90-129.5 Credits
130+ Credits


Graduate/Professional 75%

150 Percent of Time to Degree

You may not receive any federal aid if you enroll beyond 150 percent of the published program length without graduating. For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year program and you do not complete/earn your degree within six years, you will become ineligible to continue receiving federal aid.

SAP Appeal

If it has been determined that you are failing SAP and there were extenuating circumstances such as a serious illness or death of a parent that prevented you from being successful, you may submit an appeal for consideration. Successful appeals can result in reinstatement of financial aid under a financial aid probation status.

If you are an international student and do not qualify for federal aid, please do not submit an appeal.

To file an SAP Appeal, please do the following:

  • Complete the SAP Appeal Form [PDF] and submit to Drexel Central. Make sure to attach any supporting documentation regarding the circumstances you describe in your appeal. Please do not include any medical-related documentation unless specifically requested, such as diagnosis, test results, etc.
  • You will be notified by Drexel Central if your appeal is approved or denied. If approved, you will be required to complete a SAP Academic Plan [PDF] in coordination with your academic advisor. This academic plan must be returned to Drexel Central in order for your financial aid to disburse to your account. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress for the College of Medicine

As a student enrolled in the College of Medicine, you have a specific time limit to complete the program of study. The period is as follows:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
    • Standard: four years
    • Maximum: seven years
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Dual Degree Program
    • Standard: seven years
    • Maximum: nine years

If you are a transfer student, the total number of years for completing your degree includes time spent at your previous institution to the extent that credit hours are transferred and applied toward your degree objectives at Drexel University College of Medicine. You may be granted the status of Independent Study when you are pursuing either a special course of remediation or a full-time research fellowship.

You may be granted a leave of absence for a variety of reasons. The time for which you have been approved a leave of absence is included in the maximum time in which you may complete the program.

The time period for which you are registered to pursue a full-time research fellowship is included in the maximum time in which you may complete the program.

At the end of each academic year, the Promotions Committee will review your qualitative assessment of performance, which is given by the faculty member for each course in which you are enrolled. It may be a grade, a pass or fail, or another form of evaluation. If you do not satisfactorily complete all course requirements, you may be permitted to remediate. In that case, you will be assigned a schedule that deviates from the norm. You are required to earn satisfactory qualitative assessment in all courses for which you are enrolled.

Grade Requirements

The College of Medicine does not measure academic progress by means of a cumulative grade point average. You are required to complete courses with an "S" grade or better. Therefore, grade performance as a measure of satisfactory academic progress must be reviewed in the context of each course for which you are registered.

The following standards have been established:

Completion of the first year and second year of enrollment. You must have earned an "S" grade or higher in each required course. You must also satisfactorily pass Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® to progress to the third year.

Completion of the third year of enrollment. You must have earned an "S" or higher in each required course.

Completion of the fourth year of enrollment. You must have earned an "S" or higher in each required course and satisfy all requirements for graduation, including a passing grade on the United States Medical Licensing Examination, Step 2.

As part of a review for remediation, the Promotions Committee will also review appeals if you are failing Satisfactory Academic Progress. If approved, you will be placed on financial aid probation and continue receiving financial aid while on probation as long as you meet the requirements for remediation stated by the Promotions Committee.

If you do not meet the requirements for remediation as stated by the Promotions Committee, you will be dropped from the rolls.


If you have been dropped from the rolls, you may be reinstated in good academic standing when you have successfully completed your remediation. It is your responsibility to present evidence to the Promotions Committee at the time you have met the minimum requirements for reinstatement.

Eligibility for merit and incentive awards offered by Drexel are not governed by SAP, but have their own specific guidelines. Drexel Central staff can assist you in determining the requirements for the awards you have been offered.