Viterbi Academic Progress and Success Support


Although Academic Probation is a serious matter, we in Viterbi envision the Academic Probation process to be one primarily of holistic support for our students. We strongly believe that Academic Probation provides an opportunity for our students to exemplify growth. Our goal is to support our students as much as possible during this academic journey.


Read About Viterbi Student Zhuofan's Academic Success Story

"I overcame so many difficulties, so now I have the confidence that I will be able to face anything in my academic journey and professional career."

Academic Probation Overview

What is Academic Probation?

Academic Probation presents a warning to our students that they must take immediate action to address any personal or academic obstacles that may be preventing academic success. A student is placed on Academic Probation if they have attempted at least 6 units, and their cumulative GPA falls below the minimum 3.0 required to obtain a degree. If a student’s GPA does not improve enough to be on track to a 3.0, they may be subject to dismissal from the University and their program.

Viterbi Academic Probation Policy:

All USC Students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress in their pursuit of an advanced degree. The Viterbi School of Engineering has established the following policy and procedures for those students who fail to meet the GPA requirements of their program of study:

Viterbi Academic Probation Requirements

Here in Viterbi, students will be evaluated at the end of the following semester based on their completion of the following 4 Academic Probation requirements:

Academic Probation: Next Steps

During a semester on Academic Probation, it is critical that you take the necessary steps to ensure academic success. Here you will find key points that you should keep in mind as you work to achieve good standing.

Seek Resources

An important first step in the Academic Probation process is to seek out appropriate resources that will be able to provide support on your academic journey. Every student's circumstance is unique and will require a unique approach to achieve academic success. Here in Viterbi, you have a number of resources that can support you in your journey including department advisors, VASE advisors, the Viterbi Wellness office, and many more resources. See the resources section below for more details.

Maintain Wellness

Maintaining academic wellness also means keeping your personal well-being. A semester on Academic Probation can understandably lead to stress, in addition to the difficulties a student may already be facing. Resiliency (the ability to adapt and grow through adversity), a growth mindset, a consistent self-care routine, and study practices that promote positive academic growth will ensure you will be on the path to personal and academic success. See the section below regarding Viterbi Wellness.

Satisfy Academic Probation Requirements

While on Academic Probation, students are subject to Academic Probation requirements. It is of utmost importance that you keep track of your requirements and meet all relative deadlines.

Project GPA

Understanding the minimum grades needed in the current semester is critical when planning your return to a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Your department academic advisor can assist you in calculating your projected grades and can help you understand how that will affect your cumulative GPA.

Note Important Deadlines

Staying on top of important deadlines will ensure you do not fall behind. This includes course deadlines for assignments, as well as keeping track of relevant registration deadlines.

Student Resources

Your VASE Community of Support

Here at VASE, we want you to feel as supported as possible. Below are the immediate resources we believe would be of assistance to you during your academic journey while on Academic Probation and beyond.

Academic advisors within your academic department will be your primary resource for academic support. With an academic advisor, you can discuss the academic struggles you faced in the previous semester, and they can assist you with making specific course recommendations, GPA projections, overall academic planning, and other forms of academic support. See this link for information on how to contact an academic advisor within your department. Please also keep in mind that you have your TAs and faculty to support you as well.

Additional Resources

Students may use these additional resources below to help them navigate academic probation.

The mission of the Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity (KCLC) is to apply and engage in research and training to serve individuals with diverse learning needs and to empower students to reach their full academic and creative potential. KCLC is a fantastic resource, and you can find immediate (and short!) workshops on time management, organization, prioritization/productivity, self-care/stress management, study strategies, managing test anxiety, and much more!

Student Spotlight: Zhuofan's Success Story


Zhuofan is a rising second-year Master's student in the Computer Science Game Development program. Zhuofan was on Academic Probation for multiple semesters and was facing a potential disqualification at the end of the Spring 2023 semester. In spite of all the odds, Zhuofan was able to achieve a 4.0 GPA across 10 units for the Spring 2023 semester!

We interviewed Zhuofan about what he considers to be the, “toughest semester of [his] life.” Zhuofan discusses the grit, dedication, and will it took for him to defy the odds and prove that there was more to his story than what his GPA told.

 Academic Probation does not define any student, just as Zhuofan did not let it define him. Read more about his story below!

What type of challenges did you face during the semester that led to Academic Probation? 

What personal, academic, or overall lifestyle changes did you make to overcome these challenges? 

How did VASE assist you in not only getting back to Good standing but doing so with a 4.0 GPA for the Spring 2023 semester? 

What has this experience meant for you, and how does it impact your outlook for the future?

What advice would you give to current students on Academic Probation?

"I am happy to be able to tell my story and help any current students that are on academic probation to find their way back and fight on!"

- Zhuofen Xie, '23

Academic Probation FAQ




Published on April 27th, 2023

Last updated on March 19th, 2024