Skip Navigation

Satisfactory Academic Progress: Graduate Students

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Students who receive Federal Financial Aid must, in accordance with federal regulations, be in good standing and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree. Under Federal Title IV law, the school’s SAP requirements must meet certain minimum requirements, and be at least as strict as the institution’s established standards for Good Academic Standing.

What is the SOM SAP Policy?

To continue receiving federal financial aid at the SOM, students must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward their academic objectives. Federal regulations require three measurements to determine SAP: qualitative, quantitative and timeframe/pace.

· Qualitative - student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average or equivalent

· Quantitative – student must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of credits attempted

· Maximum Timeframe – student must complete their degree or certificate within a maximum time frame

The standards used to evaluate academic progress are cumulative and, therefore, include all periods of the student’s enrollment, including periods during which the student did not receive federal financial aid funds.

Qualitative Review

In determining a student’s academic progress, the Financial Aid Office will follow the SOM Graduate Program’s academic review policy which is established for all students and meets the minimum Title IV academic policy requirements. Each graduate program will review and assess the academic progress of all students on an annual basis.

Master’s Students:

· Must satisfactorily complete all required course work

· Must maintain a grade average of B- or higher, or a grade average of passing (P).

Doctoral Students:

· Must satisfactorily complete all required course work

· Must maintain a grade average of B- or higher

Any student who is not progressing academically as determined by the graduate department, and who has been determined to have received federal financial aid funding, will have their financial aid status reviewed by the Financial Aid Office to determine continued aid eligibility.

Quantitative Review 

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative successful course completion rate equal to or exceeding two thirds or 67% of the total courses attempted. This is defined as the total number of successfully completed courses divided by the total number of attempted courses.

Maximum Timeframe

Maximum timeframe is the maximum number of years after first enrollment that a student may receive federal financial aid funding for completion of their degree.


Average Timeframe

Maximum Timeframe


1 year

1.5 years


2 years

3 years


6 years

9 years *

*Doctoral students who matriculated prior to August, 2019, have a 12-year maximum timeframe.

Treatment of Courses

Courses attempted and earned for determination of quantitative analysis will be calculated as follows:

Number of courses successfully completed (divided by)

Number of courses attempted

  • Students must show a completion rate of 67% of courses completed in a given academic year
  • Incomplete “I” grades will be changed to completed once a grade is applied
  • Audited courses are not eligible for federal aid funding and are not counted as attempted or earned

Grades earned at another institution by a student who transfers into a JHU SOM Graduate Program will not be included in the determination of the passing grade.

Treatment of Repeat Coursework

Students may receive financial aid funding for the repeat of a failing grade or withdrawal from any course or courses. Repeat of any particular course may only be funded one additional time. Every attempt of a repeated course counts as an attempted course towards the completion rate.

Leaves of Absence

The period of time for which a student received an approved leave of absence will be excluded from the maximum time frame required to complete their program.

Loss of Financial Aid Eligibility

Students may lose their eligibility for financial aid if not making academic progress toward their degree. The Financial Aid Office will collaborate with the graduate department before taking any action to automatically cancel aid eligibility of the student.

How often is SAP Reviewed?

The Financial Aid Office will review the Satisfactory Academic Progress of all aid recipients at the end of each academic year. A student’s academic status will be determined in collaboration with each Graduate Program Director.

Students who fail to meet the required Financial Aid SAP standards as started above will be ineligible for continued federal financial aid funding beginning with the term immediately following the term in which the SAP requirements were not met.

Academic Dismissal, Suspension or Withdrawal

Students who are academically dismissed, suspended or withdrawn from the school are considered not to be making academic progress and will no longer qualify for financial aid assistance.

Financial Aid Probation

Students not meeting required academic progress as determined by their graduate department policies, will be placed on financial aid probation and will be allowed one additional payment of federal financial aid during the award period. Students must show improvement in coursework and progression in their program in order to continue receiving federal aid for the award year. Progress will be determined based upon the terms outlined by the graduate department requirements for continued academic progress. Students will remain on financial aid probation during the period of academic review.

Appeal Process

Students who may lose their financial aid funding due to unsatisfactory academic progress and wish to appeal, must follow the appeal process of their graduate department for reevaluation of their academic status. The Financial aid Office will follow the decision of the graduate department in consideration of reinstatement of federal aid eligibility.


Students in academic difficulty will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid Office of their status for continued financial aid funding.

back to top button