Admission to GSAS graduate programs is for the length of the program and contingent on satisfactory academic progress. The Annual Status and Funding Review (ASFR) is an opportunity each spring for each department and program to review each student’s progress, adjust funding if needed, and reconcile academic status and funding records with GSAS.

The ASFR process begins in late spring. It is the responsibility of the department to track student progress toward milestones and determine whether each student is making satisfactory progress with all requirements (e.g., classwork, TA/TF requirements, language requirements, qualifying exams, prospectus) based on program requirements in the University Bulletin. Review of student progress is then used to make a recommendation for academic and funding continuation.

Following review by the Graduate Council, GSAS will ask departments in the spring of 2022 to note students for whom there are concerns about their academic performance. In order to be in good academic standing, students must be making satisfactory academic progress by meeting the following standards:

  • All grades in classes that count towards the degree are a B- or above (or the program’s threshold for advancing in the curriculum, if higher than a B-). If classes in a program are credit/no credit, the student must have received credit for all classes that count towards the degree.
  • The student has no unresolved Excused Incompletes (EIs) for the current or prior academic year. Final incompletes (I) cannot count towards the degree.
  • The student is completing non-course milestones (i.e., comprehensive exams, language requirements, prospectus defense, etc.) on the program’s typical timeline.

If a student is not making satisfactory academic progress, the student should be placed on advising alert. Advising alert is still considered good academic standing but signals that there are concerns about the student’s ability to remain in good academic standing for the next review period. The purpose of advising alert is to facilitate proactive academic support for the student and to ensure that the program and the Graduate School are working together to support their success. PhD students who are on extension of their time-to-degree and master’s students who are in their second Extended Master’s semester and are requesting to continue for a third should also be placed on advising alert. Advising alert will appear on a student’s Workday record but not on their transcripts. If you are unsure whether a student should be on advising alert or want to know more about this status, please reach out to the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Alyssa Canelli (

ASFR Process and How it Relates to Academic Progress

In terms of academic progress, the annual academic performance review that is completed by all programs is a time to carefully review all students, especially first- and second-year students in Ph.D. programs. Master’s students should also be closely reviewed, especially those in programs requiring a thesis to complete the degree, as some students remain well after meeting their residency requirement. The Extended Master’s status and limits on staying in this status were designed to lessen the time-to-degree for such students, but the ASFR process is the opportunity to review whether a student is going to be able to successfully meet degree requirements.

The sciences are required by the government to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for each student, and the progress report completed during the review process is a short reflection of the IDP. The non-sciences are urged to develop their own version of an IDP to be completed with the student and reviewed each year, which will assist with determining which students need additional monitoring beyond the annual review process.