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Shared Student Services

PA Program Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Recipients -Graduate Level Requirements 

GPA Requirement – The GPA requirement sets a minimum USF cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for the degree level at which you are classified. Note: This is the CGPA used to determine your USF academic status, and does not include grades from courses taken at another school.

For graduate students, a 3.0 USF CGPA is required at all times.

Pace Requirement – The pace requirement sets an expected progression to earn your degree.

  • You must earn 67% of all attempted credit hours.
  • Pace is determined by dividing the total number of credit hours you have earned by the total number of credit hours attempted.
  • The pace requirement for graduate students is calculated using the credits attempted and earned while classified at the graduate degree level. 

Maximum Time Requirement – The maximum time requirement sets a limit to the number of credit hours you may attempt before earning your degree. The maximum for graduate students is set by degree level, not degree program. Your eligibility ends when you have attempted the maximum credits for your degree level. 

Credits attempted at any school prior to and while enrolled at USF regardless of whether you received financial aid at the time you attempted them, are counted. This includes all hours attempted for all post baccalaureate graduate or professional degrees, including, but not limited to MA/MS, EDS, JD, etc.

Students Pursuing the Masters in Physician Assistant Studies are allowed to attempt 135 credit hours.

Please Note: 

  • SAP is reviewed at the end of each semester – A review is conducted after grades are posted by the registrar's office.
    No longer eligible - Once you have attempted the maximum credits for your graduate degree, you are no longer eligible for financial aid (including federal student loans). 
  • No extended eligibility for changing programs - There is no additional eligibility for changing graduate programs at the same degree level (masters, doctorate). All attempted credits from all graduate programs count against the limit. 
  • No extended eligibility for a 2nd graduate degree at the same level - If you have earned one graduate degree, there is no additional eligibility for a 2nd graduate degree at that degree level. 

Academic circumstances that can negatively affect your eligibility:

  • Credits taken at another school with an outstanding transcript will cause you to be assigned an ineligible status until a transcript is received and processed into your academic history. This will happen each time you choose to take classes at another school while attending USF. 
  • Credits taken while enrolled in a study abroad program with an outstanding academic transcript may cause you to be assigned an ineligible status until a transcript is received and processed into your academic history. 
  • Changes in graduate major that lower pace - If you change your graduate major, the graduate school authorizes previously earned graduate grades that do not count for the new degree, to no longer count toward your CGPA. This reduces your completion ratio because all credits count as attempted, but are no longer counted as earned. These can be identified by a # sign on your academic record, and can only be reviewed and adjusted by petition.
  • Pursue degree at a lower level after earning a graduate degree - There is no additional eligibility if you earn a graduate degree and return to pursue another degree at the undergraduate level, or at a lower graduate level. If you change degree level from graduate to undergraduate, your SAP status must be reviewed to determine your eligibility. 
  • Incomplete grades, failing grades, course withdrawals - all lower your pace, because they are counted as attempted, but not earned credits. They also count against your maximum attempted hours. 
  • Missing grades - will result in a delay in determining your SAP status, which will make you ineligible for financial aid and deferments until the actual grade is posted to your academic record. 
  • Courses taken for pass/fail grades - count toward both your maximum attempted credits and your pace. 
  • Repeated courses - count as attempted credit hours each time you register for them, but reduce your pace because they count as earned credits only once. 
  • Late posted grades or grade changes - will not change your status. You may request that your SAP status be recalculated after you have confirmed with the Registrar that the grade change has been posted to your academic record.