University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Retroactive Withdrawal and Academic Restoration for Undergraduate Students: Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and Twin Cities

Policy Statement

An undergraduate student who is admitted to a degree program or major and who completes all requirements of the degree, with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 in University of Minnesota coursework, will be allowed to earn a degree. This policy provides pathways to complete a University of Minnesota degree for students who encountered academic difficulty.

Retroactive Withdrawal

When extenuating circumstances are present, students may petition to their college for a retroactive withdrawal. For both full and partial retroactive term withdrawals, documentation is needed of significant extenuating circumstances. For partial term withdrawal, additional compelling reasons are needed to support withdrawing from only part but not all of the courses in the term. A W will be recorded on the transcript to indicate withdrawal from the course(s).

Academic Restoration

Academic Restoration facilitates student degree completion for students who experienced academic difficulty and are returning to the University as a degree-seeking student. When Academic Restoration is applied, a student’s GPA will exclude D and F grades earned during the time period of one year (including summer); the earned grades remain on the transcript.

Students eligible for Academic Restoration must meet the following criteria:

  • be eligible for readmission to their intended college,
  • have not taken University of Minnesota classes for a minimum of 5 years,
  • intend to complete an undergraduate degree,
  • lack a viable path to complete a U of M degree without Academic Restoration,
  • and complete a minimum of 12 A-F credits with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Applications for Academic Restoration will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Academic Restoration will not be applied more than once per student.

Reason for Policy

This policy recognizes that students experience extenuating circumstances and that personal growth over time may result in an increasing likelihood of student success.


Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact(s) Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn 612-624-1328 [email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn
    Assistant Director for Undergraduate Education


Academic Restoration
A process by which student grades are excluded from the GPA but remain on the transcript. This occurs in rare cases when a student is returning to the University after being away for a minimum of 5 years and lacks a viable path to complete their degree due to previous poor academic performance.
Degree-seeking student
A student who has been officially admitted to a University of Minnesota college to pursue an undergraduate degree program.
Non-degree student
Non-degree students are not officially admitted into a University of Minnesota degree program for the semester(s) of course enrollment. Non-degree status includes those students who are admitted for a future semester and students who are degree-seeking at another institution, but taking classes at the University of Minnesota.
Retroactive Withdrawal
A process by which students petition for withdrawal from a course after the deadline to withdraw due to extenuating circumstances. If approved, the outcome of this process is a “W” on the student’s transcript.


Retroactive Withdrawal

Submitting the Academic Policy Petition describing the basis for their petition and desired outcome.
College Scholastic Committees
Review student petitions and make decisions about retroactive withdrawal and forward to the appropriate office for adjustments to the student’s record.

Academic Restoration

Advisors and colleges
Identifying students who may be eligible for academic restoration.
Campus and University staff
Review student records and make decision about the application of academic restoration.
Office of Undergraduate Education
Provide oversight and consistency regarding decisions.
Office of the Registrar
Applies a repeat code to the student’s record when academic restoration is applied.


September 2023. The Retroactive Withdrawal and Academic Restoration for Undergraduate Students policy provides two pathways for students who have struggled academically to return to the University and complete their degree. These pathways include retroactive withdraw when there are extenuating circumstances or to exclude D and F grades from the cumulative GPA for up to one academic year when a student is returning to the university after a period of time.