Academic progress standards for continued receipt of financial aid are separate and distinct from the university’s academic progress benchmarks. Please refer to the Financial Aid Programs section of this Walden University Student Handbook for a description of the academic progress standards for the receipt of financial aid.
See also the Repeating a Course section of this Walden University Student Handbook.
All students (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral) must pass the first course in the curriculum before progressing beyond the second quarter or semester. Any student who fails the first course must repeat it in the next quarter or semester following the failure.* In cases where an appropriate alternative course is available, students may complete the alternative course in the next quarter or semester following the failure, but must then successfully complete the first course during the subsequent quarter or semester. A student will not be allowed to progress without successfully completing the first course in the curriculum within two quarters or semesters (three with an alternative course) and will be subject to dismissal.
Note: Students admitted conditionally must meet the conditions as outlined in their Letter of Admission.
*MPH students must earn an A or B before progressing beyond the first course.
Students who fail to meet the academic progress standards and who fail to reach the minimum standards set by the academic unit will be dismissed from the program and the university. Students will receive a letter from the dean confirming their dismissal and the grounds for this determination.
Students who receive an academic dismissal and are eligible for readmission may be readmitted to the university after one semester (for semester-based programs) or one quarter (for quarter-based programs) following the term of the dismissal, at the discretion of the academic unit and the Office of Admissions.
See also the Gaining Readmission section of this Walden University Student Handbook.
See also the Repeating a Course section of this Walden University Student Handbook.
Definition of Doctoral Candidacy
The status of “doctoral candidate” is defined as an advanced graduate student who has demonstrated mastery of the knowledge of an academic domain or discipline and a readiness to embark on the capstone project.
A Walden University student is considered a doctoral candidate when the following expectations, as prescribed in the Program of Study (or Program Planning Guide), have been completed.
Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s doctoral writing assessment. Students acknowledge the doctoral writing assessment requirement through the confirmation checkbox on their admissions application.
For students who started or readmitted to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog in or after academic year 2017 and before August 2019: Students completed the doctoral writing assessment during their second term in the program.
For students who started or readmitted to doctoral programs at Walden University on or after August 2019 and before May 29, 2023: Walden’s doctoral writing assessment consists of the following steps:
For students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University on or after May 29, 2023: For students enrolled in any Walden doctoral program except for the Doctor of Education, PhD Education, or PhD Management, the doctoral writing assessment will consist of the following steps:
Students enrolled in the Doctor of Education program will complete their writing assessment in EDDD 8002/8006. Students enrolled in the PhD Education program will complete their writing assessment in EDPD 8002/8006. Students in these programs are not required to complete DRWA 8880G/8881G. Students complete writing support as described in the Writing Assessment Outcomes section of this policy.
Students enrolled in the PhD Management program will complete their writing assessment in MGMT 8003. Students in this program are not required to complete DRWA 8880G/8881G. Students complete writing support as described in the Writing Assessment Outcomes section of this policy.
Students enrolled in the Doctor of Education program will receive information about their writing assessment outcomes in EDDD 8002/8006. Students enrolled in the PhD Education program will receive information about their writing assessment outcomes in EDPD 8002/8006. Faculty in those courses will assess students’ essays, send students communication for next steps, and arrange enrollment in any subsequent writing skills courses.
For students enrolled in the PhD Management program:
For students enrolled in a Walden doctoral program except for Doctor of Education, PhD Education, or PhD Management:
Students may petition once to delay completion of one required writing course by one term only. If students are required to complete two writing courses, they may not petition to delay both writing courses. Students will be automatically enrolled in the necessary course the following term after the term of the postponement approval. Students are not permitted to drop or withdraw from a required writing course after they have had one postponement unless they are on a leave of absence, are not registered for program courses, or are withdrawing from the university altogether. A failure to login or failure to complete the course satisfactorily will result in an Unsatisfactory (U) grade.
Exemptions are permitted only for doctoral students who admit or readmit at the proposal stage, who change between equivalent degree programs (e.g., from PhD in Psychology with specialization in Clinical Psychology to PhD in Clinical Psychology), who have earned a completed doctoral degree from Walden University or another accredited institution, or who are contributing faculty or core faculty teaching courses at Walden University. For the doctoral writing assessment, the proposal stage is defined as students having completed academic coursework, including the research sequence of courses, leading up to the dissertation or doctoral study course in their program.
For doctoral programs that support entry by students with a bachelor’s degree, those programs may be set up so that a master’s degree can be awarded along the way. In such instances, students must complete all requirements of the master’s degree in order to be awarded that master’s degree. At the discretion of the academic unit, predetermined Capstone equivalents may be an approved option for satisfying the Capstone credit requirement. The master’s degree must be conferred prior to the conferral of the doctoral degree.
Although not considered an “along the way” credential, the same expectation exists for those students who choose to seek an educational specialist degree after completing significant credits in the EdD program but who have not completed the EdD program. Students must complete all requirements of the educational specialist degree in order to be awarded that degree.
The university’s programs are designed to permit students to pursue their studies full time while managing the many responsibilities they have as adult professionals. New or continuing students in course-based programs, or continuing students in KAM programs, who are considering a university withdrawal must contact a new enrollment specialist or student success advisor as applicable. Students in Tempo Learning® programs must contact their academic coaches.
Phone requests, failure to participate in coursework, and/or notification to the course instructor or faculty subject matter expert do not constitute an official withdrawal request.
Undergraduate students who have been academically dismissed or withdrawn from Walden University with a low GPA may ultimately desire to resume their studies at Walden. The Undergraduate Academic Renewal Policy recognizes that students may experience hardships and change that had a negative effect on their academic experience. This policy was created for those students who rediscover their potential and wish to resume their education.
The academic renewal policy allows students to select up to two consecutive academic terms and have all the courses from those terms—including any courses with passing grades—removed from their GPA calculation.
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