Academic Amnesty

The University of North Alabama (UNA) has an Academic Amnesty policy to enable a graduate student or applicant to start a new graduate academic record. Academic Amnesty offers a second chance to degree- or certificate-seeking students who began, but did not complete a graduate degree due to various circumstances in their lives. With Amnesty, all previous UNA graduate coursework is considered ‘forgiven’, thereby providing re-entering students a fresh start at Graduate School.

When Academic Amnesty is granted, all credits and grades earned at UNA while enrolled as a graduate student at an earlier date are no longer recognized and thus are not used in subsequent academic status determinations (including admissions) or grade point average calculations. (Note: The prior credits and grades will continue to be shown on the permanent academic record. The granting of academic amnesty also does not change a student’s financial aid history.) Credits or grades from another institution will not be covered under Academic Amnesty and will affect cumulative grade point average calculations.

I.  Eligibility Criteria

  • Be conditionally admitted to a degree or certificate program (please see below terms of application to the same or different graduate program);
  • Students wishing to take advantage of Academic Amnesty must apply for Academic Amnesty at the time of re-application.

II.  Terms of Academic Amnesty

  • Academic Amnesty will be applied once a student earns a grade of B or higher in the first nine graded graduate hours completed since returning (e.g., audited or S/U courses do not apply.
  • Students are allowed up to three consecutive semesters (may or may not include summer) to complete the first nine graded graduate hours of coursework. 
  • Courses for which Academic Amnesty is being requested must have been taken at UNA.
  • A student seeking Academic Amnesty who is applying to a different graduate program may apply for that program at any time after withdrawing from their original program of study.
  • A student seeking Academic Amnesty who is applying to the same graduate program may reapply to that program after a three-year waiting period. Students should confer with the appropriate department chair, as some programs may have more stringent waiting periods.
  • Amnesty courses will remain on the student’s transcript.
  • Amnesty courses will not be included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average. If the student does not earn a grade of B or higher in all courses in the first nine graded graduate hours, then amnesty will not apply and all grades will remain in the GPA calculation for the student.
  • Amnesty courses will not be used to satisfy any degree or program requirements.
  • Re-admission will be considered a “new admit” and thus the program requirements as set forth by the current catalog will be in effect.
  • Grades for ALL courses taken in the period of time for which amnesty is requested will be removed from the grade point average if the request is approved. The student may not choose specific courses within a term or period.
  • Academic Amnesty may be granted to an individual only once in their academic career. Once granted, Academic Amnesty may not be rescinded.
  • All requests for Academic Amnesty will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  It is not an automatic process.
  • Amnesty applies to all graduate courses regardless of program.
  • The designation of ‘Academic Amnesty Applied’ will appear on the transcripts separating past and current coursework. Amnesty will not apply to individual courses.
  • Relevant courses from other completed graduate degrees may not be used to satisfy degree requirements. 
  • Because Academic Amnesty is an internal policy, there is no guarantee that another educational institution or employer will recognize Academic Amnesty.
  • The student automatically forfeits the right to use any of the excluded course work toward current or future degree or certificate requirements. 
  • Academic Amnesty cannot be applied after a student earns a graduate degree or certificate.
  • Courses taken during the student’s time away from UNA may be transferred towards degree or certificate requirements in accordance with UNA’s current graduate transfer credit policy.
  • Any Academic Honesty violations, probations, suspensions, or dismissals from prior semesters will remain on the student’s academic record.
  • Any punitive grades awarded as the result of an Academic Honesty violation will not be forgiven. These grades will continue to be used to calculate the student’s cumulative grade point average.
  • Amnesty courses may impact financial aid.

III.  Process

  • Apply for readmission to the University through Graduate Admissions. Students must indicate they are applying for Academic Amnesty in the application to be considered for readmission.
  • Include reasons for requesting amnesty. Provide supporting documentation to show why Academic Amnesty should be granted.
  • Obtain a letter of support from the graduate program chair/coordinator to which he/she/they are applying.
  • The student will be considered for readmission by the college graduate readmissions committee based on where the graduate program is housed.
  • All requests will be reviewed by the department chair/graduate program coordinator, the college graduate readmissions committee, and the Dean’s office in which the program resides. Requests will be assessed according to the strength of the application, supporting documentation, and each applicant’s individual situation.