2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Forgiveness

Northwest Missouri State University recognizes that students may have challenging semesters in which they find themselves in a situation that is not optimal for their best academic performance. This academic forgiveness policy seeks to provide students with the means to recover from a less than ideal academic situation by offering them the opportunity to ask for academic forgiveness for all or part of a single semester. There are a number of reasons why a student may need to utilize this option. For example, a student may have chosen a major that is not well-suited to them, and finds that they are not able to successfully move through critical coursework. The student may find a major that is suited to their ability, but continues to be weighed down by courses they no longer need to take. 



  1. Students will have the opportunity to retroactively remove all or part of their credit hours from their grade calculation for one semester.
  2. Only a grade of C, D, or F may be forgiven.
  3. Academic Forgiveness can only be awarded once.
  4. Forgiven courses will show on the transcript and include a new grade designation, but not be included in the grade calculation.
  5. Eligible students would be in the process of earning their first undergraduate degree. Post-Baccalaureate and Graduate students are not eligible.
  6. The student must have completed at least one semester and at least 12 hours at a 2.0 or higher after the semester to be forgiven to be eligible to make the request.
  7. Students who leave the university and return are eligible for Academic Forgiveness, but must have completed one semester of college level work (at Northwest or another institution) and 12 hours at a 2.0 since the semester to be forgiven.
  8. Students do not have to be currently enrolled to make the request.
  9. The student must make the request prior to graduation.
  10. If the semester to be forgiven is the penultimate (next-to-last) semester completed for the degree, the student must make the request prior to finals week of the final semester, and degree conferral may be delayed.
  11. Only Northwest credit can be forgiven.
  12. If a student chooses to retake a course that has been forgiven, the forgiven course would count as a previous attempt.
  13. Students may not drop a course that is required for a degree and is a prerequisite of another course already taken, as they cannot retake a course once they have completed a higher level course*.
  14. Students still need to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes.
  15. Courses in which the student has violated Academic Dishonesty policies will not be forgiven.

*Example: Students who have completed English Composition I and II may not ask for English Composition I to be forgiven, as it is required for their degree and they have already moved to a more advanced course. In some situations, a student may be able to have a course forgiven if they have taken more advanced coursework, providing the original course is not required for their degree. Proper advisement is necessary to make this determination. 


  • It is recommended that students first discuss the Academic Forgiveness Policy with their academic advisor.
  • If a student chooses to request academic forgiveness, the process is initiated in the Student Success Center with the appropriate form. This ensures the student is making an appropriate decision, as it may be in their best interest to simply supersede a course or petition due to extenuating circumstances, as this can only be employed one time.
  • The Registrar’s Office will verify eligible classes and process the request.

The most up-to-date Academic Forgiveness policy can be found in the University Policy Library located at https://www.nwmissouri.edu/policies/academics/index.htm.