Good Standing and Progress toward the Degree
Part-time students must complete the program within four years (eight semesters).
As mentioned, full-time students (including international students on F-1 or J-1 visas) must take three mandatory courses in each of the two first semesters. In addition, they must take at least 3 points of electives (typically, one 3-point course) in the Spring semester.
Students are expected to maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of B (3.0) or better to remain in good academic standing.
The calculation of GPA is explained on this GPA website: Grade Point Average (Registrar).
The official cumulative GPA used for this purpose is derived from all courses in which you have registered and received a grade.
See: Good Standing
In particular, even undergraduate courses and other courses that do not count towards the degree requirements are included in the official GPA.
If your GPA falls below 3.0, you will normally receive a warning from the program director. If you do not subsequently succeed in returning to good standing, it is possible that you will not be allowed to register again and will be asked to leave the program.
If you receive an F in a course, then it can be hard to raise your GPA sufficiently by getting good grades in other courses. For this case only, there exists the possibility of retaking the course the next time it is offered, and to apply the new grade towards your GPA instead of the original one. This option exists only for courses where you get an F. See: Retaking a Course with Grade of F.
To retake the course, you must appeal to the program director, in principle no later than 10 days after the grade has been posted on SSOL. You must then contact the GSAS Office of Student Affairs and request that the course be added to your registration the next time it is offered.
The grades for both of the courses will be posted on your transcript, but only the second grade will be included in the official GPA.