Thunderbird School of Global Management policies


For more than 75 years, Thunderbird School of Global Management has been the vanguard for global leadership and management education. Since 1946, Thunderbird has guided exceptional individuals to shape meaningful and impactful careers all over the world — as entrepreneurs and innovators; as leaders of multinational corporations and family businesses; and as individuals in government agencies, international organizations and in the nonprofit sector.

Today, people live in a time of great upheaval across the globe. The advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming people's lives and poses seemingly unlimited opportunities for the achievement of sustainable prosperity and peace in the world. At the same time, the rise of reactionary nationalisms and parochialisms pose a fundamental challenge to the progress made from decades of global openness and integration, while the perils of overconsumption and climate change have made the planet ever more fragile.

Thus, perhaps more than ever, the world needs Thunderbird graduates, those who possess contextual global mindsets and unparalleled fluencies that enable them to work across countries, across sectors and across cultures.

Academic integrity

Academic honesty is expected of all students in all examinations, papers, laboratory work, academic transactions and records. The ASU Student Academic Integrity Policy is strictly enforced for students found in violation of this policy. Possible sanctions include appropriate grade penalties, loss of registration privileges, disqualification and dismissal.

For more information on graduate-specific policies, students should refer to the specific graduate student handbook and should review the Graduate College's academic integrity page.

Notice of nondiscrimination

ASU prohibits all forms of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Students should review ASU's policy ACD 401: Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.

Title IX protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. As required by Title IX, ASU does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education programs or activities that we operate, including in admission and employment. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the ASU Title IX coordinator or to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights or to both. For more information, students should email, call 480-965-0696, or visit the office located at 1120 S. Cady Mall, INTDSB 284. For information on making a report, students should reference the Report It website.

Undergraduate policies

Academic standing

To maintain satisfactory academic progress, all students in the Thunderbird School of Global Management must:

  1. maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 each semester
  2. maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00


A student is placed on probation at the end of the fall or spring semester if their GPA is less than 2.00.

Continuing probation

A student is placed on continuing probation when their cumulative GPA is less than 2.00 for two consecutive semesters but they have shown academic progress.

eAdvisor tracking

In addition to being in good academic standing with the university, all students at Thunderbird School of Global Management must adhere to ASU critical tracking requirements, per the pertinent major map. Students are off track if they fail to meet ASU critical tracking requirements.

Students who remain in off-track status for two or more consecutive semesters may be required to change majors.


Students are disqualified from ASU if their cumulative GPA remains less than 2.00 for more than two consecutive semesters. Students who are disqualified are not allowed to enroll in the following fall or spring semester. They may take courses during the summer to raise their GPA; however, this does not guarantee reinstatement for the following fall semester. Disqualified students must follow the procedures for readmission; requests will be reviewed by the college on a case-by-case basis.


Students are required to meet with an academic advisor if they are placed on probation, continuing probation, off-track status or are at risk for disqualification, at which point an appropriate remediation plan will be discussed.


Thunderbird School of Global Management is committed to the personal, social and academic experiences of students by providing high-quality, student-centered academic advising, ensuring the accuracy and accessibility of information and resources, and partnering with students to help them reach their career goals.

Academic advising is required for the following students:

  • All first-year and new transfer students are required to meet with an academic advisor before course registration. Thus, first-year students are required to meet with an academic advisor prior to both their first and second semesters.
  • Students not in good academic standing status (i.e., on probation, continuing probation, off-track status, disqualification, etc.) are required to meet with an academic advisor to discuss a remediation plan.

Faculty and staff utilize academic status reports to provide students feedback over the course of the academic semester and year. Academic status reports may be used to identify students who are struggling academically or professionally or to recognize students who are exceeding in coursework. Academic advisors and faculty mentors may access ASRs to provide students with valuable insight into performance improvement.

Credit and registration

Course load

Students are allowed to register for a maximum of 18 credit hours per semester. To register for more than the maximum allowable, students may petition their Thunderbird School of Global Management academic advisor. No student should assume that a petition for overload will be granted. For more information, students should review the Course Load and Concurrent Enrollment policy.

Transfer work

Transfer credits from other institutions may be accepted and applied based on the student's major. Credit is granted for transferred courses deemed equivalent to corresponding courses in the selected program of study, subject to grade and ASU resident credit requirements. No grades lower than "C" (2.00) transfer to ASU. Credits transferred from a community college or two-year institution are applied as lower-division credits. Thunderbird School of Global Management recommends that students work closely with their academic advisor to determine the process for applying pertinent transfer credit hours to their program of study. For more information on the transfer process and a list of the courses transferable to the various degree programs, students should consult their advisor and refer to the ASU transfer tools.

Course prerequisites

Course prerequisites are established to ensure student success in a course. Students must complete all course prerequisites prior to enrolling in the desired course. Prerequisite overrides may be granted under the following conditions:

  • A transfer course has been accepted by an advisor to fulfill a required course prerequisite.
  • A prerequisite override has been granted by an advisor, instructor or other authority.

Grade of incomplete

grade of "I" (incomplete) for a course may be granted by permission of the instructor under the following conditions:

  • The student is in good standing academically at ASU.
  • The student has completed a substantial portion of the required coursework.
  • The student has experienced extenuating circumstances prior to the end of the semester, preventing completion of the course.

If qualified, students have one calendar year to complete course requirements. If requirements are not met per the standards agreed upon with the course instructor after one calendar year, the incomplete will be adjusted to reflect a course failure.

Pass/fail grade option

A grade of "Y" (satisfactory) contributes to a student’s earned credit hours but does not affect the GPA. A failing grade of "E" is calculated into the GPA.

The pass/fail grade option may be used under the following conditions:

  • Approval has been granted by the instructor and college offering the course.
  • The pass/fail option was chosen during initial registration for the course, if available.

Thunderbird students may not enroll under the pass/fail option in the following courses:

  • those taken to satisfy first-year composition requirements
  • those taken from the student's major, minor or certificate program
  • those taken for honors credits
  • those counted toward satisfying Thunderbird General Studies requirements
  • those counted toward satisfying Thunderbird language and culture proficiency requirements

Pass/fail credit taken at another institution may be petitioned for use, but only if the student can demonstrate proof that the pass grade was equivalent to a "C" (2.00) or greater.


Complete session withdrawal information

Since a complete session withdrawal from the university can be a difficult decision and could result in serious academic and financial consequences, undergraduate students are required to contact the college or school of their major to facilitate the withdrawal process.

Students must complete the following steps in the order in which they are listed:

  1. fill out a complete session withdrawal form
  2. meet with a Thunderbird academic advisor

ASU has many resources in place to help students. Students may want to consider one or more of the following:

  • Withdraw from just one or two classes (course withdrawal). Students may withdraw from a class while remaining enrolled in other classes as long as the withdrawal is completed between the drop deadline and the course withdrawal deadline. Students are encouraged to contact their academic advisor to discuss the impact this may have on meeting critical requirements. Students also are encouraged to contact a financial aid representative to consider any impact withdrawing will have on scholarships, grants and loan packages.
  • Request a medical or compassionate withdrawal. Medical or compassionate withdrawals are available for students withdrawing from one or more classes due to extraordinary personal mental or physical health conditions or the death or serious illness of a family member or close friend. If approved, students are allowed one medical or compassionate withdrawal during their academic career with Thunderbird. For information concerning medical or compassionate withdrawal requests, students should see the Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal policy, and they may obtain the form online (PDF).
  • Seek tutoring or academic support services. University Academic Success Programs provides a variety of services to help students become better learners and gain the confidence and skills they need in order to achieve their academic goals. Services include writing centers, math tutoring, subject area tutoring and supplemental instruction.
  • Make an appointment with ASU Counseling Services. Counseling and mental health services are provided at each of the four ASU campuses as well as via telehealth appointments. ASU students may seek services at any of the campus counseling centers, regardless of their college affiliation.
  • Explore the possibility of an "I" grade (incomplete).

The following are possible consequences that result from a complete session withdrawal:

  • financial aid --- Financial aid recipients who completely withdraw from the university may be responsible for immediate repayment of funds. The effect of a complete withdrawal of financial aid depends on when the withdrawal is dated and the type of financial aid. More information is at ASU Financial Aid and Scholarship Services.
  • tuition and refunds --- The date of a complete withdrawal determines whether or not a tuition refund will be generated. Students should review the Tuition Refund policy for more information.
  • health insurance --- Students should contact their health insurance company to determine whether or not withdrawing from the university affects their coverage.
  • University Housing --- Students who live on campus should contact their residence hall community staff to determine what impact withdrawing will have on their eligibility to live on campus, to complete a license agreement release form, and to arrange an appointment to officially check out. More information is at the University Housing website.
  • veteran benefits and certifications --- Students should contact the appropriate veteran benefits and certifications office to discuss information regarding veterans' educational benefits and military activation. For more information, students should email or visit the Pat Tillman Veterans Center website.

For general university withdrawal procedures, students should review the university Add, Drop and Withdrawal policies.

Degree requirements

All candidates for graduation in the BGM or BS curricula are required to present at least 120 credit hours, of which at least 45 credit hours must consist of upper-division coursework. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 is required for graduation.

It is the student's responsibility to be aware of the degree program requirements and to select courses accordingly.

To graduate, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. ASU 101 or equivalent (first-year students)
  2. college proficiency requirements for language
  3. university first-year composition and General Studies requirements
  4. an additional six credit hours consisting of three credit hours of literacy (L) and three hours total of humanities, arts and design (HU)/social-behavioral sciences (SB) at the upper-division level in addition to 29 credit hours of General Studies coursework
  5. major requirements that involve concentrated coursework in one program
  6. successful completion of critical-tracking courses as required on the student's major map

For more information regarding eAdvisor tools, students should visit the eAdvisor website.

Language proficiency requirement

Each student is required to demonstrate proficiency in the analysis of language by passing an examination or by completing the courses specified below with a grade of "C" (2.00) or greater in each course. Students considering graduate work after completion of the bachelor's degree should consult with faculty advisors regarding language requirements in their intended areas of study. Students should see the program major map for the specific language requirement and contact the advising office for information on applicable coursework.

The language proficiency requirement may be satisfied through one of the following:

  • completion of secondary education at a school in which the language of instruction is not English
  • completion of a language course at the intermediate level (202 or equivalent)
  • completion of an upper-division course or courses taught in a foreign language, taken in the United States or the relevant country
  • completion of six credit hours of upper-division courses that have the global awareness designation (G) or cultural diversity in the U.S. designation (C) in addition to the courses used to meet the university General Studies requirements

Students whose native language is not English who choose to take a second language must meet or exceed a TOEFL score of 100 or more to register for a non-English language class in the first or second semesters. All students whose native language is not English may register for a language class in their third semester. The first two semesters of English immersion aim to solidify students' English proficiency before a new language is attempted.

Concurrent degrees

Thunderbird School of Global Management allows students to request approval to pursue a concurrent degree through the university approval process. There must be a minimum of 30 unique credit hours taken for each degree program, and degree combinations with significant curricular overlap might not be approved.

Students interested in applying for a concurrent degree should consult with their academic success advisor about the feasibility of a concurrent degree and also must meet the following criteria:

  1. attained sophomore standing or higher
  2. have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00
  3. have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework in the first major
  4. must follow approval criteria procedures for both colleges
Incompatible concurrent degrees

BGM in global management/BS in international trade

For more information on degree requirements, students should reference Degree Search.


Thunderbird students may pursue minors in other colleges at ASU. Courses used in the minor may not be used in the student's major program.


Undergraduate degree-seeking students are eligible to return through quick re-entry if they previously attended ASU but have not enrolled at ASU for up to seven consecutive semesters. These students are not required to submit a new application or application fee, but they must contact a Thunderbird academic advisor to enroll.

Undergraduates who have been away from the university for eight or more semesters and want to return to ASU in a Thunderbird program are required to apply for readmission through Admission Services.

Disqualified students must follow the procedures for readmission; requests will be reviewed by the college on a case-by-case basis.

Other special requirements

Grievance policy

Undergraduate students with grievances pertaining to an enrolled course should first address issues with the course instructor. If an identified grievance is not resolved with the course instructor, the student should next seek resolution through the academic advisor and, lastly, from Thunderbird's academic director of undergraduate programs. Finally, if no resolution has been achieved, the student should contact the dean of faculty at Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Graduate policies

Academic progression

Each graduate program in the Thunderbird School of Global Management adheres to specific academic requirements. Students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the expectations listed for their respective graduate program as well as review ASU Graduate College policies and the Thunderbird Graduate Student Handbook. Each student should also communicate directly with their program coordinator or academic advisor to ensure a clear understanding of all degree requirements and program expectations. Students must fulfill all requirements of their individual graduate programs to remain in good academic standing and must abide by all university policies including those of the Graduate College and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

All Thunderbird graduate programs require a minimum cumulative, graduate and iPOS GPA of 3.00. Students should see the individual graduate degree programs for additional requirements on satisfactory academic progress, probation and disqualification.

Credit and registration

Because of the intensity of the Thunderbird graduate programs, the maximum number of credit hours students may take each semester may be limited. Students should see the Thunderbird Graduate Student Handbook for more information.

Students may petition the Thunderbird School of Global Management Standards Committee through their academic director to register for more than the maximum allowable number of credit hours. No student should assume that a petition for overload will be granted.