Flex MBA Policies

Please review the sections below for more information about this program's policies.

Academic Performance Standards

Academic Alert

A student is placed on “Academic Alert” when they receive an LP or NP grade during a semester.

  • Students on “Academic Alert” will receive a notice from the Graduate Programs Office reminding them of the probation policy and directing them to appropriate resources for ensuring academic success in future semesters.
  • Students on “Academic Alert” are strongly encouraged to connect with their academic advisor to ensure open communication and so the advisor is able to provide academic support as needed.

Academic Warning

A student is elevated to “Academic Warning” when LP grades, NP grades, or a combination of the two cumulatively meet or exceed three grades or 6 credit units or if a student has received an NP grade in a core course.

  • Students on “Academic Warning” will receive a notice from the Graduate Programs Office reminding them of the probation policy and directing them to appropriate resources for ensuring academic success in future semesters. They will be required to communicate with their academic advisor, who will make suggestions for appropriate action or require the student to retake the course, based on the individual situation. Students will also be required to meet with their advisors on a biweekly basis for the semester in which they are on "Academic Warning."
  • Olin Financial Services will be alerted when a student is elevated to the “Academic Warning” stage to determine compliance with funding parameters and regulations.
  • Failure to communicate with the academic advisor within two weeks of receiving the "Academic Warning" notice could cause the student’s probationary status to be escalated.

Academic Probation

A student is placed on “Academic Probation” when their LP grades, NP grades, or a combination of the two cumulatively meet or exceed 12 credits.

  • Students on “Academic Probation” are required to meet with their academic advisor to discuss the situation and to create an Academic Action Plan. Students may not graduate from the Flex MBA program with 12 or more credits of LP or NP grades. They will also be required to meet with their advisor on a biweekly basis until they have resolved their "Academic Probation" status.
  • Olin Financial Services will be alerted when a student is elevated to the “Academic Probation” stage to determine compliance with funding parameters and regulations.
  • The student’s Academic Action Plan must be approved by the Academic Review Committee and monitored by the student’s advisor.
  • Students must respond to their academic advisor within two weeks of receiving the “Academic Probation” notice to avoid escalation of their probationary status.

Once a student is placed on “Academic Probation,” if they do not make satisfactory progress toward a return to good academic standing as judged by the Academic Review Committee, they may face suspension or dismissal from Olin.

Adding a Course

Students may add a course to their registration during specified periods at the beginning of each term; please refer to the Olin Graduate Programs Academic Calendar. A faculty member’s signature is not required to add a course.

Short courses or weekender courses may be added to the student’s registration until 24 hours before the course begins, unless otherwise specified by the course instructor.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is required during all program orientation events and all class sessions. Consistent attendance and active participation and engagement are necessary for learning material and proceeding to graduation.

Students who do not participate in their courses as indicated by course requirements, or fail to notify the University that they are no longer attending the course, may be at risk of failing the course. This may result in the requirement for the return of previously awarded federal financial aid. If the University is required to return federal student aid funds, the student will be required to pay any outstanding balance owed to Washington University.

Auditing a Course

Students wishing to audit a course must first speak with the professor of the course to determine if auditing is an option and, if so, to learn the specific requirements for a successful audit. If approval is granted, the student should send the email approval to their academic advisor, who will work with the Olin Registrar's Office to change the grading option for the course from P to A.

  • Audited courses do not apply to the credits required to graduate, but they do apply to the student’s semester course enrollment and will incur a charge of the per-credit-unit tuition rate.
  • Audited courses are listed on student transcripts. A grade of L is given for a successful audit, and a grade of Z is given for an unsuccessful audit.
  • Audited courses do not meet prerequisite requirements. If a student has audited a particular prerequisite for a course, they will need instructor permission to enroll in that course.

Awards and Honors

Olin Business School awards are given to honor outstanding achievement. Recipients of the awards listed below are selected based on a variety of factors, and the selection process may include one or more of the following criteria: faculty vote, overall academic record, and course performance.

  • The Charles F. Knight Scholar Awards are presented to the top 7.5% of Flex MBA graduates. This distinction is based on a percentage of credit units receiving HP (High Pass) grades.
  • Graduating MBA students will be considered for election to Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honorary, if they rank in the top 20% of their graduating class. This calculation is based on the number of HP (High Pass) credits. Summer, fall, and spring graduates are considered to be one graduating class for the purposes of election to Beta Gamma Sigma. Election occurs in April.
  • The Peer Recognition Award is awarded to the graduating Flex MBA student who, in the opinion of their fellow students, best exemplifies qualities of character, leadership, and service and who also enjoys the respect, admiration, and affection of their classmates.

Course Registration

Graduate Programs Student Affairs staff work with the Olin Registrar’s Office to register Flex MBA students for their first six semesters of required course work. Each semester thereafter, and for all elective courses, students perform their own registration via WebSTAC.

Course Waivers

Course waivers are intended to allow students to avoid the redundant study of subjects already mastered. They do not reduce the number of credits required to earn the degree.

No more than two required MBA courses can be waived. 

Students wishing to request a course waiver should complete the Course Waiver Form and return it to their academic advisor. Course waiver requests will then be reviewed for approval by the MBA Academic Director.

Course Work in Other Divisions

Olin Business School recognizes that students may wish to take course work outside of Olin to achieve an individualized education. Students may elect to take course work in other divisions of Washington University, under the following conditions:

  • No such course may be taken during the first and second semesters of the program.
  • Students must be in good academic standing.
  • Courses must be preapproved in order for the associated credits (up to 6) to be applied toward the 48 credits required for the Flex MBA degree.

Students hoping to enroll in course work in other divisions should contact their academic advisor to submit the request. Requests will be reviewed for approval by the MBA Academic Director.

Degree Completion

The Flex MBA degree program requires the completion of a minimum of 48 credit units. These credits must be earned as follows:

  • 33 credits of required core courses, and a minimum of 15 credits of elective courses
  • A minimum of 42 credits must be completed in 500-level MBA courses taught by Olin faculty members.
  • The remaining 6 credits may be comprised of the following:
    • Additional Olin Business School MBA electives;
    • Preapproved Washington University, non-Olin, graduate-level electives taken after the student has begun study as an Olin MBA candidate;
    • Credit from one of Olin’s international MBA exchange partners; or
    • A maximum of 6 credit units of graduate course work from another program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), if the grades earned are a B or better and the MBA Academic Director finds the courses to be equivalent to Olin MBA courses in quality and content.

Every candidate for a degree must indicate intent to graduate by filing an Intent to Graduate form via WebSTAC near the beginning of the semester in which the degree is to be conferred.

Students must complete all credit units required for the degree within seven years of their initial matriculation into the Flex MBA program. 

Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course

Students may drop or withdraw from courses during specified periods during the registration period and term as listed in the Olin Graduate Programs Academic Calendar. A faculty member’s signature or Graduate Programs Office approval is not needed for students who are dropping or withdrawing from a course during the period specified by the academic calendar.

Before the first day of a short course or weekender course, students may drop the course unless the instructor indicates otherwise.

Grade Changes

A nondisciplinary grade may be changed only by the professor in whose course the grade was initially given. A faculty member may change a grade from N providing that the work is made up within 60 days of completion of the course. Exceptions to the 60-day limit must be discussed with the faculty member and/or an academic advisor.

Group Study Room Policies and Reservations

The primary purpose of Olin Business School group study rooms is to provide a space for Olin students and clients to engage in collaborative and cooperative study in small groups. The following policies exist to ensure that Olin students and clients have priority use of the rooms, the rooms are appropriately maintained, and clear expectations are in place.

  • Group study rooms in Bauer Hall and Knight Hall may be reserved only by Olin Business School degree candidates and only via the online reservation system. Students not enrolled in Olin Business School degree programs may not reserve these rooms.
  • Group study rooms in Simon Hall may not be reserved. They are subject to the policies below, as applicable.
  • Group study rooms in the Kopolow Business Library located in Simon Hall may be reserved by any Washington University student. Students should visit the library’s front desk for information.
  • Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center group study rooms (located on the second floor of the Knight Center) are strictly for the use of Olin Executive Education students and clients. Olin undergraduate and non-Executive Education graduate students may not use Knight Executive Education & Conference Center group study rooms under any circumstances. Knight Center group study rooms located on the first floor are available as noted below.
  • Rooms are primarily intended for group use. A group is defined as two or more users engaged in collaborative study. Individuals engaged in simultaneous individual study are not considered a group.
  • Bauer Hall/Knight Hall:
    • Group rooms may not be reserved for individual student use.
    • An individual may use an unoccupied or unreserved room. However, should a group need the room, the individual must vacate it. One group member must reserve the room using the online system at that time and prior to informing the individual that they must vacate it.
    • If no more than one individual representing a group reservation is present 15 minutes or more after the reservation start time, the reservation is considered forfeited, and the room may be used by another group during the time that the forfeited group had reserved it.
  • Simon Hall and the first floor of the Knight Center:
    • An online reservation system is not currently in place for the group study rooms in Simon Hall and on the first floor of Knight Center. An individual may use an unoccupied room. However, should a group wish to use the room, the individual must vacate it.

Independent Study

Independent study under the direction of a faculty member is available on a selective basis. The purpose of independent study is to provide an opportunity for students to pursue subject matter beyond the specific course offerings found in the school. Independent study is not viewed as a vehicle for getting credit for something in which the student may already be involved (e.g., a job, a project in another course). Rather, it is an opportunity for the student to obtain more in-depth exposure to an area of interest under the supervision and direction of a faculty member.

Typically, a student will discuss with a particular faculty member the possibility of receiving supervision on an independent study research project. Projects may receive anywhere from 1.5 to 6 academic credits, but normally no more than 3 credits may be granted in any one semester. Students may apply a maximum of 6 units of independent study credit toward the 67 credit degree requirement.

Once a project is agreed upon between the student and the professor, the student must submit an Independent Study form to the academic advisor for evaluation and approval. The petition should outline the topics to be covered, the texts or other research material to be used, and the research methodology to be employed. Students must be in good academic standing to be approved for independent study.

Intent to Graduate

Every candidate for a degree must indicate their intent to graduate by filing an Intent to Graduate form via WebSTAC near the beginning of the semester in which the degree is to be conferred.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

Students who need to take a Leave of Absence should discuss the process and implications with their academic advisor and Olin Financial Services.

Voluntary LOA: A student may request a leave of absence for academic or personal reasons by submitting a statement in writing to the Graduate Program Office. Such a statement should include indication of the beginning and anticipated ending dates and a brief statement of the reason (academic or personal). Requests for leaves of absence must be approved by the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising. 

LOA Impact on Financial Aid: Students receiving financial aid should be advised that at the end of 60 days or more leave of absence, the grace period for loan repayment during a leave of absence may be exhausted. In such cases there will be an obligation for the student to start payments. According to the federal rules under which loans are made, the use of a grace period during a leave of absence will generally mean that the schedule for loan repayment may be changed. Students who are receiving financial assistance should consult with the Olin Financial Aid Office to determine the implications of a leave of absence for their financial aid.

MBA Grading System

All Olin MBA programs utilize a pass/fail grading system. As such, grade points are not assigned, and semester class rankings are not calculated. The Olin MBA grading system is as follows:

  • HP (High Pass): Maximum of 20% of any section/course
  • P (Pass): Satisfactory performance
  • LP (Low Pass): Minimum level of acceptable performance
  • NP (No Pass): If a required course, the course must be repeated. There is no credit for NP.
  • N (No Grade): The faculty member has not yet entered a grade for the course.
  • I (Incomplete): Extenuating circumstances preclude the satisfactory completion of course work. With permission of the instructor, students have 60 days after the final exam in which to make up incomplete work. After 60 days, the grade is automatically changed to “No Pass.” The instructor has discretion regarding the 60-day limit.

Modality Policy

Flex MBA students will have the ability to declare either an in-person or online modality on a semester-by-semester basis. This will only apply to core coursework and must be consistent for all core classes that semester (i.e. cannot declare one course in-person and one course online). Prior to course registration each semester, the Graduate Programs Office will collect modality preference for the upcoming semester. Students who wish to switch their modality after course registration will need approval from the Graduate Programs Office.

Modalities for elective coursework will be listed in WebSTAC (i.e., only in-person, only online, or hybrid). Students do not need to follow their declared core course work modality preference for elective courses (i.e., an in-person student can take an online elective). 

Professional Code of Conduct/Academic Integrity

Olin Business School is a community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests who share certain fundamental goals. Primary among these goals is the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere conducive to the learning and personal growth of everyone in the community.

Becoming a member of the Olin community is a privilege that brings certain responsibilities and expectations. The success of Olin in attaining its goals and maintaining its reputation of academic excellence depends on the willingness of its members, both collectively and individually, to meet their responsibilities. It is imperative that all individuals associated with Olin conduct themselves with the utmost integrity in all aspects of their life, both on and off campus.

Plagiarism and other forms of cheating will not be tolerated. Where a student has violated the integrity of the academic community, an instructor may recommend that the student be brought before the Academic Review Committee. Please review Integrity Matters (PDF) for more information.

Room Usage Policies

  • Room users are responsible for their personal property and should not leave items unattended. Olin Business School is not liable for loss or damage to personal property. Rooms cannot be reserved or held by placing personal belongings in them. Unattanded items (e.g., backpacks, coats, laptops, binders) may be removed and taken to lost and found for safekeeping. Lost and found is located in the Undergraduate Office (Simon Hall) or in the Graduate Programs Office (Knight Hall and Bauer Hall).
  • Rooms must be left clean and in good condition for the next users. Whiteboards must be erased and trash thrown away. “Do not erase” requests on the whiteboards will not be honored.
  • Do not remove items from the group study rooms (e.g., chairs, markers, erasers, remotes).
  • Should a room need to be cleaned or should an accident occur (e.g., a spilled beverage), students should email General Services immediately.
  • Should audiovisual assistance be required, students should email General Services.
  • Violation of these policies may result in suspension from room reservation and usage. Students should report all violation issues to their program office.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal aid recipients' academic progress will be evaluated on an annual basis by Washington University Student Financial Services. Failure to meet the necessary criteria can result in the suspension of future aid eligibility, although students will be granted an opportunity to appeal. Graduate students are expected to achieve the minimum GPA requirements for their specific programs, in addition to meeting federal standards for cumulative pace and completion of their degree program within a prescribed number of attempted hours (grades of W, I, and NP will place a student in jeopardy of not meeting these standards). Please direct any questions about Satisfactory Academic Progress standards or the appeal process to olinfinancialservices@wustl.edu.

Semester Credit Cap/Exceeding the Credit Cap

To maintain eligibility for the per-credit-unit tuition rate, Flex MBA students may be enrolled in no more than 9 credit units per semester. Students may exceed 9 credit units in a semester — while still maintaining the per-credit-unit tuition rate — twice during the duration of their program. Students cannot exceed 9 credit units unless they have completed a minimum of two semesters within the Flex MBA program, their account/academic record must be clear of any administrative holds, and the student must be in good academic standing. Students will be asked to provide a rationale for increasing their credit load and to detail their plans for maintaining a healthy balance of external and academic responsibilities. Each request will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Time Limit

Students in the Flex MBA program must complete the degree within seven years of beginning the program.

Transfer Credit

As many as 6 units of transfer credit may be accepted toward Flex MBA degree requirements, provided that the prior course work meets the following criteria:

  • The credits were taken at the graduate level at another business school program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • It can be demonstrated (e.g., by course syllabi) that the course work taken is comparable in content (for required courses) or acceptable in quality (for elective courses) to Washington University courses.
  • A grade of "B" or better was achieved in the course work for which transfer credit is requested.
  • The credits were completed within seven years of the student's anticipated graduation date. 

Students seeking the acceptance of transfer credit should submit a transcript, applicable syllabi, and a petition requesting review of the proposed course work to their academic advisor. Transfer credit requests will then be reviewed for approval by the MBA Academic Director. 

Transfers Between Flex and Full-Time MBA Programs

Students must complete the program they were accepted to as it was designed. Flex MBA students are not allowed to transfer to the FTMBA program. Students who wish to accelerate their degree, can do so by using their two approved semesters for exceeding the credit cap. For more information on this policy, please see the Semester Credit Cap & Exceeding the Cap policy.

Withdrawal and Federal Loans

Regulations governing the return of Title IV funds (unsub and Graduate PLUS loans) require the school to determine the earned and unearned portions of disbursed loans as of the date the student ceased attendance. Students who are considering a withdrawal from any or all course work should contact the Olin Financial Services team in order to understand the implications for their current student loan amount and the impacts on their grace period.

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