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California State University, Long Beach

What is an "Incomplete" grade?

If you cannot complete all the assigned work for a class in time for grading and there is still a possibility for earning credit, you may be allowed to take an "Incomplete" to extend the time you have to finish the assignments and receive a grade. To receive an "Incomplete" you must:

  • Have "unforeseen, but fully justified" reasons for not completing the class work (Policy Statement 02-12).

  • Bring all relevant information to the class instructor and agree with the instructor's terms for how and when you will satisfy the remaining class requirements.

  • Make sure that the class instructor completes and files the, "Requirements for Assigning an Incomplete Grade" form (your instructor must receive the form directly from their Department Office). On this form, the instructor will record the terms by which you have agreed to complete the class work.

  • Keep a copy of the completed form for your own records.

  • Complete the work within one year of the end of the semester in which you took the class, or within a shorter period as specified on the form. You may receive an extension of the one-year completion period only for compelling reasons such as serious illness or military service, and only with the prior permission of the class instructor, department chairperson, and the college dean.

After you have submitted your completed class work to the instructor, he/she will assign your final grade for the class. If you do not submit any work, you will receive the grade indicated by your instructor on the, "Requirements for Assigning an Incomplete Grade" form. If the instructor did not indicate a grade on this form and you do not submit any work under the agreement, you will receive an "F" in the class.

You should not re-enroll for an "Incomplete" class.

What is the difference between a "WU" and a "W?"

The grading symbol "WU" indicates an Unauthorized Withdrawal, signifying that a student enrolled in a course but failed to attend or to drop the course in a timely manner. When a student does not officially withdraw from a course and fails to complete the course requirements, the instructor assigns the "WU" grade, which is equivalent to an "F."

If a student enrolls in a course but officially withdraws from that course after the second week of instruction, the grading symbol "W" will appear on the student's transcript. The "W" is not a punitive mark; it carries no connotation of amount or quality of work completed. Refer to the Schedule of Classes or go to Dropping and Withdrawing from Classes ) for more information regarding course withdrawal deadlines to avoid receiving a "WU" grade.

What is the "Credit/No Credit" option?

You can request "Credit/No Credit" (CR/NC) grading for a class; go to Request Credit/No Credit. A "CR/NC" grade will not affect your GPA. You will receive "Credit" or "No Credit" according to the tables below:

Credit/No Credit for Undergraduate Students

If you earn this letter grade:

You will receive:

A, B, or C

Credit (CR)

D, F, or WU

No Credit (NC)

Credit/No Credit for Graduate Students For course levels: 100 and 200

If you earn this letter grade:

You will receive:

A, B, or C*

Credit (CR)

D, F, or WU

No Credit (NC)

* A few classes in the Graduate College of Education award Credit for "A" and "B" grades only.

Credit/No Credit for Graduate Students For course levels: 300, 400, 500, and 600

If you earn this letter grade:

You will receive:

A or B

Credit (CR)

C, D, F, or WU

No Credit (NC)

"CR/NC" Restrictions

In certain majors you may not take required courses for "CR/NC." Check with your program department for college and departmental restrictions on your grading options.

If you are an undergraduate, you must limit your "CR/NC" classes to:

  • 24 total units

  • 12 upper-division units

  • 8 units per semester

These "CR/NC" limits include classes taken under the previous "pass/fail option." You may exceed the limits only with the following "CR/NC" classes:

  • Classes that you take outside CSULB

  • Classes that offer "CR/NC" grading only

  • Credit that you earn by examination only

You may not reverse your decision and request a letter grade after the deadline for adding classes unless you declare a new major after that deadline and your newly declared major requires a letter grade for the class in question. Under this option, the change must be requested no later than the last day of instruction. The grading option may not be changed retroactively after the end of the semester.

How to Repeat a Course for Grade Forgiveness

Undergraduate students may attempt to repeat a course taken at CSULB for the purpose of excluding the grade from the grade point average (grade forgiveness) subject to CSULB’s Undergraduate Unit Limit as follows:

  • A maximum of 16 units can be applied for Grade Forgiveness.
  • The limit applies to courses taken at CSULB only.
  • Students may repeat a class at CSULB in which a grade of D, F, WU or NC was received.
  • Students may repeat an individual course only once for grade forgiveness.
  • Students must repeat exactly the same class for grade forgiveness.  If the class is no longer offered at CSULB, students must ask their department to approve a substitution using the Petition for Exception to Academic Policy
  • If the student earns a grade of A, B, C or CR on the second attempt, the first grade earned will be excluded from the GPA. However, if a grade of less than C is earned in second attempt, both grades will be averaged into the GPA (see Grades Averaged below).  The GPA will be adjusted automatically after the end of the term in which the class is repeated unless any of the following conditions apply, in which case the student must file a Petition for Exception to Academic Policy:
    • Class originally taken before the Fall 1988 term.
    • Class now has a different name or number than when originally taken.
    • Student is requesting to repeat a class that is designated “repeatable” in the CSULB Catalog under Repeatable Classes.
    • Student has reached the maximum CSULB Undergraduate Unit Limit.
  • If a grade of D, F, NC or WU is earned on the second attempt, both the original and subsequent grade will be calculated into the GPA (see Grades Averaged below); however, units earned will be applied only once and will count toward the 28 unit limit.
  • Students cannot use Grade Forgiveness if the original grade was the result of academic dishonesty.
  • Once a student reaches the 16 units for Grade Forgiveness and has not reached the maximum of 28 units, a repeated course will result in a grade averaged and calculated in the GPA.

For additional information, see Undergraduate Unit Limits Repetition of Courses.

Students pursuing second baccalaureates, credentials, certificates, master's or doctoral degrees may not repeat courses for grade forgiveness. Although these students may repeat courses for grades averaged, their courses are not subject to unit limits.

How do I audit a class?

To audit a class -- attend without receiving a recorded grade or academic credit -- you must meet the following requirements:

You may not reverse your decision and request a letter grade after the deadline for adding classes.

If you believe a grade was given in error, you should notify the instructor. Changes to final grades can be made only on the authority of the instructor and only in the following cases:

  • computational or recording error

  • evaluation of additional assignments or examinations to satisfy an "Incomplete" contract

  • the results of a grade appeal - refer to Grade Appeals in the current University catalog

All requests for grade changes must be initiated within one term after which you received the initial grade.

How can a grade be changed?

If you believe a grade was given in error, you should notify the instructor. Changes to final grades can be made only on the authority of the instructor and only in the following cases:

  • Error.
  • Evaluation of additional assignments or examinations to satisfy an "Incomplete" grade.
  • As the result of a successful grade appeal - refer to Grade Appeals in the current University catalog.

All requests for grade changes must be initiated within one term after which you received the initial grade.