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Repeating Courses

Most courses at CSULB may be completed only once for credit. Certain other courses may be repeated for additional unit credit. Within limits (see below), any course at CSULB may be repeated for grade forgiveness or grades averaged but without additional unit credit.

The policies on repeating courses are explained in CSULB Policy Statement 09-05 and CSU Executive Order 1037.

The policy on repeating courses for undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's degree is different than the policy for post-baccalaureate students (including students pursuing master's or doctoral degrees, second baccalaureates, certificates, or credentials). Select one of the following links to go to the corresponding policy:


Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students (students who have not yet earned a baccalaureate degree) may repeat, for the purpose of excluding the grade from grade point determination (called grade forgiveness), courses taken at CSULB in which a grade of D, F, or WU was received subject to the limits established below. Undergraduate students may repeat courses in which a grade of NC was received for grades averaged only subject to the limits established below. Refer to Undergraduate Unit Limits for more details.

 

Undergraduate Unit Limit On Repeating Courses

Undergraduate students may repeat 28 units over their entire CSULB undergraduate career, of which 16 units maximum can be for grade forgiveness, in which the grade in the first attempt is excluded from the GPA.

Guidelines

  • Students may repeat courses only if a D, F, WU, or NC was earned. The course must be repeated at CSULB.
  • Students are not allowed to repeat a course in which they received a grade of A, B, C or CR, (except for courses specified as repeatable for credit and upper-division courses in an undergraduate student’s major completed more than ten years prior to graduation).
  • No course for which a W was awarded counts toward the repeat unit limit.
  • Only the units awarded for the original attempt count toward the 28-unit limit.
  • The unit limit applies to courses taken at CSULB only.
  • Repeats recorded before Fall 2009 will not count toward the limit.
  • Once a student reaches the 28-unit limit, the student will not be allowed to repeat any additional courses without an approved academic appeal. 
  • Students may not repeat an individual course more than once. Undergraduate students with extenuating circumstances who wish to attempt a course for a third time must appeal for an exception. Approval of the Associate Dean of the college that offers their major is required. If approved, the additional repeat will not result in grade forgiveness.

You can refer to the Withdrawals/Repeats Summary in MyCSULB Student Center for details about how many grades have been forgiven, how many grades have been averaged, and how many classes in your current enrollment may be subject to the repeat limit.

Repeating a Course for Grade Forgiveness

Undergraduate students may attempt to repeat up to 16 units taken at CSULB for which a grade of D, F, WU, or NC was received for the purpose of excluding the grade from their GPA (called grade forgiveness), subject to the below conditions:

  • If the student earns a grade of A, B, C or CR on the second attempt, the first grade earned will be excluded from their GPA. Their 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:
    • The class was originally taken before Fall 1988.
    • The class now has a different name or number than when originally taken.
    • The student is requesting to repeat a class that is designated as repeatable in the CSULB Catalog.
    • The student has reached the maximum CSULB Undergraduate Unit Limit.
  • If the student earns a grade of D, F, NC, or WU on the second attempt, both grades will be averaged into their GPA. However, units earned will be applied only once and will count toward the 28-unit limit.
  • The limit applies to courses taken at CSULB only.
  • Students may repeat an individual course only once for grade forgiveness.
  • Students must repeat 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.
  • Students cannot use grade forgiveness if the original grade was the result of academic dishonesty.

Repeating a Course with Grades Averaged

A repeated course will result in both grades being included in GPA calculations when:

  • A student reaches the 16-unit maximum for grade forgiveness, but hasn't yet reached the 28-unit limit for repeated courses
  • A student receives a grade of D, F, NC, or WU on the second attempt of a course
  • A student receives an exception to academic policy to attempt a course a third time

Once an undergraduate student reaches the 28-unit limit for repeated courses, the student will not be allowed to repeat any additional courses without an approved academic appeal.

Courses Taken at Another Institution

Courses first taken at another institution with grades of D, F, WU, or NC may be subsequently repeated at CSULB for grade forgiveness only if the courses are considered equivalent. Major departments determine course equivalencies.

  • If the student earns a grade of A, B, C, or CR on the second attempt, the grade and any units for the first unsuccessful attempt will be removed from their GPA and units will not count toward the repeat limit.
  • If the student earns a grade of D, F, NC, or WU on the second attempt, both grades will be averaged into their GPA and any units earned will only be granted for one attempt.
  • If the student attempts the course a second time at CSULB and earns a grade of D, F, NC, or WU, the student may repeat the course one additional time. However, all grades will be factored into their GPA and the units will count toward the repeat limit.

Courses first taken at CSULB for which grades of D, F, WU, or NC were earned may not be subsequently repeated at another institution for grade forgiveness. Grades in subsequent attempts at another institution will be averaged and any units earned will only be granted once. Additionally, courses first completed at CSULB for which grades of A, B, C, or CR were earned may not be repeated at another institution and no credit will be awarded for the subsequent attempt.

Requesting a Repeat Limit Exception

Undergraduate students with extenuating circumstances who wish to attempt a course for a third time or repeat a course for audit must submit a request for an exception to academic policy. Exceptions are considered only in cases of demonstrated need (usually to avoid undue delay in graduation) and documented circumstances which support the potential for the student's future academic success.

A student may request to be considered for an exception to:

  • Repeat a course more than once: An undergraduate student with extenuating circumstances may request to repeat a course more than once if the student fails to achieve an A, B, C, or CR in the second attempt. In such cases, the additional repeat will not result in the forgiveness of a prior grade. All attempts will be used in GPA calculation.
  • Repeat a course for validating major requirements: An undergraduate student who completes a course with a grade of A, B, C, or CR but is required by the department to register for the course again for the purpose of validating major requirements may request to repeat the course. In such cases, units earned for the repeated course will not count toward the degree or GPA calculation.
  • Repeat a course to refresh knowledge (audit only): An undergraduate student who completes a course with a grade of A, B, C, or CR and wishes to register for the course again only to refresh knowledge may do so, but only by enrolling on an audit (AU) basis. Enrollment on an audit basis is based on space availability in the class. If approved, the student must submit a request to enroll in the course on an audit basis.

To request an exception:

  1. Log in to MyCSULB Student Center. Under Academics, select Enrollment Adjustments.

Academics section with mouse pointer hovering on Enrollment Options

  1. Select Repeat Limit Exception.

Enrollment Petitions menu with mouse pointer on Extra Unit Petition

  1. Select Create New Request to start a new request
  2. Review the information and then select Next.
  3. Choose the course you wish to repeat and then select Next to continue.
  4. Select the term you plan to repeat the course. If you’re repeating a class for which you received an A, B, C, or CR grade, you’ll need to choose the reason for your appeal. Then, select Next.
  5. Provide a personal statement that explains the reason for your request. Include why you want to repeat the course, evidence of changes in your academic behavior, and goals that will lead to academic success. When you’re finished, select Submit to send your request for approval.

Your request will automatically be sent to the required approvers. You’ll receive an email once your request has been processed. You can check the status of your request by returning to the Repeat Limit Exception page.


Graduate, Second Bachelor's, Certificate, and Credential Students

Students pursuing master's or doctoral degrees, second baccalaureates, certificates, or credentials may not repeat courses for grade forgiveness, although they may repeat courses for grades averaged without limits.

Repeating a Course with Grades Averaged

  • A repeated course will result in a grade averaged and calculated in the GPA.
  • If a student earns a grade of D, F, WU, or NC on the second attempt, the grades in all attempts will be averaged into their GPA.
  • A grade received in a course taken at another institution may not be used to replace a grade in an equivalent course taken at CSULB in GPA calculations, but may be used to replace it for other purposes, subject to approval by the appropriate authority at CSULB, such as the major advisor.