Course Repeat Policy

Reference Number: F16-248
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Presidential Approval Date: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016


The SFSU course repeat policy was developed in response to Executive Order 1037: Grading Symbols, Minimum Standards Governing the Assignment of Grades, Policies on the Repetition of Courses, Policies on Academic Renewal, and Grade Appeals. At the time the Academic Senate declined to authorize grade forgiveness, in which a new grade replaces the former grade in terms of calculation of the GPA. This policy addresses this omission. In addition, the original policy, developed before the implementation of Campus Solutions (CS), counted AU and W grades in the repeat count. As CS is not capable of counting AU and W grades for the purposes of course repeat counts, The Academic Policies Committee is recommending their removal from the policy.


Key Words: (three to five subject tags)

Course repeat, grade forgiveness



Academic Policies Committee


Responsible Unit

Registrar’s Office








  • Added grade forgiveness
  • Removed AU and W as counting towards course repeats
  • Removed gender pronouns



  • Added Graduate student conditions to item 6



  • Limits only for matriculated status added








Table of Contents (List policy headings, as defined below)


Policy (headings:  purpose, rationale, definitions, scope/applicability, sections, related policy/resources)

Definition of “Repeat”                                                                                                    

  In this policy, “repeat” means to enroll in a course for which a grade has already been assigned. “Grade” refers to all grading symbols defined in CSU Executive Order 1037 (effective August 1, 2009). These include administrative grading symbols (AU, I, IC, RD, RP, W, and WU), traditional grades (A, B, C, D, and F, and their plus and minus designations), and non-traditional grades (CR and NC).

Repetition for Additional Credit                                                                                          

  Unless otherwise stated in the course descriptions in the current SF State Bulletin, courses may not be repeated for additional units of credit.

Maximum Allowed to Repeat                                                                    

  Undergraduate students may repeat a maximum of 16 units of coursework taken at San Francisco State University for the purpose of excluding the original grade from grade point determination (i.e. grade forgiveness). When a course is repeated, up to the 16-unit limit, the lower of the two grades is “forgiven” from the GPA calculation.  Grade forgiveness shall not be applicable to courses for which the original grade was the result of a finding of academic dishonesty. All units attempted, and all grade points after the repeat limit has been reached, will be included in the student's cumulative totals. If a student chooses to repeat a course in which the grade was passing (D- or higher) after reaching the repeat limit, all units attempted and all grade points earned will be used in the calculation of the student's grade point average (GPA), but the units earned will be applied to the calculation of total units earned only once. Exceptions to this method of GPA calculation are available, as described in Academic Senate Policy S87-148, “Academic Renewal Policy”; the provisions of S87-148 are not superseded by this course repeat policy.

Repeating After Attaining a Degree                                                                            

Once a bachelor's degree has been granted, repeating courses for any reason (e.g., as a visitor, post-baccalaureate, or College of Extended Learning student) will not affect the GPA or content of the degree already granted.

Repetition of a Course with a Grade of “I”                                                                             

     A student cannot repeat a course for which a grade of “I” was issued until the “I” is converted to a grade. This restriction does not apply to enrollment in a variable-topic course, if the repeat will be for a different topic.

Conditions Not Able to Repeat for Credit                                                                        

           An undergraduate student who has received a grade of C or higher, or a grade of CR, may not repeat a course unless the course is described in the current SF State Bulletin as repeatable for credit. A graduate student who has received a grade of B or higher, or a grade of CR, may not repeat a course unless the course is described in the current SF State Bulletin as repeatable for credit.

AU or W Repetition                                                                                                             

A student who has enrolled in a course and received any grade other than an AU or W may repeat the course only once more, unless the course is described in the current SF State Bulletin as repeatable for credit.

Repeating More Than 28 Units                                                                                       

 An undergraduate student cannot repeat any course once the student has repeated 28 units at SF State, unless the course is described in the current SF State Bulletin as repeatable for credit.


  Repeat enrollments in courses described in SF State Bulletins as repeatable for credit shall not count at all toward the total repeat units.

Withdrawal from Courses                                                                                        

Courses repeated as the result of a student withdrawing from a full semester of coursework, or after receiving a grade of AU or W, shall not count at all toward either the individual-course repeat limit or the 28-unit cumulative limit on course repeats. The “Withdrawal from Courses” policy specifies limits on withdrawals.

Matriculation Requirement                                                                                                        

Only grades assigned for matriculated students’ enrollment in regular University courses at San Francisco State University in Fall 2008 and subsequent semesters shall be used to determine repeat enrollment eligibility.

Requests for Exceptions                                                                                         

Requests for exceptions to this policy shall require the consent of the department chair in which the course is offered and the college dean of that college.

Disability or Military Reserve                                                                                             

Students whose disability or military reserve status might necessitate more repeat enrollments are encouraged to request such exceptions.

Limits on Course Repetition                                                                                                      

The limits on repeated courses apply only to courses taken in matriculated status. The limits do not apply to coursework completed via self-support enrollment.


Grade forgiveness shall be implemented in Fall of 2017 and shall be applied to all currently enrolled students.