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Course Repeat and GPA Adjustment | Policies | CSUSM

Course Repeat and GPA Adjustment

Definition: The policy governs the repeat of courses and the adjustment of GPA.
Authority: Executive Order 1037
Scope: Undergraduate students repeating CSUSM courses at CSUSM.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 04/19/2012
Originally Implemented: 08/27/2007
Signature Page/PDF: View Signatures for Course Repeat and GPA Adjustment Policy



The PeopleSoft student system has the functionality to automatically calculate repeated attempts and academically renewed courses. This policy governs the application of this functionality and the appeals process.


Grade Forgiveness: The repetition of a course for the sake of improving upon an earlier unsatisfactory performance in which the new grade replaces the old grade in the calculation of the student’s grade point average (GPA).

Grade Averaging: The repetition of a course for the sake of improving upon an earlier unsatisfactory performance in which the new grade does not replace the old grade(s) in the calculation of the student’s grade GPA, and instead all grades are used in the GPA calculation. Courses are repeated for grade averaging after the limit of repetitions for grade forgiveness has been exhausted.


A. Upon completion of grades, the PeopleSoft student system will identify all courses academically renewed and apply the corrected value to designate them as repeated courses, along with re-calculation of students' GPA.

B. Undergraduate students may repeat courses taken at CSUSM only if they earned grades lower than a C (2.0). A course repeated at another institution will not be used to adjust the CSUSM resident GPA.

C. Individual Course Repeat Limit: Except in unusual circumstances no course may be repeated more than two times. (See III.F.)

D. Overall Grade Forgiveness Limit

A maximum of 16 semester units of Course Repeats can be used for "Grade Forgiveness.” With regard to the limits on repeats, all such running totals begin at zero (0) at the beginning of the Fall term of 2009.  There are no exceptions to the Overall Grade Forgiveness Limit.

E. Overall Grade Averaging Limit

A maximum of 12 additional semester units (beyond the 16 units that may be repeated for “Grade Forgiveness”) may be repeated for “Grade Averaging.” With regard to the limits on repeats, all such running totals begin at zero (0) at the beginning of the Fall term of 2009. When a course is repeated for grade averaging, both the new grade and the former grade(s) enter into the GPA calculation.

F. Petition Process for Exceeding the Individual Course Repeat Limit and/or the Overall Grade Averaging Limit

A student who is a senior in good standing and at most 3 courses away from completing the requirements for their major may file a written petition with the Dean of the College of their major to repeat upper division courses required for their major for grade averaging for a third repeat and/or beyond the 12 units repeated for grade averaging. In this petition the student must:

1. give a detailed explanation why they failed the course(s) being petitioned;
2. submit clear evidence that they know the prerequisite material for the course(s) and are a senior student in good standing who has no more than 3 courses (including the courses being petitioned) remaining for completing the requirements of the major (this evidence should include all relevant transcripts, and the narrative of the petition should clearly state the student’s GPA and how prerequisite requirements are satisfied);
3. give a clear plan indicating how they will make sure that they will pass the course(s) on their next attempt.

The final decision on the petition is made by the Dean or designee in consultation with the chair(s) of the department(s) or program(s) offering the course(s). If the petition is approved, the repeats are considered to be for grade averaging.

G. Courses designated in the catalog as “May be repeated” can be repeated up to the maximum indicated in the course description and all grades received will be included in the calculation of the grade point average. A student may repeat such a course for the purpose of GPA Adjustment, but the completion of the course will not result in the earning of additional units of credit.

H. Limits on repeated courses apply to courses taken in matriculated status as well as coursework completed via self support, e.g., extended learning, open university, etc.

I. Academic units such as Colleges and Departments have the right to impose stricter requirements on repeats of courses under their purview than those described in this policy.

J. All grades for a given course, regardless of whether it is retaken for grade forgiveness or grade averaging, will be maintained as a part of the student record and will appear on the student’s transcript. Earned credit for a repeated course – other than a course designated as “May be repeated” which is not repeated for GPA Adjustment – will be given only once.


Information will be updated, as follows:

  • Curriculum and Scheduling Office will publish in the General Catalog;
  • The CSUSM Enrollment Management Registration and Records website will be updated.