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Frequently Asked Questions

Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) 


  • Why would a student request a Withdrawal (W grade)?

    If you feel that you cannot reasonably complete a course, it may be appropriate to request a withdrawal.  Withdrawal allows you to  stop attending the course without affecting your GPA; you will receive a W grade that appears on your transcript.  Withdrawals require a petition to explain the serious and compelling circumstances that caused you to stop attending, but temporary policy changes for Spring and Fall 2020 allow the University to be more flexible.  You should still only request a withdrawal if your circumstances make it impossible to complete the requirements of a course. 

  • How do I request a W grade?

    To request a withdrawal, submit a withdrawal petition, use the Withdrawal Petition form.

  • Does a W grade affect my GPA?

    A grade of W is not calculated in your GPA. 
  • How does a withdrawal affect my financial aid?

    Financial aid eligibility is determined by Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), which is a combination of your GPA and your unit completion rate (sometimes called “pace”).  W grades do not affect your GPA but do affect your pace, as they are units that you attempted but did not complete.  To keep up SAP, you need to have a 2.0 GPA and complete more than 2/3 of the units you attempt. 

  • How does a withdrawal affect my VA benefits?

    If a student withdraws from courses, CSUSM will submit the last day of attendance and the reason for withdrawal to the VA.  Then, the VA makes a determination on a case-by-case basis about the status of benefits and whether the student owes any money and whether any/all of the benefit will be reinstated. 
  • Is there a limit to the number of W grades I can receive?

    Students can withdraw from a maximum of 18 units. However, withdrawals for the Fall 2020 semester  will not count toward this limit. (Updated Feb 24, based on notification from CSU Chancellor's Office)
  • Withdraw vs. receiving a NC grade: Which is better?

    Although neither a W or NC grade will affect your GPA, NC is technically a failing grade and will be interpreted as such by anyone looking at your transcript.  A W grade implies that you did not complete the course and did not earn a grade of any kind.  There may be further considerations if you are receiving VA benefits or are an athlete or international student; you should contact those offices if you are considering a withdrawal petition. 

Academic Probation & Disqualification

Incomplete Grades

  • Am I able to request an Incomplete grade this semester?

    The policy and process for Incomplete grades is unchanged for Spring 2020 and Fall 2020, which means you can still request Incompletes from your instructors.  Please remember that an Incomplete grade requires you to work out with your instructor what you need to finish in order to complete the course. 
  • How does an Incomplete grade affect my GPA?

    Incomplete grades (“I”) are not calculated in your GPA and do not count as completed units.  I grades are changed to a letter grade when the instructor assigns one after the negotiated work is completed. After one calendar year, an I grade that has not been changed to a letter grade switches to an IC (Incomplete Charged), which is counted as an F grade. 

  • If I have been unable to finish the work for an I grade, can I still graduate?

    Yes, as long as the course to which the I grade is assigned is not required for graduation. However, the I grade will remain a part of the permanent record, and may not be changed at a later date.

Course Repeats & Grade Forgiveness 

There are no changes to existing policy for repeating courses after Spring 2020.

Transcript Notation *Applies to Spring 2020 Only*