Students may repeat courses in which a grade of D+, D, D-, F, or a NP is earned. This page will help you better understand how repeats will impact your GPA, how they appear on your transcript, the number of times a course can be repeated, and more.
Basic Repeat Policies
All attempts of a course will show up on your official transcript.
You may repeat a course only if you received a grade of D+, D, D-, F, or no pass (NP) in your first attempt of the course.
You can only repeat a course one time to replace a grade. Grades in third attempts of a course will not be calculated into your GPA, but will be shown on your transcript.
If you earned a grade of D+, D, D-, or F, you must take your repeat for a letter grade.
If you earned a NP, you can take your repeat for P/NP or letter grade if both grading options are available.
If you have repeated fewer than 12 units, the grade from the second attempt of the course will go into your GPA and the grade from first attempt will come out, regardless of which grade is higher.
If you have repeated more than 12 units, grades from both the first and second attempts will be calculated into your GPA.
Law schools and medical schools will calculate all attempts of a repeat into your admissions GPA. This may be true of other graduate programs as well. It is important you do your own research to understand how your GPA may be calculated differently by other institutions.
Repeat Limit - How is it calculated?
If a student repeats a D in Math 1A (a 4 unit course), they will have used 4 units of repeat. If they then repeat an F Chem 1A (a 3 unit course), they will have used a total of 7 units of repeat.
Courses where the first attempt was taken for a letter grade, or where a NR/M grade was received, will count toward the repeat limit. Courses where the first grade was a NP can be repeated without counting toward this limit.
So, a student who repeats a NP in Math 1A will have used no units of repeat toward their limit.
This is a hard limit, meaning that if a student has 10 units of repeat, they can only repeat another 2-unit course, not a 4-unit course. If a 4-unit course is repeated in this case, both the new and original grade of the course will count toward the GPA.
If more than 12 units are repeated, both the new and original grades will be averaged into the GPA.
If you’re confused about where you are toward your repeat limit, see an L&S College Adviser.
Taking a third attempt of a course
If you take a course for a third time, the grade will not impact your GPA. Whether a major can accept subject credit from a third attempt of a course to satisfy a major requirement is up to the major department. Please see your Undergraduate Major Adviser to discuss whether this is possible.
Academic support resources
Many students find campus support resources useful. Here are some options to look into:
The Student Learning Center (SLC) is best known for its course-specific support for a variety of lower division courses. They offer course-specific support for classes in areas such as Economics, Math and Statistics, Science, and Social Science. This may be drop-in tutoring, exam reviews, study groups, and in Math and Statistics, even adjunct courses (think an additional review section you can get a unit for).
The SLC also offers writing support for any subject, generalized academic coaching, and support for international students or students learning other languages.
L&S Mentors offer support for academic skill building and study planning (as well as providing other coaching services) both through workshops and on a one-on-one basis. This is a great resource for students who need to improve their overall academic skill set.
As all of our mentors have experience as GSIs, they can also coach you through using office hours to your benefit.
Office hours with your GSI or faculty can be great ways to stay on track with a new class. We suggest sharing your concerns and planned strategies with your GSI/faculty right at the beginning of the course and ask for their tips for succeeding in their course. We recommend checking in frequently to check your knowledge, ask questions, and just check in.
Explore our Academic Support and Resources page if you are interested in discovering more about this topic.
Should I repeat a course?
Repeats can be a great option for students to improve their GPA. If a repeat falls within your repeat limit (and meets the other requirements found in “Basic Repeat Policies” above), the first grade can be removed from your GPA. But there are a few things to keep in mind when determining if it’s the best option for you:
If you don’t need the course for a specific requirement, it’s okay to not repeat a class. Focusing on taking new classes that you feel confident in is another strong strategy to improve your GPA.
If you do decide to repeat a course, it’s valuable to assess what factors led to difficulty in the first attempt and make an action plan for how you’ll approach the course differently in the second attempt (see FAQ for resources). If the timing wasn’t right the first time, make sure the timing is right the second time, as third attempts will not count in your GPA or remove previous grades, regardless of performance.
Determine whether the course will fall within your repeat limit (see FAQ below). If it falls outside of your repeat limit, you can still repeat the course, but you won’t get grade replacement (meaning the initial grade won’t be removed from your GPA), which may impact whether you decide a repeat is worthwhile.