Credit Limit Lifted for Classes Taken During COVID-19
Effective Feb. 22, 2021, any eligible student who earned a low grade in a class taken between Spring 2020 and Summer 2021 may retake that class for grade replacement without having that attempt count against their total grade replacement credit limit. All other grade replacement eligibility requirements still apply. See the announcement for instructional faculty and advisors.
About the Policy
Under the grade replacement policy, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students (law and nondegree students are not eligible) may retake a CU Boulder course in which they earned a low grade in an attempt to improve their cumulative GPA.
The grade the student earned in their most recent prior attempt will still be included on the transcript and in their total attempted units, but will be removed and replaced by the latest grade in their cumulative GPA and total earned units.
There are slightly different eligibility criteria for undergraduate and graduate students:
- Undergraduate students must have earned a C- or lower in their previous attempt and may not exceed the total grade replacement credit limit of 10 hours in their academic career.
- Graduate students must have earned a C+ or lower in their previous attempt and may not exceed the total grade replacement credit limit of 6 hours in their academic career.
Frequently Asked Questions
Courses Attempted in Spring 2020–Summer 2021
- How and why was the grade replacement policy adjusted for these terms?
- Does this adjustment apply to both undergraduate and graduate students?
- What is the deadline for students to retake a course they attempted during one of these semesters?
- Why does this adjustment include Spring 2020? Students were already allowed to take almost any class pass/fail and have it count for their major or their degree?
- My college, school or program limits the number of times a student can repeat a single course. Do those limits still apply?
- How are you handling cases where the student retook a course that falls under this adjustment and whose request was denied due to the credit limit?
- How are you handling cases where the student retook the course before this adjustment was announced and never requested grade replacement?
Effective Feb. 22, 2021, any eligible student who earned a low grade in a class taken between Spring 2020 and Summer 2021 may retake that class for grade replacement without having that attempt count against their total grade replacement credit limit. All other grade replacement eligibility requirements still apply.
Lifting the credit limits on replacing grades earned in these terms recognizes that many of our students have had to cope with challenges to effective learning during the pandemic. Students who choose grade replacement can improve their GPA, while also improving their mastery of course material. With this temporary modification, students can make the choice for grade replacement without worrying that they will use up their eligible credits and restrict their later options.
Yes, this adjustment applies to all students who are eligible for grade replacement. Law and nondegree students, including certificate-only students, are not eligible.
There is no end date, but the student must still be eligible for grade replacement when they retake the course. For example, students must be currently enrolled and they must not have graduated.
Even though special pass/fail allowances were made for students in Spring 2020, many students still completed courses with letter grades while experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic.
On Feb. 25, 2021, the Office of the Registrar emailed all students whose grade replacement request was initially denied, but who were newly eligible for grade replacement under the temporary policy adjustment. Unless the student requested otherwise by March 24, 2021, the office retroactively approved the student's initial grade replacement request.
We are continuing to discuss the most equitable way to handle these cases, and will update this answer once all details are finalized.
- Are nondegree students eligible for grade replacement?
- Are certificate-only students eligible for grade replacement?
- Is a suspended student taking courses through Continuing Education eligible for grade replacement?
- Does a student's grade replacement allotment refresh if they graduate as an undergrad and return to CU Boulder as a grad student?
No. Only degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate (not law) students are eligible.
No. Only degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate (not law) students are eligible.
Yes. Suspended students are still degree-seeking students, so they are eligible.
Yes. Since grade replacement allotments are career specific, a student who used their full allotment of 10 grade replacement credits as an undergrad would still receive their full 6-credit allotment as a graduate student.
- Why is the grade replacement threshold for undergraduates a C- or lower?
- If a student received a W in their first attempt, is that course eligible for grade replacement?
- If a student took a student-option course as pass/fail in their first attempt and earned a P (pass), is that course eligible for grade replacement?
- If a student took a student-option course as pass/fail in their first attempt and earned an F, is that course eligible for grade replacement?
- Are course grades earned as a result of an academic honor code violation eligible for grade replacement?
- Is a set of classes eligible for grade replacement if their combined credits would exceed the student's grade-replacement allotment?
- Can an undergrad repeat a graduate-level course for grade replacement?
- Can a graduate student use grade replacement on a class they originally took as an undergrad?
- Can a student use an equivalent course for grade replacement?
- If a student completed a special topics course that later became a regular permanently offered course, would the prior attempt be eligible for grade replacement?
The undergraduate threshold of C- was selected because some degree programs require students to earn a C or better in course prerequisites.
No, W grades do not count as the most recent prior attempt. If the student received a W grade in their only previous attempt, their grade replacement request will be denied. If the student has attempted the course multiple times, then we'll consider the most recent letter-graded attempt when reviewing the request.
No, the student must have earned an eligible letter grade in their first attempt of the course. Additionally, the student can't retroactively change the grade mode for the course to make it eligible; they must have changed the grade mode by the deadline for the term in which they took the course.
If it was a student-option course, then yes, because an F is an F regardless of the grade mode. However, the student must retake the course for a letter grade to use grade replacement. Courses graded pass/fail only are not eligible for grade replacement.
No. The Office of the Registrar works with Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution to flag courses on student records when a student is found responsible for an academic honor code violation. Such courses are not eligible for grade replacement under this policy.
No. For example, if a student had 7 credits remaining in their grade replacement allotment, they would not be allowed to invoke the policy on three 3-credit courses at the start of a given semester.
Yes. Grade replacement applies to a student's career (undergrad vs. grad), not to the level of the individual course.
For example, an undergraduate student could take a graduate course (perhaps as part of the BAM program) and do poorly in the first attempt. They could then repeat the course again as an undergraduate, pursue grade replacement and try to do better the second time. The grade from the second instance would then replace the grade from the first instance. An undergraduate student could only do this if they had enough credits remaining in their grade replacement credit allotment.
No. Grade replacement applies to a student's career; therefore, once a student graduates (or attains graduate standing), they can no longer replace a grade earned during a previous career.
No, equivalent courses are not eligible for grade replacement. The most recent prior attempt must either match the current course's subject and catalog number or be cross-listed with it (e.g., WGST/SOCY 1016).
No. The grade replacement policy states that special topics courses are not eligible for grade replacement (exceptions: WRTG 1100, 1150, 1160, 1250, 3020, 3030, 3035 and 3040). Assuming the student enrolled in the course when it was offered as a special topics course and then again when it was offered as a permanently offered course, the student would not be eligible for grade replacement in the special topics course.
- Can advisors view a student's grade replacement information?
- After a student's request is approved, when are those credits deducted from their grade replacement credit allotment?
- If a student doesn't complete the requirements of their grade replacement course, what happens when their I grade changes to an F after two semesters?
- To follow up on the previous question, what if the student inadvertently exceeded their grade replacement credit limit while they had the I grade?
- What's the difference between when grade replacement is requested and when it's considered invoked?
- What communications do students receive after requesting grade replacement?
Yes. In Campus Solutions, navigate to the "Student Enrollment 1" tab of the "Enrollment" page (Records and Enrollment > Enroll Students > Enrollment).
- The latest attempt of the course currently in progress will display repeat code BOPT, indicating that a grade replacement request was approved but the class has not yet been graded.
- Once graded and the repeat check process is run in Campus Solutions, the latest attempt of the course will display repeat code UGRI for undergraduate students and GRRI for graduate students.
- The most recent prior attempt of the course will be coded with the repeat code UGRE for undergraduate students and GRRE for graduate students. The UGRE/GRRE code is what removes the indicated course from the GPA calculation, and generates the following message on the transcript for that class: "Grade Replacement (Excluded from GPA)."
In the degree audit, courses display the following grade replacement notations:
- The symbol >G is applied to the latest attempt of the course currently in progress, indicating that grade replacement has been requested.
- The symbol >E is applied to the most recent prior attempt of the course, indicating that it is excluded from the GPA. This occurs after the latest attempt has been completed and graded (at which point the >G symbol is removed).
The credits are deducted as soon as a student's grade replacement request is approved and processed for a course currently in progress. For example, if a student has 10 credits and requests grade replacement for a 3-credit course, those 3 credits will be deducted as soon as the repeat code (BOPT) is applied on their record for an enrolled class. At that point, the student would have 7 credits left to spend on other courses. If the student receives a W or drops the class, the credits are added back in.
At that point, the student will have earned an F in the course and their grade replacement credits will be deducted.
In that case, the course in which the student just received an F will be treated like any other course repeated under CU's course repetition (not grade replacement) policy. That is, all grades from all instances will be included in GPA calculations and academic standing reviews.
Grade replacement is considered "invoked" once all three of the following are true:
- The Office of the Registrar has reviewed and approved the student's grade replacement request form.
- The deadline to cancel grade replacement requests for that semester or session has passed.
- The student has received a final letter grade in the course (not a W or an I).
Grade replacement is considered "requested" after the student has submitted a grade replacement request form and before it's "invoked." During this period, the student may cancel their request at any time prior to the grade replacement deadline for that semester/session. Once the request is approved and the grade replacement deadline has passed, the student may no longer be cancel the request. If the student drops the class, the Office of the Registrar will automatically cancel the approved request on the student’s behalf.
After the student's request is processed, they receive one of two automated emails.
If the request was approved, the email reminds students that the grade earned in the most recent prior attempt will still appear on their transcript, but will be replaced in their cumulative GPA and credit totals by the grade from their latest attempt. The email also provides instructions to cancel the request, if desired, and informs them that if they drop the class, the Office of the Registrar will automatically cancel their grade replacement request. If the student re-enrolls in any section of the same course, the Office of the Registrar will apply the request to the new section.
If the request was denied, the email specifies which eligibility requrement(s) were not met.
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