About the Policy
Under the grade replacement policy, undergraduate, graduate and nondegree students (law 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 as long as that grade is the same or better. If a lower grade is earned in the latest attempt, grade replacement is not applied and the grades from both attempts will be used in computing cumulative and major grade point averages, total credits and academic standing.
There are slightly different eligibility criteria for undergraduate and graduate students:
- Undergraduate students must have earned a C- or lower in their previous attempt
- Graduate students must have earned a C+ or lower in their previous attempt
To retake a course for grade replacement, the student must simply register for the class again. The Office of the Registrar will run a process for students to apply grade replacement to all eligible courses and students after final grading each term. Students who wish to have a repeated course excluded from grade replacement processes and calculations may opt out of grade replacement by contacting email@example.com.
If a student enrolls in a course previously taken and subsequently drops the course, the original grade stands and will be calculated in cumulative totals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, effective spring 2022, nondegree students (including certificate-only students) are eligible for grade replacement in qualifying courses.. Law students are not eligible.
Yes. Suspended students enrolled through Continuing Education are still eligible.
- 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) or S (satisfactory), is that course eligible for grade replacement?
- If a student took a student-option course as pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory 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?
- 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?
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. W grades do not impact the GPA. If the student received a W grade in their only previous attempt, grade replacement will not apply. If the student has attempted the course multiple times, then the most recent letter-graded attempt is included in the end-of-term grade replacement process.
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 or satisfactory/unsatisfactory 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.
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 and try to do better the second time. The grade from the second instance would then replace the grade from the first instance.
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.
- What does “evaluated for grade replacement” mean?
- When are students’ courses evaluated for grade replacement each semester and are students notified about their grade replacement status?
- If a student’s course is evaluated as eligible for grade replacement, when is grade replacement applied to their record?
- Are students notified if they’re retaking a class that’s ineligible for grade replacement?
Evaluation is the process of reviewing the student and course eligibility requirements. In order to be evaluated for grade replacement, a student must be enrolled in eligible courses (not on a waitlist) prior to the evaluation dates, which occur several times leading up to and throughout the term as well as after the term has ended. (For details, view the question below.)
If after being evaluated as eligible, a student’s course is found to no longer meet the requirements outlined above, their grade replacement status will change to ineligible. This may occur after the term as changes to a student’s record are reported, such as earning a grade lower than the previous attempt or if a student is found to be in violation of the honor code. Changes to eligibility will be posted within the same comment with additional details about why eligibility was revoked.
Beginning Fall 2022, the Office of the Registrar typically evaluates students’ courses several times each semester for grade replacement eligibility: after continuing student registration opens for the term, after continuing student enrollment closes, a week before the first day of classes, before the add deadline, after census, when end-of-term processing is run, two weeks after end of term and finally four weeks after end of term. Processing reflects student enrollment as of 7 a.m. that day. Only classes that meet initial eligibility requirements are evaluated for grade replacement.
As a part of this process, students are also sent an email to notify them if a course they’re retaking has been evaluated as eligible for grade replacement. If a student was marked as eligible, but then later found to be ineligible, they will be notified of this change.
Effective Spring 2022, grade replacement is applied automatically at the end of each semester after final grades are posted.
Students receive a notification that a course they’re retaking is eligible for grade replacement, and another notification if that changes (i.e., if the class is no longer eligible for grade replacement due to a lower grade being earned in the second attempt, honor code violation, or other changes). The ineligible notification is only sent if the course was previously evaluated as eligible.
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