Division of Academic Affairs Policy
Topic: Grade Replacement

Approved by: Russell L. Moore, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Effective Date: Aug. 26, 2019
Last Revised: Feb. 11, 2022

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to promote student learning and student success at CU Boulder through the automatic application of grade replacement when a student earns a grade in a repeated course that is higher than the prior attempt.

II. Policy

  1. In order to be eligible for grade replacement, a student must have received an eligible grade in a prior attempt of the same course or its direct equivalent. Grades of C-, D+, D, D- or F are eligible for undergraduate students, and grades of C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- or F are eligible for graduate students. 
  2. When an eligible course is repeated, grade replacement will automatically be applied when the grade in the latest attempt is the same as or better than the most recent prior attempt of the course. The replaced grade is excluded from cumulative grade point average and credit totals in the official academic record.
  3. If a lower grade is earned in the latest course repeat 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.
  4. Grades from all attempts of a course remain on a student’s transcript, with those attempts that have been replaced appropriately indicated.
  5. Grade replacement is subject to limits imposed by individual schools, colleges, departments, programs and other academic units. Grade replacement is further subject to limits specified in the procedures associated with this policy.

III. History

The original version of this policy took effect on Aug. 26, 2019. Minor revisions to the procedures associated with this policy took effect on Feb. 22, 2021. The Feb. 11, 2022 revision of the policy and procedures streamlined and automated the grade replacement process: the grade replacement credit limit was removed; the requirement that students actively invoke grade replacement was eliminated; grade replacement was automated to apply after final grading each semester; and a specification was added that the last attempt at the course is calculated unless it results in a lower grade. The course eligibility and grade qualifications of the original policy remain in effect.

Division of Academic Affairs
Grade Replacement Procedures

A. Eligibility

  1. This policy applies to currently enrolled, degree-seeking CU Boulder undergraduate and graduate students and to non-degree students enrolled in credit-bearing CU Boulder courses. Colorado Law students are excluded from this policy and are subject to the academic and grading policies of the Law School.

  2. Students who have graduated are not eligible for grade replacement for courses taken prior to earning their degree.

  3. This policy applies only to undergraduate or graduate courses taken and repeated at CU Boulder.

  4. Courses designated in the catalog as repeatable for credit (e.g., special topics courses, independent studies, field experience and thesis hours) are not eligible for grade replacement.

  5. A class grade earned because of a student's academic dishonesty is not eligible for grade replacement via this policy. 

  6. Courses repeated for grade replacement must be taken for a letter grade (not audit, pass/fail or no credit). Courses graded pass/fail only or satisfactory/unsatisfactory are not eligible for grade replacement. Courses taken prior with an earned F may be retaken as letter-graded (if offered for student option) and considered for grade replacement. 

  7. No retroactive adjustments or transactions for prior terms will be performed as a result of repeating a course, including changes to academic standing or eligibility for honors, athletics or financial aid.

  8. Some academic units may limit the number of times a student can enroll in a given course or limit the number of attempts for degree applicability.

B.  Process

  1. The Office of the Registrar will run a process to apply grade replacement to all eligible courses and students after final grading each term.

  2. The Office of the Registrar has provided an opt-out option and process for students who wish to have a repeated course excluded from grade replacement process and calculations. Email registrar@colorado.edu to opt out of grade replacement in a specific class by the last published class day for a term.

  3. If a Special Topics course becomes a permanent course and if a student repeats the course under the new catalog number, the Office of the Registrar will work with the student and the academic department to make grade replacement available upon student request and eligibility.

  4. 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.