Below are both the principles and interpretation of the University’s campus grade replacement policy (GRP).
With regard to implementation of the campus GRP (Student Code, 3-309(b)), the Council of Undergraduate Deans has agreed to the following principles:
- A student may request eligibility for grade replacement using a grade earned in a course taken no earlier than Fall 2010. A college may not authorize retroactive application of the policy.
Example: A grade earned in a course taken in Spring 2010 may not be used to replace a grade earned in a course originally taken in Fall 2009. However, a grade earned in a Fall 2010 course may be used to replace the final grade in a Fall 2009 course, assuming all other eligibility criteria are met.
- The policy specifies the 8-week deadline so as to be consistent with other academic deadlines. College staff have the prerogative to make extensions to the deadline in extenuating circumstances as appropriate. Please note any approved extensions when the form is processed.
- The grade modes in original and repeated courses must be identical if the student’s final grade in the repeated course is to replace the final grade earned in the original course.
Example: A course originally taken for letter-grade credit must be repeated for letter-grade credit if the repeated grade is to replace the original grade.
- Once a student successfully replaces a grade in a course and the approved form is processed by registrar staff, the term GPA for the term in which the student took the original course will be recalculated and will appear in the student information system, DARwin, and other systems that utilize GPA information. Newly calculated term and cumulative GPA information will appear on the official University transcript as well. However, other processes that depend on the term GPA and that occurred prior to final processing of the grade replacement form are considered at a “point in time” and will not be revisited. This includes eligibility for the Dean’s List and other academic honors, as well as the designation of academic probation, etc.
If a student opts to replace the grade in a course he or she has taken multiple times under the longstanding repeat policy (Student Code, 3-309(a)) the student must indicate which of the previously earned grades should be replaced. It is likely—but should not be assumed—that a student will want to replace the lowest grade earned in a series of attempts.
Example: A student received a D in PSYC 100 (FA08) and opted to repeat the course, receiving a C− (SP09). The student may take the course a third time (say, in SP11) but must choose which of the previous grades will be replaced. It would be most helpful if college staff would indicate which term and course is to be replaced by noting the information on the grade replacement form.
- For courses where the first earned grade was “ABS” or changed to “F by rule,” the grade replacement form will be processed without making any changes to the original grade—i.e., the original grade will not first be changed to an F. (Keeping the original earned grade will be of benefit to staff when reviewing the overall student record.)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Following is an interpretation of the principles described above through use of some frequently asked questions.
1. If the original course was taken for honors credit, must the replacement course also be taken for honors credit?
A student needs to earn a B− or higher to earn honors credit in a dedicated honors section or for a course taken with an Honors Credit Learning Agreement (HCLA). Thus, a course in which a student has earned honors credit would not be eligible for grade replacement under the campus GRP. If the student earned less than a B−, the course would not earn the honors designation and could be repeated under the policy without an HCLA attached. The student would not need to register for the honors section to repeat the course under grade replacement but would have had to earn a C− or less the first time through.
2. Can a student opt to enroll in a cross-listed section of the original course he or she wishes to repeat?
No, both the subject and number of the courses must match. However, there may be a case in which a course has been recently renumbered. The Office of the Registrar can help identify previous course numbers and verify that the original course and the proposed replacement course are the same.
3. Can a student opt to enroll in a GIS or NetMath section to replace the grade of a corresponding course originally taken in a classroom on campus?
Yes, the courses are equivalent. The policy specifies the 8-week deadline so as to be consistent with other academic deadlines, which may or may not apply to GIS or NetMath enrollments. College staff have the prerogative to make extensions to the deadline in extenuating circumstances as appropriate. Please note any approved extensions when the form is processed.
4. What happens when the first course grade is an “I” grade?
The form will be returned to the college office so the “I” grade can be resolved.
5. How will college staff track repeated hours when the student earns a grade of F on the second attempt (especially if the student transfers to another college)?
A “GR” grade comment code will be used to help track and monitor courses used under the GRP. This new code is applied to both the original and repeated course. This grade comment is stored in Banner and available in the data warehouse.
6. What happens if a student failed a course the first time, retook it for grade replacement, and failed it the second time?
If a student fails a course the first time he or she takes it, then retakes it for grade replacement and fails the course again, the student shall count two Fs (and the associated credit hours) in his or her GPA calculation. Completion of the second course counts toward the grade replacement policy’s 10-hour or 4-course limit. If a student wishes to repeat the twice-failed course yet again, the general policy on repeated undergraduate courses, not the campus GRP, applies.
Following is some additional guidance relating to GRP:
- When a student declares intent to use the GRP, it’s clear what to do if he or she earns a passing grade (C−, D+, D, or D−) on the first attempt and fails on the second: 3-309(a)(2) is invoked and both grades are calculated in the student’s GPA. When this happens, in the interest of comprehensive and consistent record-keeping, all colleges should forward the student’s grade replacement intent forms to the Office of the Registrar. It will be noted that the student’s grade replacement attempt was resolved under terms of the general policy governing course repeats.
- If a student fails a course twice, the second time for grade replacement, the outcome should count toward the GRP’s 10-hour or 4-course limit. Courses actually repeated (that is, completed with a final grade, regardless of the final grade) count under the terms of the GRP, since a student has repeated a course for grade replacement if he or she registers his or her intent per 3-309(b)(3), meets the requirements of 3-309(b)(1), and finishes the semester and earns a final grade, including a grade of F.
- Not completing the course would mean dropping the course or withdrawing from it, presumably before the end of the semester. In those cases the course is not completed and the student should not be charged with using grade replacement hours. Retroactive withdrawals from courses that were declared for grade replacement should be treated the same as late-semester withdrawals. Specifically:
- Dropping a course before the 8-week drop deadline voids the grade-replacement request and doesn’t count against the GRP’s 10-hour or 4-course limit.
- A late drop after the eighth week but before semester’s end, whether or not the course appears on the transcript with a W grade, voids the grade-replacement request, and doesn’t count against the GRP’s 10-hour or 4-course limit.
- A post-semester retroactive withdrawal from a whole semester’s course load, prompted by extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control, voids the grade replacement request and doesn’t count against the GRP’s 10-hour or 4-course limit.
- If a student repeats a course for grade replacement and earns an F the second time, he or she is welcome to retake the course, but will not be able to attempt grade replacement again.
List of Special Approved Courses for Grade Replacement
When the Subject and Number (as well as content description) of both the original and current courses match, Grade Replacement is generally acceptable. When a new course has been established from being previously offered under Special Topic or when a course has been renumbered, the Office of the Registrar can help verify if previous offerings of the current courses are to be approved for grade replacement. See the List of Special Approved Courses for Grade Replacement by the Office of the Registrar.