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Repeating a course

In accordance with  University policy (section F) the following are key points when considering repeating a course:

  • Petitions to request to take a course beyond the established repeat policy and course limits (often a third time) are rarely approved.
  • Petitions to take a non-repeatable course a fourth time will not be considered.

Requests for taking a course beyond the established repeat policy and course limits (often a third time) are unlikely to be approved for the following reasons:

The student...

  • Wants to improve GPA
  • Needs a better grade for admission to major/graduate/professional school
  • Wants to change probation/suspension status
  • Can take an approved equivalent course at another nearby institution or can take the course online for credit
  • Did not realize the course couldn’t be taken again
  • Earned a lower grade on the repeat attempt(s)
  • Did not take the course seriously the first attempt(s)
  • Had a conflict with the instructor and/or teaching assistant
  • Miscalculated the level of difficulty of the course, or took the course without taking an expected prerequisite course

Note: Even though an instructor may suggest that a student repeats a course for a third/fourth/etc. time and/or supports the student’s request, Department Chairs and Deans may not approve the request to repeat a course.

Students should consider these potential implications of repeating a course:

  • Retaking a class can extend the time it takes for the student to graduate.
  • Students do not earn additional cumulative credit when he/she retakes a course, which can affect athletic eligibility.

Requests to enroll in a course beyond the established repeat policy and course limits (often a third time) may be considered for students who demonstrate one of the following:

  • The course is needed for the student’s major (in which success has already been demonstrated) and there is no equivalent course available at another nearby institution.
  • Student is returning to the University after 5 or more years absence and needs to repeat a course to continue on in their program.

Any questions about this process or the policy should be directed to your college advising office.

Undergraduate students

According to University policy, an undergraduate student may repeat a course. If you are an undergraduate student who repeats a course, both grades for the course will appear on your official transcript, but the number of credits is only counted once, and only the last enrollment will count in your GPA. The grade you earn during the last enrollment will count in your GPA, even if that grade is lower.

For example, if you received an 'F' in a 3-credit course and take it a second time to earn a 'C,' both the 'F' and the 'C' will appear on your transcript. However, your GPA will only account for the 'C,' and you will only receive 3 credits toward your degree requirements.

If you earn an 'N' in a course you are repeating because you previously earned an 'F,' the 'F' grade will continue to be calculated in your GPA.

Exceptions for undergraduate students

At its discretion and in extraordinary circumstances, your college may allow you to repeat a course more than once.

You may also be prevented from repeating a course if you earned a 'C' or better the first time, if there is not space available in the course.

The restriction on repeating courses does not apply to courses that use the same number but where you study different content each term (for example, topics courses), and to courses designated as "(specific number of) completions allowed."

Graduate School students

If you are a student enrolled in the Graduate School, all registrations and grades for repeated courses remain on your graduate transcript and are calculated into your cumulative GPA. Remember that appropriate tuition and fees will be assessed for any courses you repeat.

What to consider before you repeat a course

Talk to your academic adviser before you retake a course. Sometimes you must retake a course to complete your degree. But when you have the option, you should consider these and other potential implications:

  • Retaking a class can extend the time it takes for you to graduate.
  • If you earn a lower grade the second time you take a class, that lower grade will be factored into your GPA.
  • You do not earn additional cumulative credit when you retake a course, which can affect athletic eligibility.

Using an Equivalent Course

Students may choose to take an equivalent course within the University of Minnesota system or at an outside institution. Department approval is required prior to registering for the course utilizing the Permission to Retake a Course Using an Equivalent Course form.

Once a student has graduated, courses can be repeated; however, the original course grade will not be excluded from the degree GPA nor will the new grade be included in the degree GPA.

Read the University policy for complete details

For the University's complete policy related to repeating courses, see the University's Grading and Transcripts policy.