Repeating Courses

Courses Designated as Repeatable

Certain courses (e.g., variable-credit and special-topics courses) are designated as repeatable; they may be taken more than once for credit. If a course can be repeated, the words "per semester" follow the number of credits (e.g., "3 per semester") in the course description. These courses may be repeated indefinitely unless the statement of the number of credits is followed by the maximum number of credits allowed (e.g., "3 per semester, maximum of 12").

Courses Not Designated as Repeatable

If a grade of C or better was earned, the student should consult with his/her adviser to discuss the usefulness of repeating the course.

If a grade of D was earned, the course may be repeated. However, the student is not required to repeat the course unless a C or better is required for his/her program (see C-Grade Requirement, Entrance to a Major, Academic Entrance and Retention Requirements, and Degree Requirements). Even if a C or better is not required, the student may choose to repeat the course if it is a prerequisite for a course that he/she plans to schedule. In this case, the student's preparation should be evaluated by the department offering the course with the prerequisite.

If a grade of F was earned, the course may be repeated. The student is not required to repeat a failed course unless the course is required in his/her program.

If UN (unsatisfactory) was earned, the course may be repeated but only under the conventional grading system (see Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading System).

Impact on the Student's Record

When a course has been repeated, all of the credits and grades earned are included when calculating the student's grade-point average. However, the course counts only once as a graduation requirement.

Degree Audit

Courses that are repeatable are listed on the student's degree audit with the letter "R." Courses that cannot be repeated for credit are listed with zero credits on the student's degree audit and are accompanied by the letter "Z."

Transcript and Grade Reports

No special notation is made when a course is repeated. Each time a student repeats a course, it appears on the student's transcript.

Note: Student financial aid recipients should consult with the Office of Student Aid at University Park or the student aid representative at his/her Penn State campus to discuss the impact of a course repeat on their academic progress.


Reviewed: August 2014
Last Update: July 2007

Reference(s): Senate Policy 47-80