Policies Governing Retaking a Course

Students who receive an F in a course may retake the course for credit. Both the new grade and the original F will be tabulated into the final g.p.a.; a course unit will be awarded if the student receives a passing grade. 

If a student fails a course that is required for a major, he or she should think carefully before taking the course again, since poor performance in an introductory course may indicate a need to consider another major.

Some students opt to repeat a course in order to demonstrate their ability to achieve a better grade. If a student retakes a course for which he or she has received a passing grade (including a P in a pass/fail course), the second grade will be recorded on the transcript, but it will not be counted in the student's cumulative average, and no additional credit will be awarded for it.

Please note: A few courses offered at Penn are sufficiently alike that the College will not grant credit for both if both are taken. These include, but are not limited to:

  • PHYS 101 and PHYS 150
  • STAT 101 and 111
  • MATH 114 and 115.

Students should consult a College advisor if there are any questions.

The College will periodically adjust student records to eliminate any instance of duplicate credit. This is done to help students make a more accurate count of how many credits they have earned toward graduation.

Students may end up with duplicate credit in any of three ways:

  • By enrolling in and completing a course for which they have already been awarded external credit (via transfer, away, departmental or advanced placement credit).
  • By enrolling in and completing a course that they have previously completed for credit (i.e., any grade from A+ through D, including P). See Retaking a course.
  • By enrolling in and completing both courses of a pair designated as equivalent by the department (e.g., MATH114 and MATH115).

Duplicate credits are resolved in the following ways:

  • For the first type in the above list, the external credit will be deleted.
  • For the second and third types of duplicate credit, the second instance of the course will be adjusted so that it does not contribute to the g.p.a. or to the student's total number of credits. It will, however, remain visible on the transcript.

These resolutions only apply for courses completed and passed. If a student fails or withdraws from a course, it is not considered a duplicate credit.

Ultimately, students are responsible for knowing the College's policies and being aware when they are registering for courses that could potentially represent duplicate credits.