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A grade may be changed for the purpose of correcting clerical or administrative error, or to correct an error in the calculation or recording of a grade. A change of grade shall not occur as a result of additional work performed or reexamination beyond the established course requirements (Academic Senate Resolution AS-384-92).

Units Earned are all hours for which credit was earned (excludes grades of F, WU, and NC. F and WU grades affect the GPA; NC grades do not affect the GPA).

Units Graded carry grade point value (excludes grades of CR and NC, which have no effect on GPA).

Grade Points are awarded for each course unit and are determined by multiplying course unit(s) by the grade point value of the grade.

Grade Point Average (GPA) is determined by dividing Grade Points by Units Graded.

Higher Education GPA is the grade point average of all college level work, both Cal Poly and any transfer work.

Transcripts are the official record of academic history. Once a degree has been awarded, subsequent revision and alteration of any transcript entry is permitted only for correction of proven error as certified by the appropriate academic dean and the Registrar. No changes are made to the academic record after 60 days following the awarding of the degree.

Grading Symbols

Academic Grading Symbols Earned

Symbol Definition Grade Points Earned Per Unit
A Superior Attainment of Course Objectives 4.0
A- Superior Attainment of Course Objectives 3.7
B+ Good Attainment of Course Objectives 3.3
B Good Attainment of Course Objectives 3.0
B- Good Attainment of Course Objectives 2.7
C+ Acceptable Attainment of Course Objectives 2.3
C Acceptable Attainment of Course Objectives 2.0
C-* Acceptable Attainment of Course Objectives 1.7
D+ Poor Attainment of Course Objectives 1.3
D Poor Attainment of Course Objectives 1.0
D- Poor Attainment of Course Objectives 0.7
F Non-Attainment of Course Objectives 0.0
CR Credit (No effect on GPA) -
NC No Credit (No effect on GPA) -

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Credit/No Credit Grading

Some courses, as indicated in their catalog descriptions, are offered on a Credit/No Credit grading basis only. The following conditions apply when a student elects to take for Credit/No Credit grading those courses that are not designated by the University as being graded on an exclusive Credit/No Credit basis.

  1. Students desiring to elect a course on a Credit/No Credit grading basis must be currently enrolled in the course and must elect the Credit/No Credit grading option through the registration system. This request can be made through the 8th day of the quarter. Students may not change from one grading system to the other after the end of the 8th day of the term.
  2. Undergraduate students are given a grade of CR for accomplishment equivalent to a grade of C– or better. No credit (NC) is given for D+ or lower grades. Graduate students receive a grade of CR that is based on an evaluated grade of B– or higher and NC for assigned grades of C+ or lower. Instructors submit conventional letter grades to the Registrar's Office where they are converted to Credit/No Credit grades. NOTE: Some post-baccalaureate programs penalize students for a grade of CR; students should carefully consider the implications of selecting CR/NC grading.
  3. The applicant for a Credit/No Credit grade must have at least a 2.0 grade point average in cumulative Cal Poly work. This requirement is waived for first-time students.
  4. No more than two courses may be selected for Credit/ No Credit grading in any term.
  5. Units earned in courses for which the grade was CR count toward satisfaction of all degree requirements, if the student is within the guidelines listed in Item 6.
  6. Undergraduate students may elect a maximum of 16 units of Credit/No Credit grading. Up to 4 units of Credit/No Credit grading is allowed in major or support courses, if allowed by the student’s major department (see the Degree Requirements and Curriculum for each major to determine if Credit/No Credit grading is allowed). Up to 4 units (or one course, if the course is a five-unit course, e.g., CHEM 111) of Credit/No Credit grading is allowed in General Education courses (those GE courses which are required for the bachelor's degree). The remainder can be taken as free electives. These unit maximums apply to the selection of credit/no credit grading basis, regardless whether a student earns a grade of CR or NC.
  7. Credit/No Credit grading is removed for courses not meeting the above guidelines; the grade is changed to the letter grade assigned by the instructor. Students are strongly encouraged to verify, before enrolling, whether they are allowed to select Credit/No Credit grading for a particular course or requirement.
  8. Non-matriculated students, including those in the Extension Program, Summer Session, and Workshops must meet the same requirements as matriculated students to elect courses on a Credit/No Credit grading basis. (The 2.0 GPA requirement is waived in the case of non-matriculated students having no previous coursework recorded at Cal Poly.)

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Administrative Grading Symbols

Symbol Definition Grade Points Earned Per Unit
AU Audit -
I Incomplete (authorized) -
RD Report Delayed -
RP Report in Progress -
W Withdrawn -
WU Withdrawal Unauthorized 0


An auditor is a student who attends a course and receives no credit for the course. Enrollment as an auditor is subject to permission of the instructor. Enrollment in a course as an auditor shall be permitted only after students otherwise eligible to enroll on a credit basis have had an opportunity to do so.

Auditors are subject to the same fee structure as credit students, and regular class attendance is expected. Once enrolled as an auditor, a student may not change to credit status unless such a change is requested prior to the last day to add classes. Courses enrolled in with audit grades are not considered when determining enrollment status (for financial aid and other purposes).

An instructor is authorized to submit a change-of-grade form to change an AU to NC for students who audit a class but do not attend or do not meet agreed-upon criteria.

The student services fee and nonresident tuition fee are determined on the basis of the total units for which the student is enrolled including courses audited.

Incomplete (Authorized)

An Incomplete signifies that a portion of required coursework has not been completed and evaluated in the prescribed time period due to unforeseen but fully justified reasons and that there is still a possibility of earning credit. It is the student's responsibility to bring pertinent information to the instructor who determines the means by which the remaining course requirements are satisfied. A final grade is assigned when the work agreed upon has been completed and evaluated. The student is not permitted to re-enroll in the course to complete course requirements. If the student does re-enroll, the original grade of I is counted as an F (or NC) and the re-enrollment is processed as a repeated course.

The instructor designates terms of the contract and length of time allowed to complete work, not to exceed one year. Failure to complete the assigned work results in the I being counted as equivalent to an F (or NC) for grade point average computation. All remaining grades of I are changed to F (or NC) at the time the student's degree is awarded.

Withdrawal Unauthorized

The symbol “WU” indicates that an enrolled student did not withdraw from the course and also failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average and progress point computation, this symbol is equivalent to an “F”.

Report In Progress

The “RP” symbol is used in connection with courses that extend beyond one academic term. It indicates that work is in progress but that assignment of a final grade must await completion of additional work. Work is to be completed within one year except for graduate degree theses, which have a seven-year time limit. Students should not re-enroll in the course to complete course requirements; they should instead work with the instructor to complete the additional work.

Re-enrollment is only permitted in instances of repeatable courses. Cumulative enrollment in units attempted may not exceed the total number applicable to the student’s educational objective. Work is to be completed within a stipulated time period.

The RP symbol shall be replaced with the appropriate final grade within one year or the grade is converted to an F, except that grades of RP for graduate degree theses (courses numbered 539/596/598/599) convert to a grade of No Credit (NC) if a final grade has not been assigned within seven years. All remaining RP grade symbols are changed to F or NC at the time the student's degree is awarded.

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Repeating a Course

Undergraduate students cannot repeat courses in which they have earned a C or better grade (C- can be repeated).

Course Repeats with Grade Forgiveness

Undergraduate students may repeat a maximum of 16 units at Cal Poly for purposes of improving their GPA. Grades of C- or lower are eligible for grade forgiveness.

  • If the second Cal Poly grade is equal to or higher than the first, then it replaces the first grade. The original grade is "forgiven" from the GPA computation, but both grades appear on the student's transcript.
  • If a course that was originally taken for a letter grade is re-taken with credit/no credit grading, the original grade is not excluded from the GPA.
  • Grade forgiveness does not apply if the second grade is lower than the first grade. In this case, both grades are averaged into the student’s GPA.
  • Effective Summer 2007, grade forgiveness can be applied to the same course only once. Any additional attempts will be averaged into the GPA.
  • Courses subsequently repeated at another institution and transferred back to Cal Poly are not eligible for forgiveness.
  • Grade forgiveness shall not be applicable to courses for which the original grade was the result of a finding of academic dishonesty.

With the exception of the reasons listed below, the repeat adjustment is made automatically at the end of the term in which the course is repeated. A Repeat Petition for Grade Forgiveness is required for the following reasons only:

  • the course was originally taken at Cal Poly before Fall 1987
  • the course was originally taken at another institution
  • the course has changed prefix or number
  • the courses are considered similar in content but are not identical (e.g., STAT 217/STAT 218)
  • the same topic of a topics course is being repeated

Repeat Petitions for Grade Forgiveness for the situations listed above must be turned in to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the seventh week of the quarter in which the course is repeated.

Course Repeats with Grades Averaged

Students may repeat an additional 18 units in addition to the 16 units for which grade forgiveness is permitted. Once the 16 unit forgiveness limit is reached, the grade from the repeat attempt shall not replace the original grade; instead both grades shall be calculated into the overall GPA.

Once students accumulate 34 units (16 units with forgiveness + 18 units with averaging) of repeated courses, they will no longer be allowed to repeat any future courses.

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Withdrawals / Renewal

The W grading symbol indicates that the student was permitted to withdraw from the course after the regular add/drop period with the approval of the appropriate campus officials. It carries no adverse connotation of quality of student performance and is not used in calculating grade point averages.

Between the end of the regular add/drop period and the end of the seventh week of instruction a student must request permission to withdraw from a course by processing a petition that is available at the Office of the Registrar. The petition is approved and withdrawal authorized only if there are serious and compelling reasons for withdrawal in the judgment of the department head.

The withdrawal petition also requires the signature of the course instructor and the student’s academic advisor.

Between the end of the 7th week of instruction and the last day of instruction, withdrawals are permitted only if the withdrawal is based on an emergency situation clearly beyond the control of the student. In such cases a final or incomplete grade may be assigned for courses in which sufficient work has been completed to permit an evaluation to be made. The student must request permission to withdraw as specified above, or request grade assignment, both of which are subject to approval by designated campus officials. Any student who fails to provide notification or who fails to obtain formal approval to withdraw is subject to failing grades (WU, F, or NC).

Undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 28 quarter units.

Cancellation of Registration or Withdrawal from the Term

Students who find it necessary to cancel their registration or to withdraw from all classes after enrolling for any academic term are required to follow the University’s official withdrawal procedures. Failure to follow formal University procedures may result in an obligation to pay fees as well as the assignment of failing grades in all courses and the need to apply for readmission before being permitted to enroll in another academic term.

Students may drop their classes on their Student Center all the way through the add/drop period, until the end of the 8th day of the term. Grades are not assigned for courses dropped during this period.

With the approval of campus officials, a student is permitted to withdraw from all classes for the quarter for serious and compelling reasons until the end of the 7th week of instruction. After the 7th week and through the last day of instruction, withdrawals for the term must be based on an emergency situation clearly beyond the control of the student, and approved by campus officials.

The student is required to initiate a request for a term withdrawal with the Registrar and to complete required exit procedures. If the student is unable to appear in person, he/she may write or call the Office of the Registrar, 805.756.2531, to request withdrawal. The request must specify reasons for leaving the institution and include the student’s signature. The date of the withdrawal is established according to the guidelines contained in the institutional policies governing term withdrawals or as determined by the Registrar.

The student may be eligible for a full or partial refund of registration fees depending upon the time and circumstances of withdrawal. If eligible for a refund, the refund remains in the student’s account on campus, unless the student files a written application for the refund to be sent to the student. Fee refund policy information is available at

Students who receive financial aid funds must consult with the Financial Aid and Student Account Offices prior to withdrawing from the University regarding any refunds or repayments of grant or loan assistance received for that academic term. If a Title IV financial aid recipient withdraws from the University during a payment period, the grant or loan assistance received is subject to federal refund and repayment provisions.

Withdrawal from Previous Terms

A student may petition to have all grades retroactively changed to the administrative grade of "W" if he/she can demonstrate and document that there were serious and compelling reasons or circumstances that resulted in the unofficial withdrawal for the quarter in question. A student may not retroactively withdraw from selected courses during a particular quarter, but must petition to withdraw from the entire quarter. The petition must be submitted within one year following the end of the term. Refunds of registration fees are not available for withdrawals following the last day of instruction. For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Renewal

The Trustees of the California State University have established a program of Academic Renewal whereby students who are having difficulty meeting graduation requirements due to a grade point deficiency may petition to have up to two semesters or three quarters of previous undergraduate coursework discounted from all considerations associated with meeting requirements for the baccalaureate degree. None of the courses taken in such terms can be applied toward the degree.

Academic Renewal, as defined by campus policy, is processed only at the point of graduation. Academic Renewal is intended only to enable graduation from Cal Poly and is not available for individuals who already possess a baccalaureate degree or who meet graduation requirements without the approval of a petition for Academic Renewal.

Conditions: In order to qualify for Academic Renewal all of the following conditions established by the Trustees must be met:

  1. Five years must have elapsed since the term or terms to be disregarded were completed. The terms to be disregarded may have been taken at any institution.
  2. Since completion of the term(s) to be disregarded, the student must have completed coursework at Cal Poly of at least one of the following:
    • 22 units with a minimum GPA of 3.00,
    • 45 units with a minimum GPA of 2.50,
    • 67 units with a minimum GPA of 2.00
  3. The student must present evidence that the coursework to be disregarded was substandard and not representative of the student's present scholastic ability and level of performance.

Final determination, that one or more terms shall be disregarded, shall be based on careful review of evidence by a committee appointed by the President, which shall include the designee of the chief academic officer and consist of at least three members (E.O. 1037).

For additional information about Academic Renewal, contact the Evaluations Unit of the Office of the Registrar.

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