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Repeating classes and replacing grades

Students retake classes for a variety of reasons. It’s important to know some key things below when you choose to repeat a course or replace your grade.

Repeating vs. replacement

There’s a difference between repeating a class and asking for a grade replacement of a class.

Repeating a course

  • You register and pay for the course a second time.
  • In most cases, if you repeat a course and earn a better grade, your GPA will automatically update to remove your first attempt from the calculation.
  • Your transcript will still show all your attempts and the grades you received each time you took the course, but you’ll receive credit for only one.
  • Some classes cannot be repeated, so be sure you’ve talked to your advisor to confirm.

Repeating a course more than once can have financial aid implications so be sure to talk to Financial Aid and Scholarships to know how that impacts you.

Note: Repeating a course is not the same as finishing up coursework needed for an I (incomplete) grade.

Grade replacement

Grade replacement, available only to undergraduate students, goes beyond repeating a course. When you invoke this option, it will allow you to “X” out the grade of your first attempt in a class on the official transcript.

  • You register and pay for the course a second time
  • As soon as you receive a grade in the repeated course, you must contact your advisor or school dean’s office to request the grade replacement be applied to your record. This does not happen automatically—and must be done before you graduate.
  • Your transcript will still show all the times you took the course, but the first attempt will display a grade of X.  And you’ll still only receive credit once.  
  • Some schools do not allow their major courses to be replaced, so be sure you’ve talked to your advisor to confirm.

Before you take a class again

Talk to your advisor to be sure that this is the best option for you. Retaking a class means paying for it again, so perhaps they can suggest another option if that doesn’t work for your financial plan.

Grade replacement fine print

Grade replacement is available only for undergraduate students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree and only for courses taken at Indiana University.

  • You can use grade replacement for a maximum of 15 credit hours, subject to approval by your school. You can request a grade replacement no more than twice for a single course, and each attempt counts toward your 15-credit limit.
  • To use grade replacement, the repeated course grade should be the same as or higher than your previous attempt at the course. You must receive a letter grade upon retake to change the previous grade. Any replaced grades will be excluded from your GPA, and the credit hours from the original course will not be counted.
  • For grade replacement applied to courses taken between 1996 and summer 2021: The replaced grade remains on the student’s academic record with an X placed next to the original grade.
  • For grade replacement applied to courses taken during fall 2021 and beyond: The replaced grade will appear on your academic record as an X.
  • A student may replace the grade in any course unless the faculty of a unit will not allow students to replace grades in courses required for a major, minor, certificate, honors program, or other recognition by the unit. The course that the student retakes should be the same course as the previous one but need not be offered by the same instructor.
  • A student may grade-replace an honors course (or a course taken under an honors contract) with a non-honors course. However, once the X grade is applied, the original course will no longer count towards honors program requirements.
  • Grade replacement is not an option if the original grade was assigned as a result of the student’s academic misconduct.
  • Once a grade replacement has been put on your record, it can’t be reversed.

IU Indianapolis

Office of the Registrar

Campus Center, Room 250
420 University Blvd

Indianapolis, IN 46202