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Grade Forgiveness

Under the Grade Forgiveness Policy, undergraduate students seeking baccalaureate degrees may improve their grade point average (GPA) by repeating up to five courses taken previously.

Each repeated course:

  • must be the same course as taken previously (same number, same title, same credit value, and, for topics and seminar courses, same subtitle and same credit value). Exceptions will be made where the course number or title is the only change and the change is documented in the Catalog and approved for grade forgiveness by the assistant vice president for undergraduate studies.
  • must be completed at Old Dominion University
  • may be repeated only ONCE with grade forgiveness applied.

Courses that were originally taken as a four-credit lecture/lab but have been partitioned into and subsequently taken as a three-credit lecture and one-credit lab (both gradable) are NOT eligible for grade forgiveness.

For example:
ORIG COURSE: CHEM 115N (4 credits, lecture/lab)
NEW COURSES: CHEM 121N (3 credits, lecture) and CHEM 122N (1 credit, lab)
CHEM 121N/122N does NOT forgive CHEM 115N

ORIG COURSE: BIOL 115N (4 credits, lecture/lab)
NEW COURSES: BIOL 121N (3 credits, lecture) and BIOL 122N (1 credit, lab)
BIOL 121N/122N does NOT forgive BIOL 115N


  • Effective with the Fall 2009 semester, students may use grade forgiveness for up to five courses during enrollment at the University.
  • Grade forgiveness is only applied to a course if you received a grade of C-, D+, D, D-, F, or WF the first time you took the course. The grade forgiveness policy will not be applied to courses for which a grade of C or higher was ever earned.
  • Additional courses that are NOT eligible for grade forgiveness include courses taken under the pass/fail option, courses taken under the audit option, courses for which a grade of W was the only grade awarded, courses that currently are incomplete (I grade), or courses for which a grade of F was awarded as a result of an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Only the first five repeated courses will be forgiven. Students are not given an option to select which course might be forgiven.
  • Under the GFP, only the second grade earned, whether higher or lower than the original grade, will be calculated in the GPA for the purposes of continuance, graduation, etc. Any repeats of a course after grade forgiveness has been applied will be averaged with other course work.
  • Student transcripts will continue to list all courses taken and the grades received. Courses for which grade forgiveness has been applied are indicated by a "/" following the grade letter.
  • An enhanced GPA using the GFP determines eligibility for continuance and graduation, but does not determine eligibility for graduation with honors or Dean's List. Academic suspensions will not be removed from student transcripts, and Dean's List status will not be added after use of the GFP. GPA calculation for Latin honors (at graduation) reflects the student's complete academic record, including courses that have been forgiven. If the student's overall GPA is sufficient, graduation with honors will be posted to the student's record. For more information on Latin honors, see Graduation Procedures.
  • Students may elect to use both the GFP and the Adjusted Resident Credit (ARC) policy. However, students cannot use grade forgiveness for individual courses for which adjusted resident credit already has been applied.
  • Students who have graduated may not use the provisions of this policy to repeat for forgiveness a course taken prior to the date of graduation. Once a bachelor's degree has been awarded, a student may not raise the undergraduate GPA by repeating a course taken as an undergraduate.

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