Change to Repeating a Course Policy

Posted: October 18, 2018 at 5:22 am

Faculty and staff at George Mason University are interested in supporting your success and degree progress. Faculty recently approved a university-wide change to the rules pertaining to repeating courses (AP. 1.3.4 in the Catalog). If you are in the habit of repeating courses in which you have already earned a grade with the goal of earning a higher grade, you will be limited to three attempts beginning fall 2018. Dropping or withdrawing (W grade) from a course is not counted as a repeat in this policy. Permission for a fourth attempt must be requested via your academic advisor. Academic programs may impose more restrictive course repeat limits (such as the School of Business and the Volgenau School of Engineering).


Why did the Faculty change this policy?

Faculty want to support student success. In the past, some students repeated courses up to 16 times! Limiting course repeats is meant to connect students with their academic advisors so students can develop a plan of action for success toward their goals. The outcome of this connection should be a plan for successfully completing courses and/or the exploration of alternate degree programs that align better with a student’s strengths.


What if I am registered for a fourth attempt in fall 2018?

The university will not require students enrolled in a fourth (or later) attempt in fall 2018 to drop the course, but the restriction will apply to all subsequent registrations. However, you are strongly encouraged to have a conversation with your academic advisor to increase the likelihood of success in fall 2018.


Will I be forced to change my major if I use up my three attempts?

Changing your major may be recommended or required; however, the limits on course repeats is not universally linked to termination from a major or school/college. Specific programs have explicit termination policies, including the School of Business, Volgenau School of Engineering, College of Visual and Performing Arts, and School of Nursing. If you are unable to meet entry requirements for a major, you will be reassigned to Mason’s Exploratory (undeclared) major so you can work with academic advisors in the Center for Academic Advising, Retention, and Transitions (CAART) to develop a new plan for degree completion.

Please see your academic advisor for guidance on this policy change.

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