Undergraduate Course Retake Permission


 updated 10/24/2013


What is the policy on retaking a course?

All undergraduate courses may currently be taken one time only, except those courses in the Undergraduate Bulletin designated as repeatable (i.e., internships).  The second attempt of a course requires academic advisor or departmental approval. The third or more attempt of a course requires students to submit a petition for approval.  Please see an academic advisor for more information regarding petitions.

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 Why does Stony Brook have this policy? 

This policy was implemented in spring 2010 in order to accomplish two goals.  First, Stony Brook values the importance of students making good academic decisions.  Our research has shown that students who repeat courses often do not perform any better on the second (or later) attempt, and as a result, we want to ensure students meet with academic advisors to map out a realistic academic plan.  We hope that by requiring a meeting with an academic advisor, you will engage in a productive conversation to identify strengths, limitations, and strategies for improvement.  Second, given ongoing budget concerns, Stony Brook needs to carefully manage its limited fiscal resources.  By reducing course retakes and by offering high demand courses first to new enrollees, we believe it is the fairest way to distribute a reduced number of available seats.  Ultimately, our goal is for students to be successful in their first attempt of a course and remain on track for graduation.

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What constitutes a course retake? 

If you are seeking to re-enroll in a class in which you earned a grade on the academic transcript (including, for example, grades of A-F, S, U, W, P, NC) on the first attempt, it is considered a course retake.  Note:  For details on specific course policies, refer to the individual course descriptions at www.stonybrook.edu/bulletin.  

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 Where do I go to seek approval for a course retake?

ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS:

ANTHROPOLOGY (ANP 300 course) – Anthropology Department – S-501 Social & Behavioral Sciences Building
BIOLOGY (BIO courses) – Biology Department - 107 CMM/BLL Building
BUSINESS (BUS courses) – College of Business - 109 Harriman Hall
HEALTH SCIENCE (HAN 200, HAN 202, HAN 312) - HSC Level 2 Room 400
JOURNALISM (JRN courses) – Journalism Department – N-4004 Melville Library
PSYCHOLOGY (PSY 201, PSY 310) – Psychology Department – Psychology B Building, Room 115

ACADEMIC ADVISING UNITS:

Undergraduate Colleges – freshmen – N-3071 Melville Library
Academic & Transfer Advising Services – sophomores, juniors, and seniors in CAS, COB, SOJ, & SOMAS;
       HANBS Health Science majors – E-2360 Melville Library
College of Engineering & Applied Sciences – all AOI CEAS and CEAS majors – 127 Engineering Building
Student-Athletes – Student Athlete Development Office, Gymnasium
EOP/AIM – W-3520 Melville Library
Honors College – N-3071 Melville Library
University Scholars - N-3071 Melville Library
WISE – 220 Engineering Building

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Do I need to seek approval if I wish to enroll in ESL or WRT for a second attempt?

No, if you are retaking ESL 192, ESL 193, WRT 101, or WRT 102 for a second time, you do not need advisor approval. You can register directly on SOLAR for an available seat. For third or more attempts in these courses, you must obtain a petition from an academic advisor and submit a letter of support from the respective academic department.

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May I retake any course I wish and how do I make the request?

General academic advisor or departmental approval is required for a second attempt in all semesters.  The academic advising units and academic department are noted here.  A petition is required for a third or more attempt in any semester (fall, winter, spring, summer).  Permission to retake a course in which you earned a grade of C or better on the first attempt is rarely granted, unless a particular course grade higher than a C is required in your declared major/minor.

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May I retake a course in which I received an incomplete (I)?

A grade of incomplete (I) means that you will receive a regular letter grade after completing some work.  You should have made arrangements with the professor about how you will complete this work; if you have not, please do so right away.  You may only seek permission to retake a course in which you received an incomplete after you have received a letter grade.  If it will not be possible for you to make up the missing work, you should arrange with the professor to change the grade to the one you would earn without doing the work.  

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What classes are included in this policy?

Currently, all undergraduate classes are part of the policy, except those that are designated in the Undergraduate Bulletin (www.stonybrook.edu/ugbulletin) as repeatable.  Students may request to enroll in a course for a second time by meeting a general academic advisor, but only after a grade for the current attempt is noted on the academic record; for example, a student currently enrolled in a class cannot seek to enroll in that class for a second time until the grade for the course is noted on the student’s record (A-F, W, P, NC, U).  

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Does taking a course a second time replace the grade from the first attempt?

No, the grade from a second or more attempt of a course does not replace the grade from the first attempt; rather, both the original and new grades appear on your academic transcript and both are averaged into the GPA. 

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What happens if I am approved to retake a course which I passed with a grade of P, S, or D or better on the first attempt?

If you are approved to retake a class in which you earned a P, S, or D or better on the first attempt, you will NOT earn credits on second and subsequent attempts of the same class.  So, for example, if you earned a D in MAT 123 on the first attempt, and then repeated the class and earned a B on the second attempt, your transcript would show both grades; however, you would earn only a total of 3 credits.   

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May I G/P/NC or withdraw from second or more course attempts?

You are NOT permitted to select the grade/pass/no credit (G/P/NC) option for second or more course attempts.  You are permitted to withdraw from a course you are enrolling in for the second (or more) times, but must maintain at least 12 credits if you are a full-time student.  A grade of W will appear on the transcript for any course withdrawals that occur between day 11 and the course withdrawal deadline (week 9 of the term in the fall and spring semesters. Check the Registrar's Office calendar for winter and summer deadlines.). 

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Where can I go if I am not doing well in my academic coursework? 

Our goal is for you do to well in the first attempt of a class, working hard to earn a good grade. For more details, visit  the Academic Success & Tutoring Center website here, to request a tutor and to obtain more information on all of the free tutoring services on campus.  In addition, meet with the professor and teaching assistants during office hours for extra support. 

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What is the likelihood of my request being approved?

The aim of academic advisors is to guide you along a successful academic path.  Since each student is unique, each student’s request will be evaluated on an individual basis.  As a general guideline, permission for a second attempt of a course in which you earned a grade of C or better on the first attempt is rarely granted, unless a particular grade higher than a C is required of a course in your declared major/minor.  In addition, you are more likely to have your request approved when the specific course is required for a major/minor, and in cases when you provide a reasonable plan for improvement and for making good academic progress.

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May I enroll in a class outside of Stony Brook?

Yes.  If you wish to take a class outside of Stony Brook University, consult with an advisor in Academic & Transfer Advising Services, E-2360 Melville Library, prior to enrollment to ensure that the course outside of Stony Brook will meet the general education requirements.  Consult with your major/minor  advisor if the transfer course is to be applied toward those requirements.  Note that courses taken outside of Stony Brook do not count toward the Stony Brook grade point average and that students may not take outside courses equivalent to WRT 101 and 102 without prior approval from the Director of the Writing Program. 

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What is a controlled access (CA) course and how can I obtain approval to enroll?

A CA course is a class that has typically reached 100% enrollment capacity in the past AND had a large number of students in the class for the second or more times.  These CA courses are located here.  Students seeking to retake a CA course must speak with an academic advisor and follow the same process as all other second attempts of courses.  However, while second attempts of CA courses can be approved as soon as a grade from the current attempt is on the student’s record, students will not be able to register for the class (pending seat availability) until after all first time takers and new students have had an opportunity register.  Because course availability is limited, students should not expect there to be open seats in CA courses.  

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What happens if I withdrew from the entire term before the add/drop period and wish to take one or more courses that are considered controlled access (CA)?

If you withdrew from any courses prior to the end of add/drop, they do not appear on your transcript.  Therefore, they are not considered a first attempt, and you should be able to register for any of these same courses as long as there are open seats.

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What happens if I withdrew from the entire term after the add/drop period and wish to take one or more courses that are considered controlled access (CA)?

If you withdrew from all classes after the add/drop deadline but before the last day of classes, your record will show Ws for all classes in that term.  If you wish to be considered for a second attempt of any courses, including CA courses, please visit an academic advisor to discuss your specific situation.  Academic advisors will work with you to design the most appropriate schedule for your return to Stony Brook. 

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