Additional Credit Limitations

Courses MATH:0100 and MATH:0300 carry no degree credit. Students who take these courses, or courses equivalent to them at another college or university, may not count semester hours from these courses toward the 120 semester hours required for graduation.

Although these courses carry no degree credit, grades awarded in them are used in computing grade point averages, and the hours count toward semester loads for all official purposes (e.g., full-time and half-time status, maximum schedule, minimum semester hour requirement, reasonable academic progress, and so forth).

A student's degree audit gives the correct number of hours taken toward the 120 semester hours required for the degree by subtracting any hours from courses without degree credit. However, a student's permanent record (official transcript) includes these hours in "hours earned" even though they do not count toward the 120 semester hours required for graduation.

Duplication is charged when a student takes a course more than once (repeats the course). Credit toward graduation is not earned for the repeated course. The following guidelines outline the policies: Other colleges may have other policies.

Duplication Guidelines

1. Ordinarily, the course number, not the title, determines duplication. A department may change a course title but still consider the course as duplicating earlier versions. However, when a department drops a course and adds a new course that uses the same number, duplication is not charged. Questions about the status of a course should be directed to the department or to Graduation Analysis.

2. In evaluating duplication, all numbers of cross-listed courses are considered the same number.

3. At the time courses are transferred, the Office of Admissions determines if transfer course work duplicates work already completed. The Office of Admissions also will provide information on duplication before a student takes a course; contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

4. Duplication will be charged if a student takes a course which has been identified as equivalent to a course for which the student has transfer, AP, CLEP, or IB exam credit. Consult the Office of Admissions for transfer course equivalencies, or check the transfer course database in ISIS.

5. Duplication of courses taken at The University of Iowa is determined at the time of final graduation analysis, and any hours of duplication are deducted from the total hours earned toward graduation.

6. Although duplicated courses carry no degree credit, grades awarded in them are used in computing grade point averages, and the hours count toward semester loads for all official purposes. Grade reports and the permanent record include duplicated hours in "hours earned" even though these hours do not count toward graduation.

7. Departments sometimes identify a course as "repeatable;" that is, the course may be taken more than once with credit toward graduation awarded each time. If a course has not been marked as "repeatable" by the department offering the course, duplication will be charged.

8. Duplication is not charged when a student chooses to exercise the Second-Grade-Only option.

Departments and programs sometimes identify courses as part of a particular learning sequence that requires a progression from one course to the next.

Regression occurs when a student takes a course that is earlier in such a sequence after a later course in the sequence has already been taken and passed.

Regression is identified only at the time of final graduation analysis, and hours of regression do not count toward graduation. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of situations where regression might occur.

Different colleges have different rules concerning regression. Most regression sequences are noted in MyUI.  Questions should be addressed to the appropriate academic advisor, to the department in question, or to the college.

What is the Second-Grade-Only Option?

Students admitted to University College may repeat up to three courses for a different grade, regardless of the grade originally earned in the course. The second-grade-only option (SGO) may be used only for University of Iowa courses, and may only be used once for a course.

If a student repeats a course and officially requests the second-grade-only option, both grades will be visible on the permanent record, but only the second grade will be used in GPA calculations and counted as hours earned. Unless, and until, the second-grade-only option is requested, both grades will continue to be counted in the grade point averages.

A course taken at another college or university may not be repeated at the University of Iowa under the SGO, nor may a UI course be repeated at another institution under the SGO.

If you plan to apply to a graduate or professional program, keep in mind that these programs may require a review of all your grades. Because both the first and second grade remain visible on your permanent record, a graduate program might include the original grades in a calculation of your total grade point average.

On the permanent record, the SGO appears as a pound symbol (#), showing that the first grade has been replaced by the second grade in the GPA calculations, and that only the hours from the second registration have been counted as hours earned.


How can I request a SGO?

Students admitted to University College programs (BAS, BLS, Open Major, Distance and Online Nondegree, etc.) should contact the Academic Standards Committee at  

PLEASE NOTE:  If you are admitted to another college at the University of Iowa, such as the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering, or Nursing, you should consult with your collegiate office to request a SGO.

Your request for a SGO should include your full name, university id, and the course(s) you are requesting to use the SGO for.

When should I request a SGO?

Most students request the SGO before the last day of class in order for the second grade to appear on their next grade report. You may also make this request after the close of the semester. However, you cannot request that an SGO be applied to coursework for which you have already been awarded a UI degree.

I requested the SGO, but now I don’t want to use it. Can I reverse my decision?

You may reverse your decision before the close of the semester of your second enrollment in the repeated course. Once the SGO is placed on your record, it may not be retracted. (Note: If you drop the course after you have requested the SGO, the SGO will not be applied to your record.)

Do I have to have failed the course the first time, in order to request the SGO?

No. You may repeat the course regardless of the grade you earned.

Can I request an SGO for any course I am repeating?

No. In order to be eligible, both courses must

  • be University of Iowa courses (including regularly scheduled on-campus courses, Guided Independent Study, distance learning courses, and off-campus courses);
  • not be considered an instance of regression;
  • have identical course numbers and titles (if the original course is no longer offered, you may be able to substitute a course, but only if this is authorized by the department);
  • have been taken in or after the 1969 fall semester.

NOTE: The University of Iowa has adopted a new course numbering system. A course may be identified by its current number, its legacy (old) number, or both. A course taken under the old number and repeated under the current number will be considered the same course with respect to use of the SGO.

I took an on-campus course that I’d like to repeat online and use the SGO option. Can I do that?

Yes, if it is the same course. Any UI course taken in any mode of delivery may be repeated in the same mode of delivery or in another mode of delivery.

Can I request a different grading system for a course I want to retake?  

It depends. If you took the course for a grade the first time, you must take it for a grade the second time. If you took it AUS/AUU, P/N, S/F, or S/U the first time, you can take it for a grade the second time, or for AUS/AUU, P/N, S/F, or S/U.

Can I SGO a course I took at another school here at  UI or can I SGO a UI course at another school? 

No. A course taken at another college or university may not be repeated at the University of Iowa under the UI second-grade-only option nor may a UI course be repeated at another institution under the second-grade-only option.

Students in University College have the option of taking elective courses Pass/Nonpass (P/N) with the permission of the course instructor and/or the department offering the course, advisor, and dean (if after deadline). Please make note of the following:

  • Instructors and/or departments may deny students the option to register P/N for any course.
  • You may request P/N grading only in courses you are using as electives.
  •  You may not use P/N courses to satisfy a program requirement.
  • Courses taken P/N will not satisfy BAS Core general education, Distribution Area, Emphasis Area, or upper-level requirements.
  • Courses taken P/N will not satisfy BLS Common Core general education, Track, or upper-level requirements.
  • You may not use courses taken P/N to satisfy certificate requirements.
  • P/N grading policies apply to both UI and transfer course work.
  • A maximum of 15 semester hours of P credit from all sources (University of Iowa and transfer course work) is accepted toward the bachelor’s degree.
  • When a student takes a course P/N, the instructor assigns a standard letter grade which is then converted to a P or N. Grades of  A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- are converted to P. Grades of F are converted to N.
  • Hours of course work graded P and N are not used in computing grade-point averages.
  • Hours of course work graded P count toward graduation, but hours of course work graded N do not.

Please note there may be collegiate limits on the amount of P/N course work that may be applied.

Registering for P/N

You may register for the P/N grading option beginning the first day of the academic session up to the “last day for undergraduates to add or change P/N or audit status” as listed on the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for semester-length courses.  This deadline is listed as the “last day to add without dean’s approval” on the Course Deadlines look-up tool.  You may not change your P/N registration after the deadline.

You must obtain approval of the instructor of the course and your advisor.  If dean’s permission is also required, you must obtain approval of the dean of the college of the administrative home department offering the course.  Requests for P/N grading can be submitted either of the following ways:

PRINT a Grading Option Form, obtain required signatures, and return to the UI Service Center

OR, EMAIL Distance and Online Education Student Services at with the following information:

  • Subject Line:  Request P/N Grading, Your Name and ID Number
  • Full course number and section
  • Name of course
  • Include any necessary permissions
    • Instructor permission always required
    • Advisor permission always required
    • Dean permission required after deadline

NOTE: Special P/N course policies applied for the Spring 2020 semester only, see Temporary changes to academic deadlines and policies for undergraduate students, spring 2020.

Certain courses use the Satisfactory/Fail (S/F) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading system.  (To check, view a course’s detailed information on MyUI, and look for “Special Grading.”)  All students registered for these courses receive a grade of S, F, or U.  Special forms or permissions are not necessary to register for S/F or S/U courses.

S/F and S/U Course Policies:

  • Hours of S or U graded course work are not used in computing grade-point averages, but hours of F graded course work are used.
  • Hours of S graded course work count as hours toward graduation, but hours of F or U graded course work do not.
  • You may use S graded course work to fulfill general education and/or the requirements for your degree program, or a certificate.
  • The College accepts a maximum of 15 s.h. of S credit from the University of Iowa toward the bachelor’s degree, and a maximum of 30 s.h. of P and S grades from all sources (UI as well as transfer work) toward the bachelor’s degree.  P grades awarded in Spring 2020 are excluded from these maximums.

A maximum of 9 semester hours of credit from independent study is accepted toward the 120 semester hours required for graduation. Practicum and internship hours are not included in the 9 s.h. limit.  Independent Study sections can be identified in MyUI with an “0IND” section number.  Students may request a waiver of this policy from the Academic Standards Committee.  Waivers will be granted only with support from the student's advisor.