Grading Basis: Credit/No Credit
Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, students have the option to change from a letter grade to Credit/No Credit during the spring 2020 semester by May 1, 2020. Prior to making this decision, please read the information listed below carefully.
The deadline to request a change from letter grade to Credit/No Credit was extended to May 1, 2020. The submission period is now closed.
You are encouraged to speak with your assistant dean before requesting a change to your grading basis to ensure that the change will not impact your progress to degree, future educational, or professional goals.
Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grades are not factored into your grade point average, academic probation or disqualification procedures.
Credit earned in spring 2020 will not apply toward the 15-unit maximum allowed for CR/NC grading towards your bachelor’s degree.
Undergraduate Students: A grade of Credit (CR) is awarded for work equivalent to a course letter grade of C (2.0) or better. No Credit (NC) is awarded for work equivalent to all grades, which earn less than 2.0 grade points (C- through F).
Graduate Students: A grade of Credit (CR) is awarded for work equivalent to a course letter grade of B (3.0) or better. No Credit (NC) is awarded for work equivalent to all grades, which earn less than 3.0 grade points (B- through F).
Financial Aid Impact: CR/NC grading may have an impact on your financial aid eligibility. Receiving an NC grade in a course may negatively impact future financial aid eligibility, if overall, during the academic year (summer 2019, fall 2019, spring 2020) 75% of your courses were not completed. Please review the COVID-19 Related Questions web page on the Financial Aid and Scholarships website for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
These frequently asked questions apply to undergraduate students. If you are a graduate student, please refer to the Temporary Changes to Graduate Student Procedures and Forms web page on the Graduate and Research Affairs website for more information on the Grading Basis (CR/NC).
- When is the deadline for submitting a petition to select a course for Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grading?
- The deadline to submit a COVID-19 Petition for Credit/No Credit was May 1, 2020. The submission period is now closed.
- What grade will I need in order to earn CR if I take a course CR/NC?
- If you earn a C or better as undergraduate student, the grade converts to a CR. Letter grades of C-, D+, D, D-, F, or unauthorized withdrawal (WU) convert to a No Credit (NC).
- What if I don’t know what my grade will be?
- If you don’t have a good sense of what your current grade is in a course, contact your instructor and discuss your performance in the class.
- If I decide to take a course CR/NC, how will this impact my overall GPA?
- Credit/No Credit (CR/NR) grades do not have grade points associated with them, which means they are not included in your GPA calculation. For example, if you take 15 units of courses CR/NC for one semester, you will earn units toward your degree and meet the course requirements (such as a major or GE requirements), but your SDSU GPA will not change. Your GPA will be the same as what it was prior to starting the semester of 15 units.
- If I am currently on academic probation, how will taking a class for CR/NC grading impact my academic standing?
- Earning a CR in a course does not generate grade points, which means it does not change your overall GPA nor impact your academic probation. Taking a class CR/NC will not help to raise your GPA. If you anticipate earning a grade of C or higher, taking the class for a grade could help your GPA, which could also help with your academic status.
- I have been academically disqualified and am taking a class through Open University. Can I take the class CR/NC?
- Taking a class CR/NC will not help you raise your GPA. If you are trying to raise your GPA for readmission, think carefully about what is the best option, a letter grade or CR/NC. If you have questions, contact an adviser in the Academic Advising Center.
- Will I be eligible for Dean’s List with CR/NC courses?
- Students must take at least 12 units of letter-graded courses in a semester to qualify for the Dean’s List, which is based on GPA. If you meet the minimum GPA, but elect to take courses as CR/NC resulting in having fewer than 12 units of courses that assign letter grades, then you will not be eligible for the Dean’s List.
- If I am retaking a class for grade forgiveness, can I still take the course CR/NC?
- No. In order to use course forgiveness to forgive a deficient grade, you must repeat the course with a letter grade. If you have questions about repeating classes and how grade forgiveness will impact your GPA, contact your assistant dean or speak to an adviser in the Academic Advising Center.
- Can I choose which courses I want to take CR/NC?
- Yes, you can choose which courses you want to take CR/NC. Think carefully about your
choices. In some cases (for example, some GE courses), grades of C-, D+, D, or D-
count toward the completion of a requirement. If you choose CR/NC, however, a CR is
equivalent to a minimum of a C. In short, an NC may mean you have to retake a class
compared to grades of C-, D+, D, or D- would not.
If you are a graduating senior, carefully consider the implications of your graduation status if you earn NC. You may want to talk to your graduation adviser in the Academic Advising Center before submitting your petition to select CR/NC for courses.
- Can I take a GE class for CR/NC?
- Yes. During spring 2020, it is required that GE courses in Oral Communication, Written
Communication, Critical Thinking and Math are passed with a C- or better. If you are
taking the course for CR/NC, you will need to earn a CR (C or better). If you earn
a NC (C- or lower) in a course for these four areas of GE, you will need to either
retake the same course or take another course that satisfies the GE requirement.
Other GE courses may be taken for CR/NC. For GE courses in Foundations, Explorations, and American Institutions, you can satisfy the GE requirement with a C-, D+, D or D-, but not an NC, so think carefully before opting to take these classes for CR/NC.
- Can I take a major or minor class for CR/NC?
- It depends on your major or minor. Speak to your assistant dean or the adviser in your academic department.
- What happens if I earn an NC for a course that serves as a prerequisite for another course I need to take?
- If you earn an NC for a prerequisite course, you will not be able to take the next course and you will need to retake the prerequisite course for a letter grade and meet the minimum grade requirement.
- What happens if I earn a CR for a course that serves as a prerequisite for another course I need to take?
- You will need to check with the academic department for the course to determine if they will accept the CR instead of a letter grade. If they accept the CR, they will need to update your academic record to ensure you will be able to register for the subsequent course.
- If I am in an accredited program, can I take courses CR/NC?
- Rules differ by accreditation agencies. Please contact your assistant dean or academic department to determine what is permissible.
- If I am taking a course through Open University, can I take it CR/NC?
- Yes, but all of the same issues, which are listed above, should be taken into consideration.
- If I take a course CR/NC, will it impact my financial aid or other program eligibility?
- Receiving CR/NC in a course may have an impact on your financial aid eligibility. If you receive an NC in a course, it may negatively impact your future financial aid eligibility, if you did not complete 75% of your courses during the academic year (summer 2019, fall 2019, spring 2020). Review the Office of Financial Aid FAQs and contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships if you have additional questions about your financial aid.
- What happens if I don’t petition to change to a CR/NC grading basis for a class and after I receive my grades, I realize I should have?
- All requests to change to CR/NC grading must be submitted by May 1. After May 1, you will have the option to request a withdrawal from a course. However, you will be unable to change your grading basis.
- Should I take an Incomplete grade in a course instead of choosing CR/NC?
- You may discuss an Incomplete grade with your instructor. An Incomplete grade is useful
if you have completed a substantial portion of the course and are passing the course,
but you are unable to complete the course requirements within the academic term. You
have up to one year to complete your work, although there should be an agreed upon
date between you and your instructor in the Incomplete Contract approved during the
If you elect to take an incomplete grade for a course, do not re-enroll in the course. You should instead work with your instructor to complete the remaining elements of the course. When the work is completed, the instructor will assign a final grade.
- Can I still request a withdrawal from a course or the entire semester?
- Yes, petitions may be submitted through May 7, 2020. Please talk with your assistant dean if you have questions about the withdrawal petition.