Courses: Repeating


As a Trinity College student, you may not repeat a course under the following circumstances:

  • A course taken at Duke  in which you earned a grade of C- or better (this includes an S grade);
  • A course taken at another college or university after you matriculated at Duke in which you earned a grade of C- or better (this includes an S grade), whether or not you received transfer credit at Duke for it;
  • A course that you audited after your matriculation at Duke, regardless whether the course was taken at Duke or at another college or university.

You may repeat courses under the following circumstances:

  • The course was previously taken and a “D” grade was earned (in this case, you must retake the course at Duke). Note that you may not retake a course if you have taken the next course in a sequence (e.g., If you earned a D for SPANISH 101 and then took SPANISH 102, you may not go back and re-take SPANISH 101).
  • The course was previously taken and an “F” was earned.
  • The course falls into one of the following categories:
    • PE activity courses (golf, swimming, etc...)
    • Voice or instrument lessons or dance technique courses
    • Vocal, instrumental, or dance performance or ensemble courses
    • Special topics courses (courses numbered 190, 290, 390, etc...), provided the actual topic differs between semesters

* Note that if you successfully repeat at Duke a course for which you have AP credit, you will forfeit that AP credit and any higher level APs in that subject.

Repeating a Course Taken Prior to Matriculation at Duke

Though it may not be advisable to do so, you may repeat a course at Duke that you took at another college or university prior to your matriculation at Duke, whether or not you earned Pre-Matriculation Credit (PMC) for that work. 

Note: if you repeat a course at Duke for which you received PMC credit, you will lose the PMC credit.

Repeating a Course in Which You Received a “D” Grade

You cannot repeat a course in which you earned a grade of C- or better. If you receive a D+, D, or D- in a course, you can choose to take the course again with your academic dean’s permission but may do so only at Duke—a course may not be repeated at another college or university. If you repeat a course, both grades will appear on your transcript and both will be calculated into your grade point average. Only one will count toward the 34 course credits required for graduation and for fulfillment of annual continuation requirements.


To repeat a course in which you received a D, you will need to complete a Course Repeat Request Form. The form must be signed by your academic dean. No such permission is needed to repeat a course in which you received a grade of F (but see "Pros and Cons" below).

ONLINE FORM: Course Repeat Request Form
Note: If you repeat a course without permission of your academic dean, you will be administratively withdrawn from the course and will not receive credit for it.

Pros and Cons of Repeating a Course in which a “D” Grade Was Earned

Repeating a course may be warranted when it is part of a sequence of courses in a discipline of importance to your academic future. This is sometimes the case with courses in the sciences, math, or a foreign language (e.g., a D in Chem 101DL when you intend to continue with Chem 210DL). It may be particularly important to repeat the course if there are serious gaps in your knowledge of the material presented in the lower-level course. Proceeding uninterrupted to the next level could lead to serious difficulties. You would probably do better to repeat the course with the help of a tutor or other support from the Academic Resource Center before going on to the next level in the subject.

If you have no compelling need to repeat a course, there may be no advantage to doing so. It may be better to take other course work for which you are better prepared and in which you are more interested and likely to meet with success. 

To discuss the pros and cons of repeating a course and to get her/his permission to do so, make an appointment with your academic dean.

You May Not Repeat a Course at Duke Taken Elsewhere for Credit or on an Audit, S/U, or Pass/Fail Basis

In the interest of fairness, students are not permitted to repeat a course they took for credit at another college or university after they matriculated at Duke unless, as noted above, they received a grade of D in the earlier course. Such repetition is prohibited because it would give the student in question an unfair advantage over other students in the course. It follows that, if a student fails to comply with this prohibition and it later comes to light that he or she repeated a course taken elsewhere (whether the course was transferred to Duke or not), the Duke credit will be disallowed. Moreover, if it is determined that this policy was ignored, the student may be subject to the penalties described under compliance with academic regulations.

For similar reasons, students are not permitted to take for credit a course that they have previously taken on an Audit, S/U, or Pass/Fail basis after they matriculated at Duke. This is the case whether the course was taken at Duke or at another college or university.

See also: