Course Repetition

Santa Monica College limits enrollment in a single course to a maximum of three enrollments (original enrollment plus two repetitions of the same course), with the third enrollment subject to approval by Counseling. Additional enrollments beyond the maximum may be permitted, but ONLY under certain, very limited circumstances.

All current and prior credit course enrollments, repetitions, and withdrawals in a student’s enrollment record are counted toward the maximum limit, as authorized by California Code of Regulations Title 5 §58161 and §55040. For complete details, please see “Limits for Credit Course Enrollment” (SMC AR 4340), available online at (scroll to page 49). The Limits for Credit Course Enrollment policy is subject to change, pending revisions to California Code of Regulations Title 5.

Santa Monica College permits students to repeat (enroll again in) courses they have already completed, but only under special circumstances authorized by California Code of Regulations Title 5 §58161. Students may repeat courses at SMC if the courses are:

   1.   Courses that were originally completed with an unsatisfactory grade of D (1.0), F (0.0), or NP (No Pass) and/or W (Withdrawal); or

   2.   Courses the College has designated as repeatable; or

   3.   Refresher courses needed to advance to a higher level, when the original course was completed at least three (3) years prior to repeating it (time period may be shorter for selected disciplines); or

   4.   Courses required to be completed within a specified time period before entry into a program (e.g., Nursing); or

   5.   Variable unit open entry/open exit credit courses, where a specific portion of the course needs to be repeated as permitted byTitle 5, Section 55044 of the California Code of Regulations; or

   6.   Courses where satisfactory work has been recorded, but repetition is necessary for a student to meet a legally mandated training or cooperative/occupational work experience requirement (e.g., government-required licensing, certification, recertification) as a condition of paid or volunteer employment. Please note that these courses may be repeated any number of times, and the grade received each time will be included when calculating the student’s grade point average.

Students who wish to repeat a nonrepeatable course in which they are currently enrolled, or in which they have previously earned an unsatisfactory grade or a W, may re-enroll ONE TIME without the need to request prior permission to do so from a counselor. Any subsequent attempts to re-enroll require authorization from a counselor BEFORE ENROLLING. In some cases, after meeting with a counselor, students will need to file a special request for consideration with the Counseling Department to repeat a course. The counselor will determine whether a Petition for Special Consideration is required. Depending on the circumstances, requests to enroll in a course a THIRD time may not be approved. Requests to enroll in a course a FOURTH time (or more) will generally NOT be approved, except under certain, very limited circumstances.

Effective Summer 2012, the first two substandard grades (or, in the case of Withdrawals, the first two Ws) in a single course can be disregarded when calculating a student’s grade point average (GPA) if the course is subsequently repeated. The NEW grade earned must be an A, B, C, D, F, or CR (Credit), NC (Noncredit), P (Pass), or NP (No Pass) for this to occur. A W or I cannot be used to disregard any previous grades or notations on transcripts. All of the original grades always remain in the student’s permanent record, as required by Title 5 §55762, but will have a notation to indicate that the course was repeated.

For example, if a student takes English 1 for the first time and earns a D (1.0), then repeats the course and earns another D (1.0) the second time, and then, on a counselor-authorized third attempt, earns a C (2.0), the previous two D grades will be disregarded (although the grades will still appear on the student’s transcript, noted to show the course repetition), and the C (2.0) will be used to recalculate the student’s GPA.

Please note that the only grades that may recalculated for improvement of a student’s GPA are the first two unsatisfactory grades that the student earns in the course, and ONLY if both attempts at taking the course were made at Santa Monica College. Even if the student receives special permission to enroll in the same course for a fourth time, the GPA recalculation is limited to the first two unsatisfactory grades earned in the course. Note that any grades earned in courses taken at other colleges or universities cannot be used to recalculate a student’s GPA at SMC.

Repeating a course that a student originally completed with a grade of A (4.0), B (3.0), C (2.0), or P (Pass) will have NO effect on the student’s GPA or units completed, and is only permitted after the student files a written request and receives approval to repeat the course, and only if the student is repeating the course under one of the special circumstances listed above.

Santa Monica College has designated selected courses as being repeatable up to a specified number of times (repeat maximums are stated next to course titles in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog and in the Schedule of Classes). In some cases, courses designated as repeatable are grouped together according to an activity. An activity-based course may include several levels, but may also have a cumulative course repeatability of three (i.e., a total of four course completions is permitted). For example, KIN PE 48A, KIN PE 48B, KIN PE 48C, and KIN PE 48D are grouped together because they are all courses in swimming. A student who repeats KIN PE 48A (two course completions: taking the course initially, and repeating the course), and then completes KIN PE 48B and KIN PE 48C, has accumulated four completions in a group of courses. As a result, that student may not enroll in KIN PE 48D, because doing so would exceed the maximum number of course repetitions that are permitted.

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