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Repeating a Course

State laws affect your course repetition options at Foothill College.  The California Community College Board of Governors passed revisions to Title 5 regarding course repetition, which took effect in the 2012 summer quarter.

Students may enroll in a course no more than three (3) times if they received a substandard grade (D, F, NP or NC), or withdrew from the class with a “W".  Unless exceptions are specifically indicated in course descriptions in the current Foothill College Course Catalog, state regulations prohibit students from repeating a course they have completed successfully with a grade of C or better.

After Two Attempts

If you have made two attempts for the same course and have not received a satisfactory grade (including W’s), you will not be able to register again for the course without first filling out the Third Attempt Release Form, and submitting it to the Admissions and Records Office. (Please read the form carefully before submitting it to the office).

If you enroll for a third attempt into a course, it will be the last time you are allowed to register in the course. If you no longer plan to complete the course, and would like to be eligible to take the course again, you must drop the class by the deadline to drop without penalty (registration deadlines can be found in your class schedule in your MyPortal account). If you are unsuccessful in the course for a third time, you must take the course outside of the Foothill-DeAnza District.

After Three Attempts

Students with documented extenuating circumstances may petition the Academic Council for permission to enroll in a course for a fourth attempt.  Extenuating circumstances are defined as:

  • Documented cases of accidents, illnesses or other circumstances beyond the control of the student that necessitate extended absences for a course(s). 
  • Military Withdrawals do not count in terms of repetition restrictions, nor do withdrawals that occur due to fire or flood (Title 5 Sections 55024 and 58509).

This rule does not contain a grandfather clause. If a student has already reached the maximum number of course repetitions, s/he cannot enroll in the class again within the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

Petition Process

In order to petition, students must meet with a Foothill College counselor to complete a Petition for Exception to Academic Polices. Prior to the counseling appointment the student must gather official supporting documentation (medical documentation, military paperwork, statements from work, etc) for review to bring to their appointment.

Petitions are available in the Counseling office, or for download online. Students are required to provide official documentation of the extenuating circumstances or other allowable circumstance with their petitions. Petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are not automatically approved. If a students' petition is not approved, they will need to retake the course at another community college, if permitted.

Course Repetition Examples


The following scenarios will help demonstrate this change and how it may affect you.

  Scenario A
No. Course Grade Quarter Term Is Course Repeatable?
1 MATH-104 D Spring 2010 Yes
2 MATH-104 F Fall 2010 Yes
3 MATH-104 W Spring 2011 Yes
4 MATH-104   Summer 2012 No, must petition

  Scenario B
No. Course Grade Quarter Term Is Course Repeatable?
1 EWRT-1A W Spring 2008 Yes
2 EWRT-1A W Fall 2008 Yes
3 EWRT-1A D Winter 2009 Yes
4 EWRT-1A   Fall 2012 No, must petition

  Scenario C
No. Course Grade Quarter Term Is Course Repeatable?
1 EWRT-1A W Spring 2008 Yes
2 EWRT-1A W Fall 2008 Yes
3 EWRT-1A W Winter 2009 Yes
4 EWRT-1A   Fall 2012 No, must petition


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