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Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated August 14, 2020 to reflect Fall 2020 only

Undergraduate Students

When is the deadline for submitting a request to select a course to be graded Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)?

The deadline to change your grading option online in your Student Center is Wednesday, December 9, 2020.  If you miss the deadline, you will need to petition using a Record Adjustment Petition form to the Office of the University Registrar.

Important Note: NO additions, deletions, or changes are permitted to a student's record after the degree has been posted.

What grade will I need in order to earn CR?

For undergraduate courses, if you earn a C or better, you may request to have the letter grade converted to a CR grade. 

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), a D counts toward the completion of a requirement. If you choose CR/NC, however, a CR is equivalent to a minimum of a C. In short, a NC could mean you have to retake a class, whereas a D would not.

If you are a graduating senior, consider carefully the implications for your graduation status of earning a NC. You may want to talk to an advisor in your College Advising Center before changing to a CR/NC grading option for courses. 

How do I know which courses allow a D grade to count toward completion of a requirement?

For General Education (GE courses), only Foundation courses require C or higher grade. All other GE courses can receive a D or higher grade to meet the requirement. If the GE is also counting toward major requirements, confirm with your major Department if a D grade will meet major requirements. 

For major courses, confirm with your major Department or the General Catalog

What if I don’t know what my grade will be?

The deadline to change your grading option for fall 2020 is prior to when grades are due and posted.  You will need to make the decision throughout the semester as the deadline is Wednesday, December 9.  Please work with your advisor to discuss the option to see if it’s right for you.

If I decide to change my grading basis to CR/NC, how will this impact my overall GPA?

CR/NC grades do not have units attempted or grade points associated with them and thus do not count in the GPA. The units earned will count toward your degree and meet course requirements (such as a major or GE requirements), but your Fresno State GPA will not change. For example, if you have a GPA of 3.0 at the end of Spring/Summer 2020 and you petition for all CR/NC grades, then your GPA will remain a 3.0 at the end of Fall 2020. 

If I am on probation, how might taking a class CR/NC impact my academic standing?

Students on academic probation need to complete courses for a letter grade as they strive to raise their GPA above a 2.0 (Undergraduate) or 3.0 (Graduate). A grade of “CR” will not accommodate such movement out of probationary status. Any CR grade received in Fall 2020 will not increase the GPA to help move a student out of probationary 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 raise your GPA. If you are trying to raise your GPA for reinstatement, think carefully about what is the best option, a letter grade or CR/NC. If you have questions, talk with an advisor in your department or college advising center. 

Are there certain courses that would be a bad idea to take CR/NC if I think I can get a passing grade in them?

Continuing for fall 2020 semester, students are able to choose the CR/NC grading option for all types of courses (Major, Minor, Prerequisites, GE).  However, some courses have the option to “opt out” of allowing students to receive CR/NC grading in certain courses.

In addition, if you are planning to apply to graduate programs or internships and want your transcript to show a letter grade, rather than CR for a particular course, you may not want to switch to CR/NC for that course. You should also think carefully about courses that allow you to use a grade lower than a C to fulfill a requirement.

In some cases, earning a D will progress you toward your degree (example, some GE courses or major courses – See FAQ #4). On the other hand, if you selected the CR/NC option, a D would convert to a NC. As a result, you would need to retake the class.

If you are trying to increase your GPA, be aware that courses assigned a CR/NC grading are not included in the GPA calculation. You will earn units for courses with a CR grade, but no Grade Points will be included in the GPA calculation.

Can I earn Honors with CR/NC courses?

Students must take at least 12 units of letter graded courses in a semester to qualify for Semester Honors such a President's and Dean's List, which are based on GPA. If you elect to take courses as CR/NC and that results in you having fewer than 12 units of courses that assign letter grades, then you will not be eligible to earn Semester Honors. (University Catalog, Grading Policies & Procedures)

Can I take a GE class for CR/NC

Yes, can you take a GE course for CR/NC.

What happens if I earn a NC for a course that serves as a prerequisite for another course I need to take?

If you earn a NC for a prerequisite course, you will not be able to take the next course and will need to retake the prerequisite course. Most prerequisites require C or better grades.

If I'm unsure about whether I should take a class CR/NC, who should I talk to for advice?

If the course is required for your major, it would be best to contact a major advisor from your department. If the course is a GE course, please contact an advisor at your college’s advising center.

If I am an accredited program, can I take courses CR/NC?

Rules differ by accreditation agencies. Please contact your department to inquire about this. A list of courses within departments that have opted out of allowing CR/NC grading basis can be found here.

If I am taking a course through Open University, can I take it CR/NC?

 

Yes, you can, but all of the same issues throughout this FAQ document should be taken into consideration.

If I take a course CR/NC, will it impact my financial aid?

 

Taking a course CR/NC will NOT impact receipt of financial aid for most students. It should be noted that if you earn a NC then it can affect your “satisfactory academic progress,” which can affect your financial aid in the future.  If you have questions about how choosing CR/NC might impact your chance of passing a course, please contact an advisor in your college’s advising center.

 

Veterans and dependents using VA Benefits, athletes, and international students are subject to special rules (see FAQ #17, #18, #19).

Will Students receiving veteran's benefits be able to change to CR/NC for the Fall 2020 term and still have their classes paid for if they receive a NC?

Student veterans and dependents must receive letter grades for enrolled courses or they stand to lose benefits.In the case of veterans/dependents utilizing GI Bill VA Education Benefits, the registrar may change a “no credit” grade to an F to avoid having a negative impact on their financial aid.  Please contact staff in the Veterans Resource Center for questions regarding your benefits at fsveterans@mail.fresnostate.edu.  NOTE: The VA only granted an exception for CR/NC for the spring 2020 semester.

I am a student athlete, can I take a course for CR/NC?

Student athletes must earn at least six degree applicable units each semester along with all other NCAA eligibility benchmarks to be considered making progress towards their degree and remain eligible for their sports. Student athletes may utilize the grading options available to all students on campus (letter grade or credit/no-credit) for purposes of eligibility.

I am an international student. Can I take a course for CR/NC?

Yes, you can.  International students must complete a minimum of 12 units as an undergraduate or 9 units as a graduate to maintain their immigration status. Your choice to change a Letter grade to CR/NC grade will not affect the number of units required for enrollment. 

Should I take an Incomplete (INC) grade in a course instead of choosing CR/NC?

Students can discuss an incomplete grade with their instructor. An Incomplete grade is useful if a student has completed a substantial portion of the course and is passing the course, but is unable to complete the course requirements within the academic term. A student has up to one year to complete their work, though there should be a date agreed upon by the student and the instructor in the Incomplete Contract approved during the grading period.  You will need to accept the conditions of the contract in your Student Center.

If you elect to take an Incomplete grade for a course, do not re-enroll in the course, but instead work with the instructor to complete the remaining elements of the course.  When the work has been completed, the instructor will assign a final grade.

Graduate Students

When is the deadline for submitting a petition to select a course to be graded Credit/NoCredit (CR/NC)?

The deadline to change your grading option online in your Student Center is Wednesday, December 9, 2020.  If you miss the deadline, you will need to petition using a Record Adjustment Petition form to the Office of the University Registrar.

Important Note: NO additions, deletions, or changes are permitted to a student's record after the degree has been posted.

What grades do I need to earn credit in a graduate course? 

For credit (CR) to be given in a graduate-level course (200-299, 500-599, and 600-699 course numbers), you must earn a grade of a B or better. A maximum of one-fifth of the units applicable to your degree may consist of CR-graded coursework.

What grades do I need to earn credit in an undergraduate course?

To earn credit (CR) in an undergraduate course (1-199, 400-499 course numbers), you must earn a grade of C or better. A maximum of one-fifth of the units applicable to your degree may consist of CR-graded coursework.

How will the CR/NC option impact my GPA?

While letter grades are factored into the calculation of the GPA, CR/NC grades are NOT.  A minimum 3.0 postbaccalaureate cumulative GPA is required prior to advancement to candidacy, and a minimum 3.0 program GPA, which includes only the courses listed on your Petition of Advancement to Candidacy form, is required for advancing to candidacy and graduation. If you expect to earn a grade of C or lower in a course, you should carefully consider selecting the CR/NC option for that course. Your consideration should balance the negative impact that the course letter grade would have on your GPA (if you do not request CR/NC grading), with making satisfactory progress toward your degree. A grade of CR would count as successfully completing the course, while a NC grade would not. Graduate FAQ #2 describes which letter grades result in a CR vs NC grade. Please consult with your graduate program coordinator for guidance on whether the CR/NC option is advisable in your situation.

Are there any situations where it might be best to NOT elect to take a course CR/NC?

You should consider not taking the CR/NC option if you expect to earn a grade of C in a graduate course, and if that course is required for your degree program and/or is a prerequisite for another required course. This is because the CR/NC option would result in a NC grade for a graduate course (see Graduate FAQ #2), which would not count toward fulfilling degree requirements. However, you should keep in mind the impact the grade will have on your GPA. In these situations, it is highly recommended that you speak with your graduate program coordinator before making the decision.

How can earning a CR or NC impact my candidacy form?

Courses with a grade of CR may be listed on the Petition of Advancement to Candidacy form, like any other letter-graded course. Courses with NC grades do not count as fulfilling degree requirements and must be repeated or replaced by another course for credit. A C grade in a course may fulfill degree requirements as long as your program GPA remains at a minimum 3.0, whereas, courses with NC grades will not satisfy degree requirements and must be repeated.

The course that I’m currently taking is a prerequisite for another course requiring that I earn a grade of ‘B’ or better. Given that a CR can mean either a B- minimum (graduate course) or C- minimum (undergraduate course), how would that impact my ability to register for a course requiring a ‘B’ or better?

Departments have been instructed to accept courses completed in Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020, with the grade of CR as fulfilling prerequisite requirements.

 

What if I’m taking either an internship, clinical, or field placement course and was unable to complete the required hours for the course?

Please speak with your professor and/or graduate program coordinator to see if anything can be substituted for the required hours.

 

To view the FAQs for spring 2020, click here.   

Friendly FAQs Version for summer 2020, click here.