Academic Forgiveness Policy (Pilot)

WCU is piloting an Academic Forgiveness Policy to allow undergraduate students to continue their education without investing their time and resources in repeating courses unnecessarily. The policy allows students to progress toward degree completion without repeating failed courses that are not required for their major. While this option is open to all students, it is often most valuable to students who have changed their major.

By offering an opportunity for academic forgiveness, the university hopes students may continue their education without unnecessarily investing the time and resources in repeating courses.

Academic Forgiveness Policy

Policy Intention: Academic Forgiveness is available to all currently enrolled undergraduate students, the spirit of the policy stems from the university’s desire to support continued progress for students who may have changed their major and as a result, would not benefit from repeating courses taken for their original major. However, in accordance with WCU’s Policy on Policies, it is important to ensure that policies do not impact one group over another in a discriminatory fashion nor benefit one group at the expense of another, thus the proposition to allow the application of said proposed policy to all currently enrolled students.

Policy: Undergraduate students may improve their overall GPA by invoking Academic Forgiveness, the exclusion of a maximum of three courses (not to exceed 12 credit hours) in which the student received a grade of D (+/-), F, or Z. When Academic Forgiveness is applied, the course grade is excluded from the student’s GPA calculation.

If the original course had earned the student credit (D grades), the credit will remain as earned and count towards degree completion. A transcript notation of Academic Forgiveness is applied.

Note: Academic Forgiveness differs from the undergraduate repeat policy which allows students to repeat courses to replace the original grade. Students must utilize the undergraduate repeat policy if repeating the course is required for their degree progression. Similarly, required courses for minors, certificates, or certification programs are not eligible for Academic Forgiveness

Additional Policy notes:

  • The forgiven courses remain on the student's permanent academic record/transcript along with the original grade. However, the grade is not calculated into the student’s overall GPA. If the original course had earned the student credit (D grades), the credit will remain as earned and count towards degree completion. A transcript notation of Academic Forgiveness is applied.
  • Students can petition to invoke Academic Forgiveness.
  • Courses cannot be both repeated and forgiven. If a student re-enrolls in a course, the repeat policy is invoked, and that course cannot be subsequently forgiven.
  • Please be aware that forgiveness cannot be recognized for federal financial aid eligibility. Per Title IV regulations, the Office of Financial Aid must include all grades and attempted credits in the calculation for satisfactory academic progress.
  • Courses are not eligible for Academic Forgiveness if they count toward the completion of a student’s major (inclusive of cognates, directed General Education courses, and directed Additional Baccalaureate Requirements). 
  • If a forgiven course is required in a student’s new major, the student may need to repeat the course
  • Major electives are only eligible for Academic Forgiveness if they are not fulfilling a requirement (e.g., if the student can take a different elective to satisfy the requirement).  

The following are also not eligible for Academic Forgiveness: 

  • First Year Experience (FYE) courses (Note: FYE Repair is the alternative)
  • English Composition (WRT) courses 
  • Course grades applied under the COVID-19 Alternative Grading Policy 
  • Course grades that result from violations of Academic Integrity 
  • Graduate Level Courses and non-degree programs

How to request academic forgiveness

We’ve created a training article to show how students can submit a Request for Academic Forgiveness in their myWCU:

Submitting an Academic Forgiveness Form

If you have any questions about the form or the process, email:


  • Is any student eligible for academic forgiveness?
    Every current student can be considered for academic forgiveness. Students who are currently enrolled, or enrolling for an upcoming semester can apply.
  • How do course repeats and forgiveness work together?
    If a student has already repeated the course, and no longer needs to repeat the course to remain on track towards graduation, the last attempt can be forgiven.
  • How will academic forgiveness affect my GPA?
    Forgiven courses remain on the student’s transcript, but are not calculated into the student’s GPA.
  • Will academic forgiveness appear on my transcript?
    Yes, forgiven courses remain on the student’s transcript with a note indicating the course grade was forgiven.
  • Who approves my request?
    To ensure forgiveness is applied to best support student progress, requests are reviewed by the student’s major department and college dean.
  • How long do request reviews normally take?
    The timeline can fluctuate over the year based on the number of pending requests. Students should estimate two to three weeks for reviews to be completed and their record to be updated if approved. Students are welcome to reach out to for updates.
  • Are there reasons academic forgiveness might be denied?
    Academic forgiveness can be denied if the students is required to repeat the course to complete their degree requirement.