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UCLA General Catalog 2017-18

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    Academic Policies

Academic Credit


Academic work at UCLA is measured by units of credit, which are used to evaluate the amount of time a student has devoted to a particular subject and to determine a student’s class level.

Units of Credit

Most UCLA courses are assigned a unit value. One unit represents three hours of work per week per term by the student, including both class attendance and preparation.

Class Levels


Undergraduate class level is based on completed and in-progress units, not years attended.

Undergraduate Levels
Class Designation Units Completed
Freshman (UFR) 0-44.9
Sophomore (USO) 45-89.9
Junior (UJR) 90-134.9
Senior (USR) 135 or more

Graduate Student

Graduate class level is based on the degree objective, whether or not students are advanced to candidacy for a doctorate, and/or completed units.

Graduate Levels
Class Designation Units Completed
Master (MA/MS) (GMT) Master’s degree objective
Professional Master (GPM)
Doctorate 1 (GD1) Not advanced to candidacy
Doctorate 2 (GD2) Advanced to candidacy
Professional School (PF)
Professional School (PF2) Second year (Law: 30-55.9)
Professional School (PF3) Third year (Law: 56 or more)

Repetition of Courses

Certain courses, as noted in their course descriptions, may be repeated for credit. Other courses taken at UCLA (except UCLA Extension) may be repeated only according to the following guidelines:

  1. To improve the grade-point average (GPA), students may repeat only those courses in which they receive a grade of C- or lower; NP or U grades may be repeated to gain unit credit. Courses in which a letter grade is received may not be repeated on a P/NP or S/U basis. Courses originally taken on a P/NP or S/U basis may be repeated on the same basis or for a letter grade.
  2. Repetition of a course more than once requires the approval of the College, school, or dean of the Graduate Division, and is granted only under extraordinary circumstances.
  3. Degree credit for a course is given only once, but the grade assigned each time the course is taken is permanently recorded on the transcript.
  4. For undergraduates who repeat a total of 16 units or less, only the most recently earned letter grades and grade points are computed in the GPA. After repeating 16 units, however, the GPA is based on all letter grades assigned and total units attempted.
  5. Certain programs may place additional restrictions on the repetition of courses required for those programs.
  6. For graduate students, all courses in which a letter grade is given, including repeated courses, are used in computing the GPA.

Credit for Upper-Division Tutorials

Credit for upper-division tutorial courses numbered 195 through 199 in a single term is limited to a maximum of 8 units. Subject to regulations governing P/NP grades, students may take these courses on a P/NP or a letter-grade basis, but the total number of units allowed in upper division tutorial courses for a letter grade is 32.

To enroll in an upper division tutorial course, students must have advanced junior standing and at least a 3.0 GPA in the major field, or must have senior standing. Students who have an outstanding Incomplete (I) grade in an upper division tutorial course may not enroll in another upper division tutorial course until the grade of I has been removed. On the advice of the instructor and chair, the dean of the College or school may authorize exceptions to the limitations listed. Departments may impose additional limitations on upper-division tutorial courses.

Credit by Examination

Students with high scholastic standing may earn credit for regular UCLA courses by taking examinations rather than enrolling in the courses. This is accomplished by establishing, with a UCLA faculty member, an individual plan of study that may include oral and written work in addition to other requirements. To be eligible, undergraduate students must have completed a minimum of 12 units at UCLA. Graduate students must be registered at the time of the examination and are limited to a maximum of three courses taken in this manner.

The results of these courses are entered on the record in the same way as University of California transfer credit, and grade points are assigned. Graduate credit earned by examination may be applied to minimum course requirements for master’s degrees but cannot apply to academic residence requirements for master’s or doctorate degrees.

Students need approval from the instructor, the department, and the College, school, or dean of the Graduate Division, from whom petitions for credit by examination (with fee) are available.

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