2021-2022 Catalog Updates

Course Options for Program Credit via Waiver, Substitution and Direct Equivalency

Students may petition for coursework taken at other institutions, or for equivalent professional experience, to be applied to a CityU degree via course waiver, course substitution or direct equivalency. Students in bachelor’s degree programs may obtain up to 45 upper-division credits and up to 90 lower-division quarter credits via substitutions, waivers, direct equivalencies, or any combination of these three, per degree). Graduate students may obtain up to 25 percent, but not to exceed a total of 12 quarter credits, of their total required degree program credits per degree.

Course Waiver

When appropriate, students may request that the requirement to take a required course in their academic program be waived (put aside). Course waivers are granted only when students can demonstrate that they have already completed formal coursework or obtained experience which, in the judgment of the program director or designee, is directly related to the course in question and is an adequate substitute. To request a course waiver, a student must submit a Petition for Course Waiver, Substitution, Direct Equivalency Form. Note: A course waiver does not grant credit; it simply eliminates the need to take a required course for the degree. To compensate for the program credits lost by the waiver of a course, a student must either enroll in another City University of Seattle course of equivalent level and credit or transfer it from another institution. General Education distributions in an undergraduate degree program may not be waived.

Course Substitution

Course substitution refers to the action of substituting, in place of a course required for the student’s academic program, a different City University of Seattle course specifically requested by the student, after program director or designee approval has been obtained. To request a course substitution when circumstances warrant, a student must submit a Petition for Course Waiver, Substitution, or Direct Equivalency Form.

Course Matrix

A course matrix occurs when a course has been discontinued, and another CityU course has been designated as a pre-approved replacement course for all students in a specific academic program. Matrixed courses are considered part of the student’s program plan and do not count in course substitution, waiver, or direct equivalency credit limitations.

Direct Equivalency

Direct equivalency refers to a course completed successfully at another recognized institution and judged to be the same as a required CityU course in terms of content, level and credit value. All such courses must reflect grades of 2.0 (C) or better for undergraduate programs and 3.0 (B) or better for graduate and doctoral programs.

If the University Registrar cannot determine direct equivalency for a course upon submittal of an official transcript from the other institution, the student must petition the Program Director to receive this type of credit, using a Petition for Course Waiver, Substitution, or Direct Equivalency Form and include appropriate documentation to include course syllabus from the issuing institution. If a transferable course is approved as a direct equivalent for a City University of Seattle course, credit is granted and the student need not take the CityU course.

Students may petition to receive transfer credit for any course. Please refer to the sections on undergraduate and graduate transfer credit in the Admissions policy section for general information on transferring courses.

(Policy #2200.02)

Course Repetition

A course that has been failed (whether a No Pass or a decimal grade) must be repeated if it is required for the student’s academic degree/certificate program. However, any required course in which the student passed the class, but the grade earned is below 2.0 (undergraduate) or 3.0 (graduate) may be repeated.

Students may take the same CityU course a maximum of three times (i.e. they may repeat the course twice). If a student is not able to earn the minimum passing grade by the third attempt (the second repeat), the only remaining way to fulfill the requirement is to complete the equivalent course at another institution and transfer it into the student’s City University of Seattle academic program. This method also requires that the student earn a grade of at least 2.0 (undergraduate) or 3.0 (graduate) when taking the course externally, to satisfy transfer credit requirements. Note: Capstones, internships, student teaching, dissertations/thesis classes may not be completed externally. See Exemptions to course Repeat Policy. When a student has taken a required course three times at City University of Seattle without passing, an enrollment hold is placed on the student’s account, barring further enrollment. The hold will remain in effect for up to one year, or until a transcript is received from another institution showing successful completion of the course. If no transcript is received within one year after the last term in which the failed course was attempted, the student’s academic status is changed to Dismissed, and that designation appears on the student’s academic record.

If at a later date the student completes the course with at least a 2.0 (undergraduate) or 3.0 (graduate) at an outside institution, and it is accepted for transfer to CityU, s/he may be readmitted.

The first, second and/or third grade for a repeated course will all appear on the student’s transcript; however, the decimal value of only the most recently earned grade will be included in the cumulative grade point average. If the student successfully completes the repeated course as a transfer to CityU, the grade from the final City University of Seattle attempt will be removed from the cumulative grade point average.

Students who are repeating a course must complete the registration procedure and pay the course tuition and fees again.


Students may wish to repeat a course by auditing it. Audited courses are not graded and do not count as one of the three attempts.

Exemptions to Course Repeat Policy

Final practicum courses, such as student teaching, may be attempted at CityU only two times and may not be transferred from outside institutions.

Comprehensive examination courses in the Doctoral Program are eligible for repeat only once.

Once a degree or certificate has been granted, the grades earned for the courses within that program are locked into the degree/certificate and may not be repeated.

Exceptions to this policy may be made by the dean.

U.S. Veterans

Students receiving U.S. veterans’ benefits should note that the repetition of a course must be reported by the University to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and receipt of benefits may be affected.

(Policy #3500.12)