Repeating Classes and Class Families

If you’re thinking of taking the same class more than once, there are some limitations and rules that you need to know.

Under California law, there is a limit to the number of times that you can take the same class at community college. There are also limits on certain “families” of related courses that involve active participation – such as physical education, visual arts or performing arts – and these “family” limits apply to classes at both De Anza and Foothill College.

This page will explain the restrictions on

  • repeating a class after you receive a W or substandard grade, such as D, F, NP or NC
  • repeating a class after you receive an A, B, C, P or CR
  • "active participatory courses" and "course families" of related courses in physical education, visual arts and performing arts

Repeating a Class After a "W" or Substandard Grade

You can re-take a course after you withdraw with a W grade or get a substandard grade such as D, F, NP or NC. But there is a limit: You may not enroll in the same course more than three times. (A withdrawal from class due to active military orders does not count toward this limit.)

If you get a W or a substandard grade in the same course twice, De Anza’s online enrollment system will not allow you to enroll for a third time. You will need to request permission from the Admissions and Records office before you can enroll for the third time. You can find the request form on MyPortal: Open the Apps section and click on the tile for Adobe Sign Student Forms, then look in the list of Student Webforms for the one called "De Anza 3rd/Last Attempt Form." If you have questions or need help with the form, you should contact the Admissions and Records Office.

The third time will be the last time that you are allowed to enroll in that course at either De Anza or Foothill College. Make sure you plan your schedule so you have enough time and get the help you need to pass. Counseling, tutoring and other support is available on campus!

After the third attempt to pass a course, you may not enroll again unless you successfully petition to show that special circumstances apply, such as

  • At least five years have elapsed since the last time you took the course
  • You are legally required to take the course for employment or a professional license
  • You are a disabled student who requires an accommodation
  • Other extenuating circumstances such as illness or accidents beyond your control

Your petition must be approved by the dean of Enrollment Services or the Appeal Review Committee. You can submit a petition through the process described on the Petitions for Exceptions webpage.

Repeating a Class After a Grade of A, B, C, P or CR

If you have received an A, B, C, P or CR grade, you may not take that course again unless the official course description specifies that the class is "repeatable."

The course description will also specify a limit on how many times you can enroll in that particular course. 

Only certain types of courses are “repeatable”

  • Courses for which repeating is necessary to meet UC or CSU major requirements for a bachelor’s degree
  • Intercollegiate athletics
  • Certain courses designated as Special Education under criteria set by state law.

Limits on "Active Participatory" Classes and Course Familes

Since 2013, all “active participatory” courses have been designated as non-repeatable. There is also a limit of six enrollments per student in “active participatory” courses that are related in content. This includes courses in physical education, visual arts and performing arts that are offered within the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

  • De Anza and Foothill College have designated “Course Families” that include related or similar courses from both colleges.
  • You may not enroll more than six times within a family of courses, whether they are offered at De Anza or Foothill. You’ll find a list of families and repeatability scenarios on our Course Families webpage.
  • This limit also applies to students who receive a substandard grade (D, F, NP or NC) or withdrew from a course with a W for one or more of the enrollments.

In addition, if you take a course at De Anza that is equivalent to a Foothill course in the same family, you cannot later take the Foothill course (and vice-versa). For example: ARTS 4B at De Anza is equivalent to ART 4B at Foothill. If you have taken or plan on taking ARTS 4B at De Anza, then you cannot have taken or plan on taking ART 4B at Foothill.

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